Oak Garden Room Refurbishment in Hampshire
When we were contacted by the client it soon became apparent that this project would be extremely interesting especially because of the needs of her disabled son who would be the main user of the building in the future.
The building is located at the far end of a large garden, quite a distance from the main house, in a rural location and faces South and West. It is an Oak Framed building originally conceived as a games/garden room for occasional use and was constructed some 15+ years ago.
Upon arriving on site we found a building that whilst of generally sound Oak Frame construction, was a cold, dark, dank, generally unloved and uninspiring space. Lack of light, poor insulation, outdated electrics, failing glazing and with no views out to the adjacent countryside meant the building was not a pleasant space to spend much time in. Amenities were limited to a simple cold tap and sink.
Our brief was simple, update the building to allow her son Will, who is a Voice Over Artist to have a space in which to work comfortably, with necessary amenities so that he could work independently at all times, whilst also providing a space which would allow family and social gatherings in a pleasant, warm, light and airy, happy environment.
After several meetings with the client and her son, listening to their requirements and wishes, we concluded that in order to meet the brief the best way forward would be to build a small, matching oak frame extension at the side of the building. This would be split in half to allow Will’s recording studio to be built into one part, thus freeing up valuable floor space in the main building. The other half was to be constructed as a shower room and toilet to give Will his independence.
In the existing room we proposed that the existing glazed front wall and entrance doors be moved forward by around two bays to extend the floor space and allow the installation of a new kitchenette, again to provide Will with modern amenities and both hot and cold water. To allow as much light into the building as possible we proposed to add two new large oak opening windows into the south elevation and to remove the cladding in the gable end facing west and replace this with full, high spec. double glazing.
In order to allow Will easy access throughout the extended building we installed a new solid and level oak floor. This was fully insulated to modern standards, to ensure good energy efficiency within the space. The walls were also fully insulated to modern standards and new wallboards installed. We applied the same technology to the vaulted roof and in both cases added new oak boards to retain the original feel. The insulation throughout ensures good heat retention, allowing the space to be utilized all year round, even during the colder winter months, while the oak provides visual appeal, creating a warm and welcoming space. This concept was continued within the extension with separate oak doors to each part and a separate rear oak door to allow access to the studio room from outdoors, where a paved and oak entrance ramp was installed.
The shower room features a shower cabin with low level controls and wide access doors for ease of use together with toilet, washbasin, mirror etc.. The system is connected to a closed septic tank system which was installed adjacent to the property boundary. The recording studio was dismantled and rebuilt in the rear part and we provided a remote WIFI link, essential for Will’s work. A new kitchenette was designed and installed together with a concealed 90 litre immersion tank to provide hot water for the sink and shower room. The electrics to the building were completely re-wired and updated, as the existing infrastructure was no longer viable due to rodent damage. New flush, floor mounted sockets were installed together with new dimmable LED lighting both internally and outside with PIR lights for easy access. The low energy LED lighting further adds to the energy efficiency of the new structure. In the remaining front veranda we installed a new hardwood deck to allow easy wheelchair access, ensuring the functionality of the new space.
The failing double glazed units and seals were replaced in entirety with 24mm argon filled units with low emissivity glass to keep the building cool in the summer and snug in the winter. Again, this improved the environmentally friendly, energy-saving credentials of the building. These glazing units were installed behind new Oak cover boards.
Whilst removing the front gable cladding to install the new double glazing we found that the gable end was effectively only supported on two very small softwood uprights. These were causing the gable to tilt out under the weight of the tiled roof above. To overcome this, we temporarily supported the roof and designed and installed a new oak A frame truss, in keeping with the original build. The new matching double glazing complete with oak cover boards were installed within this supporting structure.
The final result
The successfully concluded project saw big smiles from a very happy and grateful client and son who can now both enjoy their building year-round. They and we are confident that it can and will be extensively used from now on – for many years to come. What is more, the insulation, glazing and new structural elements all provide a sustainable structure, which will require reduced energy use moving forward, and last for a long time – a building that is kind to the planet as well as reducing utility bills and keeping money in the client’s pocket moving forward. This project demonstrates that beauty and utility, form and functionality can go hand in hand. This is now a useful and attractive space that meets the needs of those who use it and will continue to do so over time. We are proud to have undertaken this challenging project and of the results that we have achieved.
LOOSEHANGER OAK DORSET
19 BITTLES GREEN
TEL: 01747 851174
LOOSEHANGER OAK SUSSEX
UNIT 7 ASHGROVE FARM