How to Insulate a Garden Office
Due to recent events, more Brits are working from home than ever before. But working from the kitchen table can’t last forever, which is why so many of us are looking to create dedicated workspaces at home.
If you’re blessed to have a large garden, you could consider a garden office. Whether you’re building a new structure or renovating your garden shed, it might just be the perfect option for you. What’s more, a garden office can be used for much more than the 9-5, as many homeowners also use theirs to hone a craft or indulge in a hobby. All whilst surrounded by the beauty of your garden.
One of the most important steps in constructing a fully functional garden office is making sure it’s well-insulated. This can seem daunting at first, but with the right materials and a little know-how, insulating a garden office yourself is well within your grasp. This guide will take a look at all of the steps involved, as well as the materials you can choose from.
Why Insulate a Garden Office?
There are many benefits to insulating your new garden office. The first is that insulation helps to keep temperatures comfortable all year round. This means that come rain or shine, winter, or spring, you’ve got somewhere you can work effectively. Effective insulation will also help to keep anything stored inside protected from damp, condensation, or mould thanks to the way in which it absorbs moisture from the air. It will also make your office more secure, thanks to thicker walls, ceilings and cladding which will add weight to the structure.
What’s the Best Insulation for a Garden Office?
There are many different kinds of insulation to choose from, with a few more suited to a garden office. Each material has its own unique benefits, from cost to performance or eco-friendliness.
Mineral Wool Rolls or Slabs
Mineral wool is one of the most highly used insulation materials. Available as slab insulation or insulation rolls, it offers fantastic thermal performance, boasting exceptional u-values and great sound absorption. Mineral wool insulation is a fantastic option for garden offices in noisier areas, to ensure you can concentrate with some peace and quiet.
Mineral wool can be installed in the walls, floors, and roof of a building. As it is supplied in rolls or slabs, perfect for covering larger areas more easily. Mineral wool insulation is also designed to be fire-resistant, ideal for offices full of electrical equipment. We work with leading mineral wool insulation manufacturers including Rockwool to give our customers the greatest level of choice.
PIR Insulation Boards
Highly practical, durable and easy to fit, PIR insulation boards offer fantastic performance. Their unique construction makes them incredibly versatile, and they can be cut to size on-site with just a handsaw. While their size often means that insulating a larger area is impractical, the outstanding u-values and cost-effectiveness of insulation boards still makes them an enticing option.
Insulation boards come in a huge variety of thicknesses and sizes, perfect for those looking to insulate a number of different spaces in a single project. What’s more, PIR insulation is also highly resistant to fire, water, and compression – three things that can plague other forms of insulation. We’re proud to work with Celotex, the most well-regarded PIR insulation brand in the industry.
A fantastic, eco-friendly alternative to synthetic materials, natural insulation made from a combination of sheep’s wool and recycled plastic boasts superb performance. These rolls of insulation made by Thermafleece take far less energy to manufacture, transport and install, making them perhaps the greatest choice for environmentally conscious homeowners.
Sheep’s wool insulation offers a number of unique advantages. These include the fact that it is hygroscopic, meaning it will actively draw moisture and pollutants from the air, improving internal air quality. This form of insulation works by trapping air in millions of tiny pockets between the fibres, which give natural insulation its outstanding thermal and acoustic performance.
Foil insulation is crafted from many layers of radiant foil barriers to create an incredibly effective form of insulation. Able to be used in any part of a structure, foil insulation can even be used in combination with other forms of insulation for maximum effectiveness. When installed in this way, the multifoil will even act as a vapour barrier, fighting excess moisture in the air.
Another big advantage to multifoil is its size. As foil insulation is so thin, it’s very light and easy to work with, requiring no special tools or safety workwear as with other insulation. Its thin profile also minimises the amount of internal space lost to insulation, while still boasting fantastic performance. You can expect high-quality foil insulation from brands such as SuperFOIL to last up to 50 years.
How Do I Install Insulation in My Garden Office?
The exact installation method will depend upon the insulation you choose along with the size and structure of your garden office. Despite this, thanks to developments in insulation technology, the process should still be relatively straightforward. You’ll first need to expose the inside of the walls, floor, and roof of your garden office. At this point you may also wish to install a breathable membrane, which will help to fight moisture ingress – particularly important for wooden structures.
Insulation is usually installed in the spaces between structural frames, along the walls, underside of the roof and within your floorspace. If there is no room underneath the floorboards, for example if your office is directly above a concrete base or even the ground, you’ll need to raise the floor to add insulation. This is beneficial but is difficult to do without professional help and will reduce internal space.
How Should I Cover the Walls of My Garden Office?
Once you’ve chosen the right insulation for your new garden office, it’s time to select the covering for the inner walls. There are a number of materials on offer, each with their own unique benefits.
Plasterboard is very cost-effective, but unfortunately weaker than other inner wall materials. It is susceptible to general wear-and-tear as well as water damage and can be damaged by impacts. So be careful when moving or handling heavy objects in or around your office.
Another highly cost-effective option, hardboard is more durable than plasterboard, and boasts fantastic longevity. Hardboard can, however, suffer from serious damage when exposed to moisture, so you must ensure that your garden office is fully watertight before installation.
Available in a variety of thicknesses, plywood is both extremely tough and highly durable. One of the most reliable inner wall materials, its neat aesthetic, and the wide range of options on offer makes it perfect for any size of garden office.
Once you have fixed this material to create the ceiling or the inner walls, your insulation should be placed securely inside.
There are, of course, other options, but the three mentioned are some of the most common. As always, a little extra research may be necessary if you feel these materials don’t match the physical performance or aesthetic you require.
Now you should be the proud owner of a fully insulated garden office, ready to be used all year round! If you’re considering building a garden office, you should also take a look at our guide to garden office roofing.