Cropping up at the bottom of gardens all over the UK and probably the biggest trend to hit homes since artificial grass is the garden office.
After more than a year of working from kitchen tables, sofas or spare bedrooms, us Brits have been needing a bit more separation from our homes and have been carving out workspaces in our gardens to create a more harmonious work/life balance.
With a large number of the population now working from home, garden offices are becoming more popular, with more than a third (38%) of UK workers working from home in mid-May, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
I caught up with Rob Thain, owner of Swindon-based Thain Garden Rooms, to find out how his business has become dominated by requests for home offices since the pandemic began and why they are not a one-size-fits-all kind of company.
Hey Rob, thanks for taking the time to speak to me today, I know you are super busy. Just how busy have you been since the office garden trend started?
It’s been non-stop, we literally do not stop. Our rooms are top of the market and signed off by building control and we have been lucky to have some great word of mouth. Since the pandemic most of our work is now garden offices, whereas before it was more garden rooms for many different types of functionalities like relaxation rooms, storage and home gyms.
OK, so I’m thinking of having an office in the garden for when I win the lottery, how much would it set me back?
They really vary depending on your needs, we pride ourselves on our quality over quantity and are a team of four. Most clients like their rooms to be multi-functional too, so an office/relaxation area and the most popular size requested is 5m x 3m. Our offices are £1,700 per square metre so hopefully that gives you some idea.
One for the backstory lovers, what made you want to start building garden offices, was it spurred by the pandemic?
Actually, I started doing garden rooms five years ago when I took on a project for a family member and really enjoyed it. I come from a traditional building background and when we did our first garden room it made us realise this could be a much better direction for the business, as the turnaround is quicker and gives us the opportunity to be creative. Our builds are personalised and of the highest spec and can be bespoke to any type of garden. It’s a great feeling seeing them completed and the customers being chuffed to bits.
What percentage of your business is taken up by garden offices nowadays?
I would say since the pandemic, 50% of our business. They have understandably become very popular.
How long would it take to build an office in my back garden?
On average it’s usually a six week turn around.
How well would my office be insulated? I definitely don’t want to be cold during winter months, also do you use eco-friendly materials?
It’s a good question Claire and one we are often asked. Our insulated garden rooms and offices are a world away from damp sheds and log cabins, and we work hard to ensure that our insulation values are engineered to the highest standard and eco materials used wherever we can.
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