Garden Office FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Site ConsultationSpecificationProcessPlanningConstructionMaintenanceShowroom

Site Consultation

How long does a site consultation take?

A SMART site consultation generally takes between 60-90 minutes.

Do I need to be present at the site consultation?

Yes, please. We always ask that all decision makers are present, as we will discuss all aspects of your garden room.

How long does it take to get a site consultation appointment?

We always aim to visit within 1-2 weeks of your enquiry.

How much does it cost for a site consultation?

Absolutely nothing! A SMART site consultation is completely free of charge, with absolutely no obligation to purchase an insulated garden office.

Which days do you carry out site surveys?

We carry out site surveys Monday through to Saturday, during the day time. Call us on 0800 242 5559 or 01359 271942 to arrange a visit.

Does the area I want to install the garden room in need to be clear and accessible?

Not necessarily. Our Consultant just needs to see the area that you wish to site the building on and must be able to measure all boundaries.

What will happen at my site consultation?

Our friendly Consultant will assess your site, including access and the chosen location to ensure that your desired building will fit and can be installed on your site. He will then sit with you to design the actual building, discuss all options available to you, answer any questions you may have and provide indicative costs. A formal quotation will follow on within a couple of days.

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Specification

Can you create a custom-size building?

We don’t currently offer bespoke sizes, we do however offer a wide selection of sizes and styles of affordable garden offices to suit all tastes, garden sizes and budget.

Can you create custom shape buildings?

Currently, we can supply garden rooms that are square, rectangular or L-shaped.

Can you attach a garden room to the side of a house?

Possibly yes – only with our flat or mono pitch roof ranges though. There are a few other restrictions so do give us a call to discuss your requirements in more detail.

How close to a boundary can you install a garden room?

We can build as close as 100mm to any solid obstacle on some of our designs if the internal footprint of your garden room building is 15m² or less. However, our recommendation would be a minimum of 500mm for maintenance purposes.

For garden rooms that are over 15m², we will require a 1m gap between the garden room and any solid obstacle to avoid Building Regulations kicking in!

How high are SMART garden rooms?

Most of our ranges sit at 2.495m high and are therefore planning-friendly. We also offer 3.2m high buildings which may require planning permission in some circumstances.

What is the largest building you supply?

Currently, we can supply buildings with up to 30 square metres of internal usable floor space.

Can you include partition walls?

Yes, we can install partition walls and internal doors in all of our garden rooms.

Can you fit solar panels?

Currently, we do not fit solar panels to our garden rooms.

Can you fit skylights?

Yes, our Consultant will discuss the options with you during the site consultation and these will be added to your quotation accordingly.

Do you offer plumbing services?

Unfortunately, no. We can however install partitioned areas in readiness for your own plumber to ‘fit out’ post-installation.

Can I have a toilet in a SMART garden room?

Yes, you can! We do not, however, offer any plumbing services.We can however install the partition walls to create the area in readiness for your own plumber to carry out the work.

Can you install a wood burner?

This is not currently a service we offer but we have had customers that have fitted wood burners into their SMART garden rooms, post installation. We can include fire resistant panels and reinforce the floor, in and around where the wood burner is to be located. In terms of heating a SMART, the heat retention properties in all of our insulated garden offices are so efficient that this level of heating would not be required.

What interior finishes do you offer?

All our buildings are supplied as standard with a soft white Finsa MDF interior, meaning no fuss, no cracking and minimal maintenance. We do, however, offer a range of painted finishes to meet all tastes and our consultant will be happy to discuss them with you at your site consultation.

Do you offer a plastered finish?

No. A SMART garden room is a timber building and plaster will crack and keep cracking as the building flexes. All our interior panelling finishes are designed for longevity and minimal maintenance.

Do you offer any internal painting?

Yes. Many of our interior finishes are painted – usually in a neutral tone – but can be in any colour of your choice.

What heating options do you provide?

All of our insulated garden offices are supplied with a free-standing oil filled, thermostatically controlled, portable radiator.

We also offer a variety of heating options including wall mounted panel heaters, underfloor heating and a climate control system.

Can I have underfloor heating?

Yes, we do offer underfloor heating as an optional extra. However, the heat retention properties in all of our garden rooms are so efficient, that this level of heating would not be required.

Can you soundproof the buildings?

We currently do not offer a completely sound-proof solution for our garden rooms. We can, however, offer a noise reduction pack by using Rockwool sound-reducing insulation (which reduces the transfer of sound to approximately -45db –), a sound-reducing membrane and acoustic glass.

Although we use industry-leading acoustic glass, this is the least effective component, so please bear in mind that the more glass you include in your garden room, the lesser the effect the noise reduction pack will have.

Are the insulated garden offices warm enough to use in winter?

Yes, they are truly designed for use 365 days a year no matter what the weather!

All of our buildings are insulated with industry’s leading insulation and double-glazed doors and windows. The insulation is placed into all elements of the building; the floor, the walls and the ceiling to ensure excellent thermal retention.

How secure are the doors and windows?

All SMART buildings are specified with high quality, PVCu windows and doors as standard. They are manufactured to current building regulations and include high-specification security and environmental accreditation. All windows and doors include 28mm sealed units with low-e glass. All doors have multi-locking mechanisms.

How do I get electric to my garden room?

We offer the full end-to-end service, from ground works to installation, to electrical connection and commissioning. The costs for these services will be provided on our quotation following your site consultation.

How do I get internet into my garden room?

We offer two solutions for internet connectivity:

  • Wi-Fi extenders, where you simply insert one of the plugs into a wall socket and connect the included patch cable into your home router, you then insert the other plug into a wall socket in your garden room. This method sends your internet signal through the power network of your home and replicates your home Wi-Fi in your building. This is a good solution for buildings that are not far away from the main house and where there is a strong Wi-Fi signal.
  • Run a full armoured CAT 6 network cable from the router in your house to the garden building. This would be the better solution if your Wi-Fi signal is not good and the garden room is not close to the main house. This will usually follow the same route as your main power cable and we can quote for this at your site consultation.

Where do you install garden rooms?

We install our garden rooms across Mainland UK. Delivery and installation is FREE within 100 miles of our production facility in Suffolk (IP31 3RN). Delivery/Installation surcharges will be applied for deliveries in excess of 100 miles.

Do you deliver garden rooms to overseas addresses?

No, not as yet – currently only Mainland UK.

Can I live in my SMART garden room?

No, our garden rooms are not designed to be lived in as they do not comply with building regulations.

What comes as standard in a SMART garden room?

As standard all of our buildings include a single double glazed door, unlimited double glazing, a choice of three flooring options (carpet, vinyl or laminate), a maintenance free Finsa MDF interior, internal wiring including the lights, electric sockets and a fuse board (supplied but not fitted) and an oil filled, thermostatically controlled portable radiator.

Delivery and installation by our own team of professional fitters is also included if you are within 100 miles of our production facility.

Do you offer any Groundworks services?

Yes, SMART can carry out basic site clearance, including removal of small trees and shrubs, levelling and removal of any existing wooden sheds.

We are not able to remove large trees or any buildings that are not constructed of wood.

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Process

Does my quote include VAT?

Yes, all quotations will include VAT.

Do you offer discounts?

If you visit our showroom you will be eligible for a £200 discount off your order. We never discount our buildings as we never want to be in a position where we have to compromise on quality, we do however, occasionally run offers on our optional extras.

How do I place an order?

Once you have established your perfect affordable garden office, you can place your order with us by phone, email or face-to-face.

What are your payment terms?

  • 25% of the full purchase price is payable at point of placing order
  • 45% of the full purchase price is due as cleared funds 3 weeks prior to the agreed Installation date
  • 25% is due as cleared funds strictly on or before the first day of installation of the building
  • 5% balance payable on full satisfactory completion

How long does it take from point of placing an order to the actual installation?

We always aim to get your garden room installed within a 6-8 week period. Occasionally, earlier slots do become available and we will discuss these with you at the point of you placing an order.

Do you offer finance?

Yes, we do! Call our team today to discuss what we can offer you on 0800 242 5559 or 01359 271942.

Can my garden room be moved?

Yes, these are modular buildings, constructed panel by panel and can therefore be taken apart panel by panel, and as you would expect, we offer a ‘Remove and Move’ service. We also offer assistance if you wish to sell it on through our Pre-Owned section on our website.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that this is a very timely and costly process, so may not be a cost-effective option on some of our smaller buildings.

What is your returns policy?

Every office that we manufacture is individually specified and personalised to each customer’s choices. Therefore, a SMART garden room, office or studio is a non-returnable item once your order confirmation has been issued and the 14-day ‘cooling off’ period has been reached.

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Planning

Will I need planning permission for a garden room?

Planning permission is not normally required as many of our buildings fall under permitted development (under 2.5m high externally). Most houses, even in conservation areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) have permitted development rights.

Flats and listed buildings have no permitted development rights, so will always need planning permission.

Rest assured, if you do find that you need planning, then we provide a full Planning service and will be happy to carry this out on your behalf.

I live in a flat, will I need planning permission?

Flats and listed buildings have no permitted development rights, so will always need planning permission. Rest assured, we do offer Planning services and can carry this out on your behalf.

I live in a listed building, will I need planning permission?

Flats and listed buildings have no permitted development rights, so will always need planning permission. Rest assured, we do offer Planning services and can carry this out on your behalf.

Do you charge for carrying out the Planning Application on my behalf?

We only charge for the actual Planning Application Fee and the site Map Fee, our time is completely FREE of charge unless the application is refused and your order cannot be completed. We would then impose a fee to cover for the administration and application fees.

Do you supply CAD drawings for planning permission purposes?

CAD drawings and site location plans are required for all planning applications and we include these as part of our FREE planning service.

If you prefer to carry out your own application then we are happy to provide you with the CAD drawings of your chosen building.

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Construction

How long does a garden room take to install?

Typically, a base takes 1-2 days to install (depending on the size of your building) and this is usually carried out 2 weeks prior to the installation date.

The building itself will take as little as 2-3 days, depending on the size and specification.

What type of base is required?

We always recommend a concrete ring beam, at least 6” deep. This can be installed by the SMART Groundworks Team as part of your project and the cost of which will be added to your quotation, or we are happy to supply the specification for you to use your own contractor.

Can an existing concrete slab be used as a base?

Yes, as long as the concrete slab is of the correct size, is free from cracks and is a minimum of 6” deep. It should also be level with the ground surrounding it, as if it is too high, the building may exceed 2.5m and require planning permission.

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Maintenance

What warranty is provided?

All SMART garden rooms, offices and studios come with a peace of mind 10-year structural warranty.

What is the lifespan of a SMART garden room?

A SMART garden room is designed to have a minimum life of 25 years and the company warrants that the structural elements of the SMART building will be free from any significant defects in materials or workmanship for a period of 10 years from the date of the Agreement for purchase.

What maintenance is required on the wooden cladding?

All of our garden rooms with natural wood exteriors (Ultra and Key) are designed not to require any form of maintenance or staining. Cedar wood and Thermowood will both weather down naturally. If, however, you wish to preserve the colour, then we would always recommend a UV protection oil is used.

What maintenance is required on your painted buildings?

All of our garden rooms that have a painted exterior (Belle, Classic, Temple Folly or Suffolk Barn), are all hand-painted in an Owatrol 15-year colour stain, so again, as with all of our products, will require minimal maintenance.

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Showroom

Where is your showroom located?

Our showroom is located just outside Bury St Edmunds. We are a mile or two off Junction 46 on the A14.

SMART Garden Offices, Thurston Park, Church Road, Thurston. Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. IP31 3RN (or IP31 3RG if you are using a sat nav).

Bury St Edmunds is a beautiful, historic market town, well worth a visit and makes a great day out.

What are your opening hours?

We are open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and Saturdays by appointment.

Please call us on 0800 242 5559 or 01359 271842 to arrange a visit.

Do you offer any showroom discounts?

All visitors to our showroom are eligible for a £200 discount against their order.  We offer this discount because we think it incredibly important that you get to see what you are planning on buying and have the opportunity to discuss all of the options available to you. We also understand that time is precious and for some, this can be a lengthy journey.

Can I visit a garden room closer to me than your showroom?

Unfortunately not, as most of our garden rooms are built for personal use and it can be a great imposition.

We would however be thrilled to welcome you to our showroom and offer you a £200 discount off your order if you do visit us.

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Request Our Catalogue

Please fill in the form to request our latest catalogue. It gives details of our full range of buildings and optional extras. Alternatively give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

phone 0800 242 5559

emailhello@smartgardenoffices.co.uk

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