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12 June 2018
10 Benefits of Having a Garden Office
More and more companies are getting on board with flexible working hours and encouraging their employees to work from home. It makes sense, flexible hours lead to happier employees, and working from home means that companies can reduce their office space, saving money. Similarly, many people are turning to freelance work which offers the flexibility of home working and organising your own work schedule, a very attractive prospect, especially for families with young children.
It is for this reason that garden office buildings are becoming ever more popular. An extra space, away from the family home, that provides a quiet place to concentrate on the day’s work.
Here are our top 10 benefits of having a garden office:â€‹
Commuting into work takes an average of 1.15 hours each way, which, over the length of a career, totals 10, 600 hours. That is a lot of time spent in a train or car. An office in your garden means you can literally get out of bed and walk to your office, still in your pjs.
Less commuting will also save significant money on travel, as well as savings on incidentals like expensive Starbucks coffees.
More time with the family
If you work in an office away from home, finishing work at 5pm means that you won’t get home until 6/6.30pm, giving you less time with your family. You may miss out on quality time with your children, their bath and story time, for example. A garden office means that when you finish at 5pm, you are home at 5:01pm, ready to be with your family.
Rather than having to spend your weekdays crammed into a grey cubicle desk, you can work in an environment of your choosing. From the office chair to the colour of the walls, you have complete autonomy over the décor of your garden office.
Rather than using the kitchen table, or squeezing a desk into the spare bedroom, a garden office offers a professional environment in which you can conduct meetings.
Having a separate space for you to work will give you a greater ability to switch off at the end of the day. If your office is in your home, then there is always the temptation to turn on your computer to just check a couple of emails and the next thing you know is it’s 10pm and you’ve spent no time with your loved ones. Having to physically leave the house and walk through your garden to your office will reduce the temptation. Once you finish for the day you can lock the office door and walk away.
By working in a home garden office, you are reducing your carbon footprint by travelling less. Also, if you purchase an insulated garden office, you won’t need to use as much electricity heating the space, again, reducing your carbon footprint.
Working as a freelancer from your office garden offers you flexible hours, so you can work around your other commitments, such as childcare. It also means that you can be available if you need any repairs in the house, as you will be at home to let the repair person in, as well as on hand to pick up any packages that are delivered.
No office politics
Working by yourself means that you escape any office politics and are free to concentrate on your work.
Add value to your property
An addition of a garden office can add as much as 5 to 7% to the value of your property, making it a sensible investment into your future.
We also have a great of other garden buildings in a range of sizes and styles that can be perfect for your home and garden designs. Check them out here at GBC Group.
Posted by Matt Jordan
06 June 2018
3 Benefits of Having a uPVC Summerhouse
Summerhouses can be constructed in a range of different materials with each option providing significant advantages. Wooden cladding, for example, is a popular choice for many garden buildings as it is not only environmentally friendly but is also aesthetically pleasing too. Similarly, many people choose to purchase metal sheds, which provide a tough and robust structure, perfect for keeping the items inside your shed secure.
Another style which is gaining more popularity is a uPVC summerhouse. Un-plasticised polyvinyl chloride, more popularly known as uPVC, is a material often used within the building industry. Not only is it a strong material which does not flex, but its known for being safe as it does not contain phthalates or BPA. In fact, it’s so safe that it is used in dentistry to make mouthguards and dental retainers.
uPVC has several significant benefits when it comes to your summerhouse, such as:
uPVC offers a maintenance-free option for your summerhouse. Unlike other materials, such as timber, uPVC is weatherproof and so does not rot. This limits the amount of maintenance that you need to undertake, as you don’t need to spend time treating your building to prevent weather damage, or fixing any rotting. The most maintenance you should be required to undertake is occasional washing of the building to keep it looking pristine. This is especially handy if you are purchasing a corner summerhouse, which is designed to be tucked neatly into the corner of your garden, making it harder to negotiate maintenance around the exterior of the building.
uPVC is an incredibly robust material, making it the perfect choice for a summerhouse which is open to the elements. Whether it’s scorching sun or minus temperatures, uPVC stays strong and does not erode, meaning that your summerhouse will stand the test of time. Equally, the strength of this material helps keep any items stored within the building safe, both from damage through leaks or rotting, as well as burglaries, as thieves will struggle to gain access to the inside of the building.
Especially handy if you use your summerhouse in the winter months, uPVC helps insulate the space, limiting the need to install energy guzzling heaters into your summerhouse. This means that your summerhouse can be used all year round, comfortably.
Posted by Matt Jordan
23 May 2018
Dismantling a garden shed: How to do It safely
Whether you’re dismantling your wooden shed because it is on its last legs or removing it to make room for a brand new one, dismantling a shed should be approached safely and methodically. Rushing any aspect of the disassembly can cause accidents to occur, especially if your shed has started to rot and fall apart.
Follow our step by step guide on how to dismantle a shed safely and easily.
Make sure you remove all obvious hazards before you embark on your shed removal. This includes taking out any rusty or broken fixtures and screws, broken glass or rotting timber. You should also dispose of any excess debris in and around your shed, essentially giving yourself a clean and uncluttered space to work from.
Windows and Doors
Start by removing all doors and windows, this will make the disassembly of the rest of the shed much easier. For windows, you can use a crowbar to nudge the glass out of the frame, obviously being careful as you do this to avoid breaking the glass. Doors may need to be unscrewed at the hinge mounts, and all metalwork (hinges, locks etc) will need to be removed. Once all windows and doors are removed, move them away from the shed so that there is no risk of tripping over them or breaking them as you continue to work.
Next, it’s the roofs turn. First, take away any roofing felt, shingles or tiling on the roof carefully. Then, using a screwdriver or crowbar, start removing any screws. You will also need to unscrew the L-brackets that hold the roof brace to the sides of the shed. Once this is done, the roof should be easy to take off. The roof is heavy so be careful as you lower the material onto the floor, perhaps recruiting a second pair of hands to help. Also, be aware that the roof is the part of the shed that holds the structure together, so be careful as you remove each section to make sure the walls don’t fall down.
Now it’s the walls turn. These will most likely be held together by nails, both inside, outside and on the floor, where the base of the shed frame is attached. Start by removing these nails, beginning on the outside and working inwards. Or, for slightly older sheds, you may simply just need to use a crowbar to prize the wall slats apart. For extra support you can construct a temporary timber support that can be dug into the ground to hold sections of the walls whilst you break down others.
Finally, you should be left with the flooring. This should be easy to dismantle and remove.
Once your shed removal is complete, stack all material in a safe place within your garden, ready for disposal, and start assembling your brand spanking new garden building, choosing from our range of high-quality sheds at GBC Group.
Posted by Matt Jordan
18 May 2018
Do I Need Planning Permission for a Garden Building?
Whilst it may seem odd, it is not just major house renovations that are subject to planning permission. Garden structures, such as sheds, upvc summerhouses and garages, are also eligible to the same stringent rules. However, before you start to panic about the mountains of paperwork you may need to fill out, if your garden building fits within the following remits, you need not worry.
Location and Height
The need for planning permission for a shed focuses a great deal on the location and height of your new garden building. If the building is to be placed less than 2.0m from your property’s boundaries, then the maximum height of the entire structure can be no more than 2.5m from ground level.
However, if you will be placing your new garden building more than 2.0m (1.0m in Scotland) from the boundary, then a single storey garden building can have an eave height of up to 2.5m, a dual-pitched roof up to 4.0m and a pent roof up to 3.0m.
Garden buildings planning permission would need to be sought if your structure exceeds any of these measurements.
Proposed Use for Garden Building
You will need to seek planning permission if your garden building is going to be used as a self-contained living space, such as a guest house, or if it has an antenna.
Size of the Structure
The new structure must not take up more than 50% of the area of land around the original house (meaning the house as it was first built).
Any garden buildings with additions such as balconies, verandas or raised platforms will need to seek planning permission.
When you are in the process of planning the installation of your garden structure, take time to decide what you want from your building and where the best location for it would be. This will then determine whether building permission is needed.
It is also important to take into account relevant building regulations when installing the structure, including electrical safety. This requires that all electrical systems, whether in your home or garden, are certified by a qualified electrician to ensure they are safe.
Building regulation compliance is generally determined by the size of the structure, with any garden building over 30 square metres requiring full compliance with all applicable rules.
If you require more information about the rules and regulations garden building planning permissions, then get in touch with our friendly and highly experienced team at GBC Group today.
Posted by Matt Jordan
02 May 2018
How to best position your greenhouse
When you decide to invest in a greenhouse, apart from choosing the size, style and design, the one integral decision you need to make is your greenhouse position/location.
Regardless of whether it’s a Castle, Robinsons or an Alton Greenhouse, the location you choose in your garden will help determine how the plants and vegetables inside your greenhouse will grow, as well as helping with more practical considerations, such as safety and convenience to your house.
If possible, try to avoid placing your greenhouse under any tall trees as this will mean that any natural sunlight will be blocked out for the majority, if not all, of the day. It will also be more likely to be covered in bird droppings, which are difficult and laborious to remove. Similarly, you risk a falling tree branch smashing the glass of your greenhouse.
But, this does not mean that you should avoid a location near trees all together, just not directly underneath them. Trees, as well as walls and hedges, offer a great windbreak, which keeps the temperature inside the greenhouse warmer.
The orientation of the ridge of the roof of your greenhouse plays an important part in the decision of where your greenhouse should be placed, and this decision should be based on when you plan on growing your plants.
If you would like to grow them all year round, then ideally you would need the ridge of the roof to run east-west, as this ensures as much light as possible during the dark winter months. However, if you only wish to plant during the spring and summer, then the ridge should run north-south so both sides of the greenhouse get the same amount of light.
Every garden layout is different, with its own climate, soil and gradients. So, whilst it may be hard to find the absolutely perfect location for your greenhouse, there are a few factors you should take into consideration. If your garden slopes, then placing your greenhouse on the higher ground is advisable, as the bottom of slopes take longer to thaw in cold months.
Similarly, any areas of your garden that struggle with water drainage and lack of sunlight should be avoided. If you intend to plant on the ground inside your greenhouse, then ensure that the soil you place the structure on is good quality.
Whilst the bottom of the garden may seem like the perfect place for your greenhouse, you must consider the surrounding area and what your requirements may be.
Is this location close to a water tap? Or is it near an electricity point? Can you make do without these being so close by? Also, will the long walk to the end of the garden deter you from visiting your greenhouse as much as you would have desired?
These are all personal opinions, and ones that need to be taken into consideration when looking at the perfect place for your greenhouse.
If you have young children running around your garden, then it may be best to place your greenhouse slightly away from the main area of your garden. This will remove the chance of anyone tripping and falling into the greenhouse, as well as balls or other objects breaking the glass.
If you are interested in purchasing a greenhouse, then look at our greenhouses for sale at GBC Group. We even have a huge collection of ex display greenhouses for sale at fantastic prices, so you are sure to find one that suits your taste, and your garden!
Posted by Matt Jordan
26 April 2018
How to Improve Your Shed’s Security
Installing a new garden shed is exciting. Choosing the paints, constructing the internal space and deciding on functionality. But all this comes to naught if you do not have a secure garden shed. Spending time, and a little bit of money, ensuring that your shed security is up to scratch will pay dividends, as you can be confident the contents of your garden shed is safe and secure.
Before you even start thinking about adding other security measures, the first thing to do is to inspect the entire garden building. Is there any damage to the roof or exterior walls? Is there any rot starting to develop? Any damage to the structure becomes an easy entrance for a potential thief, who simply needs to use some brute force to gain entry to your shed’s contents. Similarly, check that your shed windows are fully secured, and all latches work correctly. If you do spot any issues, then fix them immediately.
This survey of your garden shed should be a regular occurrence, as spotting any maintenance issues early will help prevent any security risks from developing.
Whilst you can do everything possible to protect your garden shed, sometimes thieves will still get in, so if that happens you will want to ensure you give yourself the best chance of recovering any stolen items. Using your postcode as a marker is a good idea. You can either use UV pens or, for metal objects, scratch the postcode on.
You may also want to create a quick database, where you record all valuable items, make a note of their serial number and take pictures. It is also a good idea, if you are storing larger pieces of equipment such as lawnmowers, to secure them using heavy duty chains attached to anchor bolts, to make them less appealing to steal. For storing items such as pedal cycles or motorbikes, you may want to consider investing in a specifically designed outdoor bike storage shed.
It may seem obvious, but most thieves first access point will be the door, so ensuring your garden shed door is properly secured is essential. Invest in a solid padlock, closed-shackle padlocks are generally the best as the metal hoop is small, which means that bolt cutters cannot be used to snap the lock. For extra security, you may want to select from our collection of secure metal sheds we currently have available.
Take a look at your hinges and screws, replacing any that are not clutch-head or tamper-proof. These are not as easy to unscrew so will limit any chance that thieves will be able to remove them and gain access to your garden shed’s contents.
Though it might feel extreme, if you have stored particularly valuable equipment in your shed, or the crime rate in your area is high, you may want to consider installing CCTV that covers your garden and shed. Not only will this act as a deterrent, but, if a break in does occur, you can use the footage to help identify the individuals.
At GBC Group, our friendly experts are on hand to provide the best advice for choosing the perfect garden building tailored to suit your budget and requirements.
Posted by Matt Jordan
16 March 2018
They say that moving to a new house is one of the top 5 most stressful things to do, but perhaps topping that list should be ensuring that your property sells for the right amount of money. After all, you’ve put a lot of love and dedication into your home and you want that to be reflected in the price that is placed on it.
Whilst stylish kitchens and Farrow & Ball paints may indeed please the eye, the real way to add value to a property is to create extra space. According to the FSCS, one option is to undertake a house extension, such as a loft conversion or conservatory, however this is a hefty cost and causes huge upheaval. So, an easier and more cost-effective solution is to give your garden a makeover, this includes purchasing a garden building. In fact, garden makeovers have been shown to add as much as 20% to the value of your property.
Garden buildings, such as garden offices and summerhouses, offer a buyer an extra room. What is even better, is that a room can be used for whatever they require. So, you may be currently using your garden room as storage for garden equipment, but they can just as easily turn the space into a guest room, or an art studio.
The extra space will also appeal to a vast range of people, for example, those who are self-employed or business owners. The addition of a garden building provides them a ready-made office space. They may then be more willing to pay a slightly higher price for the ease of not having to build their own office or saving on the morning commute.
However, it’s important to make sure that your garden building is completely secure. Ensure that the door can be securely locked and is tamper-proof, and any windows are secure.
Increased Floor Space
Even the addition of a garden shed adds to the floor space of your property, thus increasing your properties’ attractiveness to a potential buyer. Points really do mean prizes in the world of property sales, so the higher your square footage, the higher your houses value can become.
Well designed and looked after garden buildings draw the eye, giving a ‘wow-factor’ to your garden, and thus increasing the likability of your property. Now, whilst you don’t need to become the next Charlie Dimmock, ensuring your garden is well-kept will help to increase the look of the space, and ensure that your garden building isn’t lost within a forest of brambles and weeds.
With display centres across the UK, discover more information about the benefits of purchasing a high-quality garden building from GBC Group today.
Posted by Matt Jordan
01 March 2018
Ensuring that your garden shed has suitable insulation is beneficial for a number of reasons. The first, and most obvious, would be to make sure that the space is warm, meaning that you can spend time in your shed even during the colder months, making a garden shed a year-round investment. But garden shed insulation has other advantages too. Having insulated garden buildings ensures that any items you store in your shed, such as tools or garden equipment, are kept protected as they are not exposed to the cold and damp.
So, what ways can you insulate your shed?
There are various materials you can use, and it very much depends on your requirements, budget and use for your garden shed:
Wool is one of the best insulators for sheds if you want to be environmentally friendly, and offer not just heat insulation, but sound too. There are many wool insulation products on the market, and installing couldn’t be simpler, you just need to cut the material to size.
This is the cheapest option and is incredibly easy to fit, you just need to staple the sheets to the shed walls and roof. However, for every pro, there is a con, and bubblewrap’s negative is that it isn’t that efficient so its ability to insulate your shed is pretty low.
If you have plans of converting your garden shed into a workshop or music studio then rockwool is the choice for you. Not only does it offer great heat insulation, but it’s sound insulation is fantastic. However, if you are planning on fitting it yourself then beware that the material may irritate your skin and eyes, so ensure you are protected when handling it.
PIR Insulation Boards
PIR board is most commonly used in construction, and so you can guarantee that you will find a width that fits your required space. They are also really easy to install, simply find the right space and push it into place.
If you feel that your garden shed does not require a complete insulation overhaul then ensuring that all cracks and gaps are filled in will go some way towards keeping the space insulated.
For draughts around windows and door frames, expanding foam can be used by simply spraying it into the gaps, alternatively, adhesive rubber draught excluders can be installed. For large gaps under the door, you can use a door brush draught excluder.
From tool sheds to potting sheds, at GBC Group we stock a wide range of garden sheds to suit all requirements. For more information about garden shed insulation, contact our friendly and professional team today.
Posted by Matt Jordan
23 February 2018
The brand new Malvern Lincomb shed is creating quite a buzz here at GBC Buildings for Leisure with staff and customers alike!
As you can see in the picture above, the Lincomb features 3 integral shelves which add valuable additional storage space for any tools or equipment that can brave the weather! Alternatively, with a few potted plants and some ornaments, you can really make a stand-out feature and compliment the 'Cottage' style of the shed.
To make this building stand-out, the Lincomb features Georgian windows as standard, including one positioned in the door. The above building recently installed at our Wolverhampton display centre, showcases this perfectly by having an optional painted finish. The windows are a slightly lighter colour than the main body, and this 'two-tone' effect really gives the building a lot of character. What’s more, it also means reduced maintenance with this high-quality finish applied!
Take a look at the Malvern Lincomb shed yourself and let us know what you think!
Posted by Matt Jordan
09 February 2018
We are proud to announce the opening of our 36th display centre for garden buildings in Ponteland. Just a few minutes from Newcastle Airport, and a short drive to Newcastle city centre. Based at the wonderful Dobbies Garden Centre, we have developed a large display area representing all of our fabulous product ranges.
You’ll find the usual suspects on site – an extensive collection of garden sheds and greenhouses, plus the UK’s best summerhouses and garden offices from market leading manufacturers. Our concrete garage display has just been completed too – offering you a full complement of garden buildings to browse at your leisure.
Ponteland Dobbies is set in its own extensive grounds with ponds and landscaped areas, with a small rolling hill at the back of the plant area featuring a beautiful picnic spot at the top with picturesque views. SO, if you're looking for a new garden shed in Newcastle, drop into our newest display centre and we're to be able to help.
Over the last 32 years, GBC has continuously grown, year on year. We now serve the entire UK with display centres spanning from Aberdeen to Southampton!
Posted by Matt Cook