We have had a flurry of emails recently, from people saying they have a budget of £2,000 to £3,000 and asking if we can recommend a garden office. Now, don’t get us wrong £2-3k is a significant chunk of money by anyone’s standards, but when it comes to buying a garden office, it’s nowhere near the ballpark.
True, you can pick up a basic log cabin/summerhouse building for this sort of money, but they don’t make good long-term garden offices. Buying one of the cheaper log cabin buildings will not create a garden office that can be used all year round. It will also cost you more than the price quoted overall, as you will normally have to pay for delivery, provide a suitable foundation, protect the exterior and incorporate some electrics and have these connected to the mains. Also because of the limited insulation in this type of building it will cost you hundreds over the years to heat and cool the room.
When buying a garden office, you need to start with a budget of £5,000 plus
The cheapest garden office buildings that we have seen that offer insulation in the floor, walls and roof, have quality doors with double glazing and basic electrics come in at £5,000 including VAT and installation. In this price bracket some designs incorporate a foundation system, other designs ask you to organise this yourself and bare the cost of on top of the building price.
With these cheaper garden offices you often also have to pay a delivery charge from the suppliers HQ to your home. These charges are priced by the mile, with a basic radius of 50 to 100 miles included and then prices of around £3 per mile after that – so this can add up.
You will also need to factor in the cost of connecting the office’s electrics to the mains supply. The cost of this connection will depend on how far your office is situated from the house and the system that is used to run the armoured cable from the office to your house. The Building Regulation compliant method is to bury the cable in a trench, and this is the option we suggest you go with. The other option suggested by some companies is to pin the armoured cable along a boundary wall or fence. This second option is often cheaper as the cost of digging the trench is removed, but for the long-term, your best bet is to go the Building Regulation compliant way.
More expensive garden offices tend to include more
More expensive garden offices tend to include more than there cheaper counterparts. When we make this statement we are not talking about including more designer features, more space and a better core specification; rather we are saying more expensive garden offices tend to include more of the extras we mention above in the price quoted.
We did a survey of suppliers recently and found that the majority of garden offices sold last year cost between £12,000 and £20,000. When buying in this price range, the customers will have found that the foundation was probably included in the overall project cost. The price paid will have included delivery to site, installation and VAT. The only additional cost you would expect in this price range is the connection of the electric system to the mains supply, which if you budgeted £1,000 you wouldn’t go far wrong.
As your budget increases from here, you will find that you are offered a turnkey project which means everything from any Planning or Building Control applications through to the electrical hook-up costs will be included in the price you are quoted. There is a lot to be said for this type of service as you have the peace of mind knowing the whole project cost and working with one supplier from start to finish.
Elements you should budget for when buying a garden office
- Planning Application Fees – if you can’t build under the Permitted Development rules
- Deposit insurance – some suppliers offer insurance protection against your deposit payment
- Delivery charges – may or may not be included in the building price
- Foundation system – if not included in the overall project price
- Electrical hook-up – it is normal for you to have to pay separately for the connection of the office’s electrical system to the mains supply
- Insurance backed warranty – some suppliers offer an insurance backed warranty which offers long term peace of mind in the event of a problem and your original supplier not being there to rectify it. There is a cost attached to this, and the customer normally bears the cost
So, be realistic that there are extra costs involved in buying a garden office than the prices you might see quoted on a suppliers website. If you ask your chosen supplier from what is included in the price and budget for any extras, you shouldn’t have any nasty surprises along the way!
You may find the pricing section of this site useful in forming your budget.