How to Build a Garden Office or Garden Room Base
COVID-19 UPDATE: Please visit this page for information on how the current lockdown is affecting our display sites and installations
How To A Build a Base For A Garden Office
If you are considering a new garden office or summer room for your garden, then you need to give serious thought about what base you are going to have. Because without a substantial level base, your new building will have problems in the years to come. In some ways, it as important as the actual choice of structure. You will find that decent companies, like 1st Choice Leisure Buildings, will be delighted to help and advise you – to talk through the options and merits of each type of base.
There are several options for a suitable base and range from a concrete base, a paving slab base, ProBases, timber bearers or a timber subframe base. Each has its own merits, but the end result needs to be a level and well-supported base for your new garden room, maybe from 1st Choice.
Building a concrete base for your new garden office can be a relatively straightforward job but quite demanding on the average DIY’er. Providing you do the job properly and methodically you can do this your self. In simple terms, you will have to remove all vegetation from where your new building is going to be placed. You will need some shuttering – and this tends to me timber planks about 6 inches x 1inch in size. It would be best if you found how what size the concrete base needs to be and then cut the plank of wood to create a rectangle to that size. Lay this on the ground where your new building is going and then dig down, allowing the top of the timber frame to be 1 to two inches above ground level. Secure in place with timber wedges.If you are told to make the base 6 inches larger, then ignore as that is terrible advice. That will allow water to sit on the base and run underneath, potentially making the floor wet. With the base, the same size and slightly higher than the surrounding ground you floor will stay dry.
With the shuttering in place, you can add hardcore into the area and compact it down, ready for the concrete. Concrete for a small building COULD be mixed by hand, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s best to order it to be delivered by a company such as Mix-a-Mate or somebody similar. When it arrives, you need to pour the concrete into the shuttering and compacting it down as you go to ensure all air is expelled. Using a length of timber, you can scrape the top of the concrete level. By using a ‘tamping and sawing’ motion, you can create a good base for your building. Only you can decide if you think the effort is worth it or whether you should get the professionals in.
Other options include using paving slabs or plastic ProBase tiles down. With these two option using shuttering is a good idea. Mark out the area of your new building and then remove any grass and vegetation. Remove about 1-2 inches of soil and then fill with building sand. Compact this to make a solid surface and then lay your paving slabs on top. With the ProBase tiles ensure that they don’t sink into the sand.
Another option is to use timber bearers for your garden room. These are just lengths of pressure treated timbers which are just laid down. You must have a solid and level base for them to go onto as it is difficult to get level otherwise. A level concrete or paving slab base is a good choice. The bearers will lift your building off the ground and help to keep it drier in the years to come.
A very popular option is the timber subframe base which consists of pressure treated timber which is made into a timber frame the same size of the building. Additional cross supports adds to its strength, and this would be levelled and supported, typically, on plastic posts, making a solid, dry and long-lasting base. You could even take this with you when you moved, of you chose. The subframe base is my favourite type of base.
1st Choice can advise on these options as to what might be best for you.
By utilising the recommended base construction companies, you can be sure that your base for your new building will be perfect and suitable for the long term. True – it will be more expensive than doing it yourself, but sometimes it’s worth it for peace of mind. Sometimes it will be impractical due to distance, or maybe you would like to build the base yourself. If so, please ensure you receive a base plan with the recommended sizes and specification.
When your base is finished, it’s advised to send a photo to the office confirming the measurements as this will ensure no misunderstands when your new garden room is delivered. If it’s wrong, then the installers may not be able to build your summer room, then a recall charge would be levied. By ensuring the base is right in the first place and positioned away from any constructions such as fences or pipes, this will save a lot of heartaches and give us all peace of mind. Priceless!
Let Us Build Your Garden Room Or Home Office Base
It is always nice to get a new timber building in your garden but you do need a solid base for them to sit on to ensure you get the best life out of the building. The normal options are concrete, paving slabs, timber decking, timber joists or ProBases Whichever one you use you need to make the best job you can do because your new building will rely on your base. If it’s not correct it may affect the life of your new garden building and, in the worst-case scenario, it might not be possible to build your new garden room causing inconvenience and extra expense.
You may decide that you will get someone in to do this for you and if so, we can help. We can recommend Viking Services to supply, build and level pressure treated and fully tanalised base for you. If you decide on this type of base Viking will bring all the required materials along, they will construct the base and then ensure that the base is 100% solid and level to take your new building. They will make this base using pressure treated timbers and your building will sit on top of this base ensuring that your new building is well protected from any dampness coming up from the ground. This will help to ensure that your floor and garden building will last a very LONG time. All you need is a reasonably level piece of ground. However, it is possible to build even on uneven ground but you would need a special quote for this.
We at 1st Choice specialise in offering an extensive collection of quality wooden buildings so you can be assured that you will find your ideal building with a minimum of fuss. There are occasions, however, when other specialists are required in order to complete your project and our years of experience in this field mean that we have built up a number of valuable connections with reliable tradespeople who we put forward here for your consideration.
Whilst the individual tradespeople are independent of us (thus keeping the pricing as low as possible) we are happy to liaise with them to make arrangements on your behalf and we, therefore, take a deposit which is passed along to them with your order. They will collect the balance outstanding upon completion of works and leave you with an invoice for your records. Prices quoted presume a suitable, accessible work site within 50 miles of our display area near Woking. If your site is further afield or access is poor then the standard prices quoted may be subject to an additional charge.
Timber SubFrame Base
The ideal solution when you are looking for a smaller base, have restricted access, an area of sloping ground or if you simply wish to reduce the disturbance of construction of a concrete slab.
A sturdy frame is constructed using 100mm x 47mm structurally-graded C24 Spruce which is subjected to an enhanced pressure treatment process to enhance it’s life. There are cross members set at centres between 35cm and 42cm (14” and 16 1/2”) and noggins when the span is greater than 1.5m (5’) to increase rigidity. The frame is levelled and supported on indestructible recycled plastic ground posts which will last a lifetime.
When the timber subframe is sat atop a concrete base these plastic posts are not required and timber legs will be used in lieu when levelling is required. The price is just £5 per square foot (£56 per square metre).
Probase Plastic Tiles
This is a super-strong and eco-friendly interlocking grid system for garden offices and summer rooms, workshops, log cabins and home offices.
Made of the highest grade of recycled plastic; these ingenious tiles can be supplied for self-fitment or we can arrange for a contractor to attend your site and lay them for you.
Subject to a maximum fall of 150mm (6”) across the area of the base, the ground will be levelled and a membrane laid (to prevent weeds growing and to spread the load of the 49 load-bearing feet on each tile) before the tiles are clipped together, levelled and in-filled with pea shingle to ensure a solid immovable base.
The cost is £7.50 per square foot (£84 per square metre with a minimum charge of £400.
Concrete Base Construction
A quality base is essential for any garden office and subject to certain limitations – on access restrictions, a maximum fall of 150mm (6”) across the area of the of the slab and availability of services – our suggested concrete base contractor can offer a set price per square foot.They will remove any turf before excavating and levelling the ground to enable them to create a base of 100mm – 150mm (4”- 6”) depth poured over compacted hardcore. A damp proof membrane is standard and, when the base is over 3m x 3m (10’ x 10’), a reinforcing mesh is integrated into the slab for added strength.
All material will be hand-mixed on site by the contractor using a mix equivalent to C25 and any spoil will be removed from site upon completion if desired. The contractor will charge £10 per square foot (£111 per square metre) subject to a minimum charge of £400.