Modern foundation systems used in garden office design mean there is a void under the building. This void is important as it allows for both free flowing air under the floor structure and keeps the core structure of the building away from the ground, so moisture doesn’t penetrate into it. The downside of this void, which in reality is not big, and a worry to many buyers in urban areas is that foxes can burrow in under the garden office.
Skirts are used to cover the foundation
Many garden office designers will extend the cladding down beyond the bottom of the walls of the garden office so that it meets the ground and boxes in this void. We saw an example of this recently on a Booths Garden Studio where the customer was concerned about foxes burrowing and nesting under the garden office.
Because these ‘skirts’ end up touching the ground so as to close off the space under the office, you will often find that the materials used are not guaranteed for as long as the main structure. If you are talking to your designer about creating a skirt around your garden office, ask them about its durability, maintenance needs and the warranty on this aspect of the build.
Wire mesh buried around the perimeter is another option
One option that has been used over the years is to bury a wire mesh vertically into the ground around the perimeter of the garden office footprint. This needs to go quite deep, as a canny fox may just dig below it and squeeze in that way. Chicken wire is often used or wire mesh panels. They need to extend out from the ground and be fixed to the floor frame to create a continuous barrier.
There is quite a lot of work involved in fitting this mesh, and as mentioned above it is not guaranteed to work as the fox could just dig deeper and get under it. For this reason, we don’t often hear of garden office companies undertaking the task. They will leave it to you to organise the wire mesh installation separate to their groundworks contract. Having said that, if you are working with a bespoke garden office designer, you may be able to negotiate with them to undertake the work on your behalf.
This is why some designers specify concrete slabs
The potential for foxes burrowing is one reason why some garden office designers prefer to use traditional concrete slab foundations which run under the whole of the footprint of the building. Concrete slab foundations remove the void under the building where foxes might burrow.
Talk to some garden office designers about how their buildings are designed to stop foxes nesting underneath.
Suggested further reading:
- Dark grey garden office with skirt to prevent foxes
- Disguising a sloping site
- Ground screw foundations for garden offices
- Reinforced concrete slab a solution for a steeply sloping site