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Snork's Garden Redesign Project

Discussion in 'Garden Projects and DIY' started by Snorky85, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Snorky85

    Snorky85 Total Gardener

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    Hey peeps,

    Looking for thoughts and feedback on a project I'd been planning since we moved in a year and a half ago.

    At the end of the garden I've got a decent sized greenhouse but it's a bit tatty now. Also the grass is VERY WET, mossy and sodden (despite spending a fortune of moss/lawn treatments). It's so wet the moss will never improve!

    We also want an outdoor office for my husband to work in. The Garden is SSE facing so the bottom end of the garden is that last part that gets the sun in an evening.

    The idea is to:
    • Replace the greenhouse with a brick built small office and attached to that a brick based greenhouse.
    • Turn the lawn area around and in front of the new office into a patio (using the same stone paving that is everywhere else in the garden). The patio area around the greenhouse and to the side of it will be a raised area to allow seating to catch the last of the sun.
    • Create a nature pond, where there is currently a plum tree, as this is the wettest part of the garden, with big cobbles/stones gently sloping the sides so frogs etc can get in and out easily and so I can grow marginals (what I can't currently do in the koi pond). This should also help with the drainage of this area.
    • To add some separation to the garden I thought a raised bed would be a good idea. It'll also overcome the annoying clay soil issue.
    Just wondered:
    • What you peeps think of this? Any suggestions?
    • About getting the brick office/greenhouse built - what is the first stage? Would I need an architect or get a builder to do a quote? Any idea about planning permission requirements? (I'd assume none needed as it is only going to be single story and not attached to the house?

    I've added my drawings as the garden is now:
    current garden.JPG
    And how I plan the end of the garden to be:
    new design.JPG
     
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    • Clare G

      Clare G Gardener

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      Try this first for the planning permission/ building regs requirements: https://interactive.planningportal.co.uk/mini-guide/outbuildings/0

      After that just ring your local council's planning department and check, if in doubt.

      There are lots of firms which offer home office kits now, but I think those tend to be expensive. If you have a clear idea of what you want, and don't need to submit drawings to the council, I'm sure you could just find a good builder and get on with it.

      An architect will add to the cost but could also lift the result to a new level. You would hopefully end up with a building which looked nicer, and functioned better. Working with a good architect is a joyful process, they will talk you through what you need, come up with ideas you would never have thought of, and then make all the nitty-gritty work. :spinning:

      PS Are you sure your husband will actually want to work in the office? I only ask because my brother and his wife did a similar thing, building a nice log cabin at the end of their garden. But then he found it lonely working down there :rolleyespink: so it languished unloved until the kids decided it was great for sleepovers.
       
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      • Snorky85

        Snorky85 Total Gardener

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        Brilliant! Thank you Clare - great advice. I just wasn't sure where to start first so that's a great help!

        As for husband working down there - he is desperate to get out the spare bedroom as the dogs are noisy when he is on business work calls. (Bea has learnt to bark everytime we say "hello" to answer the door/phone :sad: because she thinks someone is there!) We also decided that if he didn't end up using it then I can have it as a hobby room for my sewing machine etc he he.
         
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        • shiney

          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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          Planning can be quite tricky. It depends a lot on your local Planning Laws.

          Bearing in mind that I haven't looked at the rules for quite a long time:- in general there are the basic rules that you can't avoid. If it's closer than 5m to the existing building, if it's higher than 4m (to peak of roof) or if the internal dimensions are greater than 30sq m. then you will need Planning permission.

          If it doesn't come within that then you will still need to see whether you local authority will allow a brick building without permission (the picture I showed you of mine was only allowed to have five courses of brickwork - I'll copy it here).

          260_6066.JPG

          You will still need a Part P electricity certificate even if you don't need Planning.

          You may also need Building Regs inspection even if you don't need Planning.

          As he's going to be working there have you thought about whether you want a toilet installed? Then you need to look at whether you need permission to connect to the drains.

          My room, above, didn't require Planning (fitted within all the dimension rules), got verbal Building Regs permission and didn't need an inspection, has a separate toilet and shower room (not on mains drainage so didn't need permission), underfloor heating and air-conditioning. The electrician could sign off on the Part P and had to send the correct form to the authority.

          You will need to work out how to run the power and water to the building. I had originally intended to run the power cables on a catenary wire but the local authority wouldn't allow it - even if it was an armoured cable. We dug a channel and ran the electrics, water, phone and TV cables in it (never had a phone or TV in there but - just in case) - all very easy.

          The whole place is insulated much better than our house. Even had insulation put between the base and the floor.

          As it's at the bottom of the garden you'll need outside lights :blue thumb:
           
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          • Snorky85

            Snorky85 Total Gardener

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            wowweee @shiney that is amazing - I didn't think it was yours, I thought it was a picture from a catalogue or something! ha ha. That is a beaut! It's quite big in comparison to what we were thinking but it is loverrrrrly! We weren't bothered about a toilet or water supply for it and we've got electrics already down that end :) and there is a water tap (for the greenhouse etc) which is connected to the well.

            Definitely will need to factor in lights - we have some lamps all the way down to the end of the garden and want to replace them with something a bit more modern.

            How long did that take to do @shiney? It really is fantastic!
             
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            • shiney

              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              It took just over three months with three men working - plus bringing in a roofer to build the frame for the roof and a plasterer and an electrician to sign off the work. That included doing all the paving as well.
               
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              • Snorky85

                Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                That's quite quick really! Have copied your post and sent to mr snorks for info. Thanks v much :)
                 
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                • Snorky85

                  Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                  how-to-design-and-build-a-pond.jpgPebble Pond 3.jpg

                  A couple of pond area ideas. Obviously no waterfall, but I like the planting and the use of pebbles.
                   
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                  • Snorky85

                    Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                    Hi @shiney I was just wondering if the building is ok to be used for sleeping in/guest room? Or does that require further building regs?
                     
                  • shiney

                    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                    Ours has a convertible sofa bed. They didn't say we couldn't use it for that. I would guess that as long as it's not a permanent dwelling room it would be OK. We have guests in ours - but not very often!
                     
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                    • luciusmaximus

                      luciusmaximus Total Gardener

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                      Those ponds look lovely @Snorky85 :). Are you going to be making your pond yourselves ?
                       
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                      • Snorky85

                        Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                        Hopefully-might get the landscaper to dig it out when he does the patio area etc-seems silly not to if he's using a digger or something :)
                         
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                        • luciusmaximus

                          luciusmaximus Total Gardener

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                          Exciting times ahead for you :) . Hmmm, now I wonder if I could make some adaptations to my bath pond :loll:. Or maybe I could turn it into a Duck pond and create something similar to your pictures elsewhere :whistle::loll:
                           
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                          • Snorky85

                            Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                            ha ha, you can always have two ponds!

                            I am wondering whether the pebbles might go a manky green colour. Saying that, the current little "nature pond" which is in full sun has stones and they havent gone slimey green. This new pond siting will have partial sun and partial shade instead of full sun all day-so hoping it stays clearer and doesnt go green with algae so quickly.
                             
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                            • ARMANDII

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                              Only if there were too much nutrients in the pond which would mean it was out of balance, Snorky:dunno::snorky:
                               
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