Search This Blog

Monday, 8 May 2017

Outdoor Kitchen Kits 2017


Outdoor  Kitchens - Self Assembly Kits - for Summer 2017


Our summer is just around the corner and there is still time to install the Outdoor Kitchen you always wanted. It will still be there ready to cook the joint on Boxing Day and any-time of the year.

Outdoor kitchen kits


Our summer is just around the corner and there is still time to install the Outdoor Kitchen you always wanted. It will still be there ready to cook the joint on Boxing Day and any time you want.

The brick oven does take some time and is also costly so can be done next year.

We have 15 kits in production right now which will be shipping in the next few days so don’t wait.

All you need is a level concrete base and a couple of days to assemble the kit.

The roof hangs well over and will make it possible to prepare and cook your favourite dishes in any weather. The finished kitchen will last a lifetime of parties and provide a focus and fantastic feature for your garden.

www.aarco.co.uk/outdoorkitchens.html


Outdoor Kitchen Kits Range

                   
So don’t wait around – get the kit on order now and the base specifications and kit price list will be with you immediately.
Outdoor Kitchens from Garden Structures in Chester.   Designed and tested by Richard – Designer and lifelong outdoor chef.

Download the plans and specs and the order form here:

Configure your design and start ordering the cement and ballast for the base.

Your installation instructions will be with you next day and the project can start.

 
Our summer is just around the corner and there is still time to install the Outdoor Kitchen you always wanted. It will still be there ready to cook the joint on Boxing Day and any time you want.

The brick oven does take some time and is also costly so can be done next year.

We have 15 kits in production right now which will be shipping in the next few days so don’t wait.

All you need is a level concrete base and a couple of days to assemble the kit.

The roof hangs well over and will make it possible to prepare and cook your favourite dishes in any weather. The finished kitchen will last a lifetime of parties and provide a focus and fantastic feature for your garden.

So don’t wait around – get the kit on order now and the base specification will be with you immediately.

Outdoor Kitchens from Garden Structures in Chester.   Designed and tested by Richard – Designer and lifelong outdoor chef.

Download the plans and specs and the order form here:

Configure your design and start ordering the cement and ballast for the base.

Your installation instructions will be with you next day and the project can start.


The brick oven does take some time and is also costly so could be done next year.

We have 15 kits in production right now which will be shipping in the next few days so don’t wait.

All you need is a level concrete base and a couple of days to assemble the kit.

The roof hangs well over and will make it possible to prepare and cook your guests favourite dishes in any weather. The finished kitchen will last a lifetime of parties and provide a focus and fantastic feature for your garden.

So don’t wait around – get the kit on order now and the base specification will be with you immediately.

Outdoor Kitchens from Garden Structures in Chester.   Designed and tested by Richard – Designer and lifelong outdoor chef.

Download the plans and specs and the order form here:

Configure your design and start ordering the cement and ballast for the base.

Your installation instructions will be with you next day and the project can start the base.

Richard 08/05/2017

 email - richard


Monday, 2 January 2017

Garden Building Trends 2017


Garden Building Trends 2017

Written by Richard Grace – Project Director - Garden Structures - (project designer). Specialist in Planning Permission and Building Regulations. 

(We are now entering our 15th year + I myself am entering my 65th year)…. So “things are changing for me”!

Things have changed here - this was built by us 12 years ago!

 

Earlier last year we designed and installed another complete Living Annexe in a traditional way but with a low pitch roof to comply with permitted development. Main room, kitchenette and bathroom provided 30 sq m of living space and a storage area. This was the first part of a total garden refurbishment.
Pumped sewage was used to get waste 50 metres back to the main property.
When building a low pitch roof we are usually favouring Colorcoat Urban standing seam panels which work well at very low pitch. The capillary action of traditional tiles make this impossible and the use of flat roofing. Felt, fibreglass or epdm (black rubber) is simply not as attractive. This colorcoat roof has a 30 year guarantee and is simply the best!

The client brief was simple - “mum and dad want to stay over, it needs to fit in with what we have, who knows what it will end up being used for". We need a shower room with toilet + kitchenette of course and it must be warm in winter and cool in summer.
On site survey I could see the land was damp-ish, sloping a bit,  but the outlook, access and space was ripe for a new creation, maybe traditional in design. Everything possible within permitted development planning rules and current building legislation was packed in. We were commissioned to handle the WHOLE JOB. from digging to handing over the keys and a few paint brushes.
 

           
      A lot of this post content is new - but others remain the same! 

This morning 2/01/17 all over the news there is a Government announcement about help with housing money here > http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38486907 my comments on this below: If you make a quick calculation on these figures it is not enough!

      Demand for additional living accommodation. is being driven strongly upwards by a number of factors:

      House prices are up simply due to supply and demand. (in London it has become more and more difficult for young professionals to get on the house ladder at all). In most parts of the country wage growth is being held far below property cost increases. 

     The Garden Building market however is simply “booming” – there has always been demand for “sheds” – something better has always been available built in thick wooden planks “the log cabin style” (see Dunster House and others). BUT now it seems that living quality garden buildings are becoming the norm for many family situations.

---- back to Garden Buildings:

     These buildings have a “superb” comfort level and fully featured for both living and working. Even small ones:


 


     OK that’s enough of that – but one last thing. It is becoming more and more acceptable to build more living space – going back only a few years the garden accommodation market was restricted by the additional cost of planning permission and implementation of building regulations. 

     If the new building is 30 sq m or less and if close to boundary has a maximum height of 2.5m or less then these do not apply. If the do then we can handle all the documentation and applications. You need to check if neighbour's are happy that's all.

     We have been in the Garden Buildings business now for a long time. In recent years I have been writing this year-end review. It was an interesting year so – here goes - my review! Featuring a couple of our most interesting and demanding projects. (With “candid” comments as usual!)

     The year held some great successes and some difficulties (as usual) - like every other – both good and bad!!! This blog post is (a sort of notepad straight out of my head), some of it is “risk A” but so what!. I do hope people accept it but as usual I am me. (again)..

     Here (below) is a picture of  one of last years completed project which has more “knobs and whistles” than anything we did so far” The brief was to: “create extra space for working at home”. My clients “Home Office”.... Their garage had been given up for conversion into living space for mum AND there would be nowhere to continue an organised life working at home. An awkward but unused garden space was designated and we were contacted in late summer to design and build the whole project. On arrival the garage conversion was finished (almost), Granny had moved in and we had too - (staying at nearest Travel Lodge - to build the new Office.

     This has a pitch roof but complies with permitted development and has simply the highest specification imaginable. A particular feature is that in order to save garden space and cope with the diagonal rear boundary it needed a cut off corner so it has five walls. (if you think about this you will understand that the wall-plate is not completely level). Otherwise there is not a lot of difference from normal in this traditional timber frame structure.  

    The plot was lower than the house, so due to garden slope the waste from plumbing needed to run uphill (my tried and tested small-bore) economical solution was used. You can see this on my web link to you tube. On completion there were more wires and conduits in the trench than anything we have ever done – serving just about any communications known and not relying on “wifi”. Under floor heating, masses of insulation, sockets everywhere, A lighting scheme worthy of a theatre – inset down lights with dimmers, external lights on flip-flop to house etc, etc.

        The internal walls were clad in vertical redwood tgv cladding (I call it “wooden wallpaper” – but this wallpaper was 19mm thick and needed to be fitted floor to vaulted ceiling around roof beams, room structure, windows and doors, internal room structure etc…  External walls were clad in the highest quality clear grade western red cedar all around (pre-treated on both sides) with two coats of the most expensive stain available prior to fitting.



        A surrounding deck with inset lights  was constructed right up to the boundary on two sides to reduce maintenance – etc. etc. etc. We did it ALL from site clearing to handing the keys. It included many changes to original spec... “introduced almost daily” by our best and most cooperative client to date. (I guess Richard (the other one) will read this!

So “after this for openers” what is happening now in the Garden Building Business is this:


The Internet and the ability to do this sort of thing and change it quickly has modified our planet forever. Here's a word for non-futurists. Watch out - as the pace of change is still increasing.
  
This review is based on what is happening in the Garden Building business now. A lot is still good and demand remains higher than ever.

Here are more photos of my own favourite project the year.

 
We were contacted in the summer by client wanting to  urgently to house mum. When I visited the site my first thoughts were that the space was too tight. The garden was small and the garage was built right on the boundary on two sides. To take it down would have been severely disruptive to 3 neighbouring properties and the structure was fine. 

The decision was made to both convert and extend the garage ending up with a building providing the accommodation which looked for all purposes like a complete new building. From the inside and outside the building achieves this. To do it, the old asbestos roof was stripped off and the garage levelled at the necessary height for a complete new roof to be continuous over the timber frame extension. Inside the brick garage was battened and insulated + plasterboard in the same way as the extension. It worked well. A somewhat unusual approach but OK and now fulfilling a very important purpose.

 ---------------------------



There has for a long time been a market for mobile homes in gardens for many years – they look like this.




They arrive on a lorry and can be put in place by a crane if back garden access is difficult – They can stay or go and don’t require any permissions.
A new alternative has been developed by Smart Garden Offices which is simply way up market from this. Here is a photo:

 


Smart have been in the business from the very start and have impressive modular building manufacturing facilities + bags of experience. They design and make studios and offices but are now investing heavily in the accommodation boom with this new product – “zedbox”. Its basic design is similar to the plethora of the widely available flat roof cedar clad office boxes cropping up in gardens everywhere.  These cedar boxes are sold now by about 30 competing companies in our market. This one is no doubt superior to the traditional mobile home / caravan and looks better but - is it permanent or transportable? (well it is modular) so maybe this is a new trend – we will see and I wish them well.
I guess the choices are – build permanent and consider added value – or install temporary and accept the cost / potential reduction of future market for your home.

SO HERE IT IS - We are still pushing the boundaries of design. Creating new stuff, using new techniques.

More on curved roof: This one was worth showing the photo!




It seems that the costs of a total project need to be clarified and taken into account in a different way: All of these make a difference to cost of build.

  • Site access
  • Site preparation
  • Services provision
  • Manufacture of building components or kit
  • Level of comfort heating and insulation
  • Choice and quality of windows and doors
  • Level of Finnish – (does this include)
  • Floor covering
  • Internal and external decoration
  • Landscaping
  • Services connections
  • Plumbing and electrical specification
Add all these to your list when considering the costs.

Good  garden office accommodation costs £1000 per sq metre and top notch living accommodation costs £1500 per sq metre. Sometimes very high spec adds to this.  Sometimes site difficulty makes a difference as well!

Let me know if you need any advice.

Richard

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Garden Ofice and Studio Building trends for 2016

Garden Building Trends 2016

Written by Richard Grace – Project Director - specialist Garden Structures designer and builder. (we are now entering our 14th year)

 – not much new but all remains the same! Here is a picture of my best mate Ian who has just bought this "Brand New Morgan - I cut off his head to make sure none of the other guys can recognize him! The car has to live in a garage, not many cars do these days. We convert garages to living space now.


HIGHLIGHTS and some low-lights of the year 2015 


We have been in the Garden Buildings business now for (I think about 14 years). In recent years I have been writing a year-end review. This one nearly gone was an interesting year so – here goes - my review for 2015! Featuring 12 of our most interesting and demanding projects. (with my candid comments!)

The year held some great successes and some difficulties - like no other – both good and bad!!! This blog post is (a sort of notepad straight out of my head) unlike some of my other stuff, some of this is “risk A” but so what!. I do hope people accept it but as usual I am me.

Plus of course the Internet and the ability to do this and change it quickly has modified the planet forever. Here's a word for non-futurists. Watch out as the pace of change is increasing.
  
This review is based on what is happening in the Garden Building business now. A lot is still good and demand remains higher than ever.


Orchard Studio - Granny Annex / accommodation extraordinaire was my most favorite project of the year.



SO HERE IT IS - At the turn of the year (last year) we were a bit behind schedule (5 weeks) Oh shit! But still pushing the boundaries of design. Creating new stuff, using new techniques, employing Romanians, Bulgarians and Poles. Javi – Our Spanish project manager had left for all the right reasons in the middle of last year (but rumor has it he might be back soon) life here had to go on without him.

1.Orchard Lodge Granny Annexes / sleepover building  – Here are a few more shots of my chosen project of the year.



The client brief was simple - “mum and dad want to stay over, it needs to fit in with what we have and who knows what it will end up being used for" (keep this quiet Richard but our daughter wants her boyfriend to stay over as well). We need shower room with toilet + kitchenette.

On site survey I could see the land was damp-ish but the outlook, access and space was ripe for a new creation, maybe traditional in design. Everything possible within permitted development planning rules and current building legislation was packed in. We were commissioned to handle the WHOLE JOB. from dig to handing over the keys and a few paint brushes.

2. Home Studio with a difference – Kingston on Thames (round the corner from our beautiful Richmond Park.

A treatment studio for a Pillates specialist who had built and grown her business in Kingston but needed her house back. There was good space needing developing at the bottom of the garden.

  
it has almost everything !

Pathway lights, plumbing,waiting room, underfloor heating car parking at rear etc,etc.

3. A Garden Office with a big / big difference

A MASSIVE Garden Office for “one guy” renting a space on the fabulous estate of one of the UK’s richest individuals. His job is to buy the best “horse blood” to fulfill the Lord's 3rd wife’s dream. The spec was for a  40m sq  DE-mountable building i.e. possible to move easily - fully insulated- underfloor heating etc etc etc - build in 10 mins -no mess allowed and so on and so on.

 

The project took longer than plan,  but - look it's fine - to me!

Even more interesting was that this horse was born here the day after we arrived! 

4. A good looking building for admiring and sitting in.


The whole thing is on here
It is so beautiful I just stood looking at it myself the lights have a flipflop switch at the house so client can see it anytime!
 

A Beautiful Summerhouse for a lovely person, in a lovely garden.



 

5. Outdoor activity centre caretakers office - We were called in to replace this!


here

 with this ---------- starting like this:




A replacement building to organise better and better kids activity holidays. An office for the caretaker of a fantastic outdoor activity centre. I must admit - here I was influenced by the location, a sort of “busman’s holiday” At the foot of Snowdon in one of the most beautiful places available to work. And with people doing great and good stuff with inner city children from all over uk.

6. A therapy studio built for a chiropractor fairly close to home – gave us a bit of a travel break.

  

All normal stuff, complete project except painting, toilet, waiting room, therapy room, underfloor heating, landscape / pathway / wheelchair access etc etc.

7. An outdoor kitchen beyond all comprehension. Maybe the client was a lottery winner?

  

I simply don't know where to start explaining the specification. This building is an outdoor kitchen the whole of the front opens onto an indian stone paved area and provides walk through at the same height with appropriate drainage. The side you can see opens as a bar with a massive oak slab serving area. Cooking facilities are at the rear of the building beneath the skylights. Client is very keen on entertaining his family and mates of course. And a really great guy.

 

 8. A Garden Studio in North London for the most demanding client one could imagine. 

Brief was basic “I want exactly what I want and the complete job and it MUST BE PERFECT IN EVERY WAY". HERE ARE PHOTOS FOR YOU TO EXAMINE.

 




Basically this is a cedar clad box like all my competitors build but maybe of higher spec - I am not sure!

9. JUST A SEATING AREA – BUT WHO KNOWS? “ what will be talked about here?”

Glade seating area

A seating area for a longstanding existing client in their beautiful 4 acre landscaped garden (my 4th project here - but just a dream)

I have tried and tried to photograph this project but the trees get in the way. So here I am going to describe it. This is called "Glade seating area" It is in the same garden mentioned earlier in this blog. An oak frame L shaped valley roof open structure with cedar shingle roof, oak benches and corner table. It has smartphone controlled lighting, internet access and phone chargers built in. The owners are leading cancer specialists. When I was briefed on the project all I could think was that if these two people sit here and think together the world could be a better place. Everything about this project was a dream come true.

It contains cooperation, creativity and ultimately a sort of purpose - at least in my head.

I loved doing this.

 

10. An art Studio for the head of design and creator of Liberty prints. 

Where the most beautiful fabrics could be designed. A traditional but inspirational design environment, a space at home but away from home.  - At the bottom of the garden.

  

Very traditional but well insulated and functional building has plumbing for washing brushes etc which exits to the front. The trench was a long dig but project was a joy to design and construct.

 

11. A building in the garden where two ladies could develop and grow their childcare business.

 

The project was just round the corner from Stoke Newington  railway station in the most orthodox Jewish area one can imagine. Impossible I thought early on due to parking and logistical difficulty (everything had to be taken in and out through the small terraced house. But I did it. Has small toilet sink, outdoor covered play area, underfloor heating etc. Good project for worthwhile cause, but a logistical nightmare!

The Jewish guys mostly agreed with me that wearing tesco bags on their hats when it rains is a bit “silly”.

 

12. Last but not least – A multipurpose accommodation building for a young American engineering project manager. 

A “MAN CAVE”- More gizmos, knobs and whistles than you could dream of.

 Review and trends for 2015 ends

 As usual I am pushing the boundaries of what can be done with small buildings in peoples gardens. You don’t need to spend long "googling" all the basic stuff - keywords “garden office” “garden studio”, “granny annexe” I remain passionate about what I do!

Richard.6/12/2015

google-site-verification: google14281c44e3ef563e.html