FAQ

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What are the benefits of owning a RUBICON™ Garden Room?

There are numerous benefits but the most critical ones are:

1) It's an asset that can add value to your property

2) More versatile than a conservatory but about the same price

3) Numerous uses for leisure or business

4) Can be used all-year round

5) Saves the cost of Commercial Rent if working from home

6) Its zero maintenance if you choose our wood fibre composite cladding materials

Why should I buy a RUBICON™ Garden Room?

1) Built with treated timbers to BS5589 giving a minimum 25 year structural life expectancy

2) 10 year structural building guarantee

3) Meets 2013 Building Regulations

4) Zero Maintenance exteriors

5) Built to Last™ - with a lifespan in excess of 30yrs its built like a small house NOT a shed..!

6) Fire Resistant Interiors and Exteriors

What do you mean by Zero Maintenance?

If you choose our wood fibre composite cladding materials instead of traditional Cedar or other natural wood exteriors, then you will never again need to paint or stain your cladding material. Previously our standard fit was Western Red Cedar which is a nice material, but needs annual staining if you want to keep the original colour (otherwise it goes a silver-grey and black like a shed, and this can be patchy) and, being a softwood, it is easily dented and marked. Using our new wood fibre composite cladding materials means that our buildings now only need an occassional power-washing to maintain their factory colour and look, plus the material is much tougher so it will take the day to day knocks which Cedar will not.

What can a RUBICON™ Garden Room be used for?

Virtually anything – Garden Office, Craft Workshop, Recording Studio, Hot-Tub Cabin, Granny Annexe, Home Cinema, Gymnasium to name a few.

Can I use my Garden Room all year round?

Yes, our buildings are fully insulated with the U-Values of a modern 2013 house and are warm in winter and cool in summer.

Do your Garden Rooms comply with Building Regulations?

Yes, they fully comply with Part A, Part L (2013) and Part P of the Regulations for modern (2013) houses.

What are the Planning Regulations?

See our separate tab for Planning Regulations but generally, it is classed as Permitted Development. If you choose a Garden Room or Garden Office which is below 2.5m in height, and you are not a listed building or in a special zone, you can fit it anywhere in your rear or side garden without a Planning Application being required.

Are your Garden Rooms well insulated?

Yes they have extremely high levels of insulation to enable year-round use, typically 50-125mm of Foil Backed PIR Foam (which is twice as good as Fibreglass or similar type insulation) to Walls, 50-125mm to Roof, and 50-100mm to Floors (all depending on model chosen). This is just one reason why they are ideal for use as a Garden Office as they are comfortable all year round.

What is the cost of Heating your Garden Rooms?

The estimated cost of electricity for heating a 12m2 Garden Room is around £100 per year at 2015 prices.

Are they well soundproofed?

Yes, for playing of loud (ish) music or instruments but if you wish to use it for a Recording Studio you will need us to fit additional soundproofing.

What type of insulation do you use?

We use a mixture of Kingspan or Celotex PIR foil backed insulation (for its low U-Value) and where required, Rockwool (to improve soundproofing).

What is the Roof made of?

For our flat roof models we use a Firestone EPDM rubber with a 25 year manufacturers guarantee. For our pitched roof versions, we use a synthetic roof system which simulates natural slates and tiles offering zero maintenance and a lifespan in excess of 30yrs.

What type of Cladding do you use?

We can offer all variants of cladding from Western Red Cedar, Exterior Self-Coloured Renders, and Wood Fibre Composites.

Are your Buildings Fire Resistant?

Yes, they are built with exterior and interior materials with a Class 'O' (the highest rating) spread of flame characteristics.

What Guarantee do I have against my Roof leaking?

We provide a 20 year structural guarantee and Firestone guarantee their EPDM rubber material for 20+ years, so you are doubly covered.

Can I walk on the Flat Roof to carry-out cleaning and maintenance?

Yes, our flat roof models have been designed to take the appropriate loads for maintenance but they could not be used for a veranda or similar purpose.

What maintenance is required for my Garden Room?

If you choose our Wood Fibre composite or Wood Laminate cladding systems they will require just an occasional power wash (for bird droppings etc). You might sweep the roof of leaves and debris on an annual basis, and general cleaning of glass etc and that’s pretty much it. If you have chosen Cedar as an option you will need to stain annually if you want to keep the original colour, otherwise you can let it go grey-silver naturally but this will take a number of years during which time the colour can become patchy.

How do you know if my Roof will withstand the weight of snow?

Because we use the TRADA and NHBC guidance for structural loadings and the cross sectional size of our support beams meet or exceed the requirement.

What Guarantees do I get?

20 years Structural guarantee, 20 year Roof Membrane and 20 year Cladding guarantee.

What Professional Bodies are you affiliated to?

We are vetted by the local Trading Standards Office under their 'Buy With Confidence' Scheme on an annual basis to check the quality of our work and customer satisfaction.

What experience do you have of manufacturing Garden Rooms and Garden Offices?

We have over 20 years experience of housebuilding and renovation including timber framed homes. In 2013 we turned these skills to the specialist manufacture of Garden Rooms and Garden Offices.

How do you know the U-Values meet Building Regulations?

We have all our insulation U-Values produced and certified by an independent competent authority which are available to view by customers on request.

What is Cold-Bridging?

This where there is insulation between the frames, but the timber frame itself is uninsulated. This causes a cold bridge between the inside (warm) and outside (cold) sides of the room. It is overcome by insulating across, as well as between the frames in a RUBICON™ building as per current Building Regulations and NHBC standards.

Can you provide a SAP rating and EPC?

Unfortunately not because these ratings are dependent upon a number of site specific factors such as wind direction and position of the sun, so we cannot predict this for our Garden Rooms.

Why do you fit a twin wall system with a vented cavity?

Because this is the only way to build a Garden Room capable of year-round usability - our walls are up to 170mm thick with a vented cavity. It is the same as having a cavity wall on your house – if one is not present then wind-driven rain can penetrate the building and cause damp and draft problems.

Why do you fit Breather Membranes?

These are essential on timber framed buildings as they prevent water penetration from the outside but allow moist air to escape from the inside. This allows the building to breathe and avoids the problems of rot and fungus and the musty smells you get with cheap sheds.

Why do you fit OSB sheathing to the Timber Frames?

This stabilises the building structure and prevents what is known as “wind shear”. This is the same effect as a pack of cards being built into a tower and being blown down by a simple puff. So the OSB provides lateral stability to the structure and is essential to avoid the risk of collapse. It also improves the U-values due to the improved air tightness and provides a draft proof building envelope.

What does the Vapour Control Layer do?

This prevents moist air entering the fabric of the structure from the inside of the building, creating what is called interstitial condensation (effectively condensation inside the timber frame). Again it is an essential component if a timber framed building is constructed properly.

Are the Structural Timbers treated?

Yes, we have all our structural timbers treated with a 25 year preservative to BS5589. Effectively this means that the timbers could be directly exposed to moisture for prolonged periods without deterioration. This is unlikely to happen in a RUBICON™ building because no timber is in touch with the ground or exposed to the environment, but it’s nice to know you are protected if it did.

Is the Timber Frame of solid construction?

Yes, we build all our products with C16 and C24 graded structural timbers which are the same as used to build houses, and our walls are 170mm thick including a vented cavity just like your modern house.

What do you mean by "Built to Last™"?

Everything we do and all materials we use are of the highest quality and are designed to last a lifetime in excess of 30yrs, ensuring your investment is protected for the long term, and we offer the guarantees to back this up. Let’s put it this way – the Three Little Piggies would be very happy and secure if they lived in a RUBICON™ building!

What about the windows and doors?

All of our windows and doors are to the latest security and insulation standards and offer the highest U-Values available for modern Double Glazed units. They are also fiitted with Pilkington's 'K' Glass as standard further increasing comfort and reducing running costs.

What prevents water and wind penetration to the inner face?

A number of things actually:

1) The exterior cladding is interlocking and of the highest quality so penetration of the outer skin in unlikely.

2) The cavity construction allows any moisture, if it did get through the outer skin to drain away before hitting the inner wall.

3) The Breather Membrane on the face of the inner wall panels is water repellent and fully weather proof even if there was no cladding fitted..!.

4) The OSB3 sheathing on the wall panels is water repellent.

5) The inner Vapour Control Membrane helps prevent drafts

Consequently, the chances of any problems in a RUBICON™ building are very remote, hence our confidence to issue 10 year guarantees.

What about the risk of Condensation?

The risks of condensation are minimal due to the construction methods adopted in a RUBICON™ building – Vented Cavity construction, Vapour Control Layer, Breather Membrane, Trickle Vents and Cross-Ventilated roof are designed to eliminate this risk.

What is the internal finish?

We currently use plasterboard and skim as this gives the same finish as a house. We could use wall panelling systems but these have ugly joints around the walls and ceiling and give a cheap “caravan” feel to the building. But if you require this option, please talk to us.

Are the Floors moisture resistant?

Yes, we use a 22mm (rather than the 18mm housing standard) industrial floor system which has a green water resistant finish. These boards are an ideal base for carpet, laminate of ceramic tile finishes. The manufacturers say that these boards can be left outside in the rain for up to 42 days without being affected by the rain – not that we’ve tried it yet!

What types of screws and nails do you use?

Normal woods crews and nails will rot within 5-6yrs in treated timber due to the chemicals present which erode the screws/nails even when galvanised. So we ONLY use either stainless steel or 2000hr salt tested screws to avoid the possibility of rust and eventual structural failure.

Is there a Damp-Proof Membrane between the earth and the underside of my building?

Yes, we fit a 1300g heavy duty DPM across the whole of the base frame as standard just as you would in a modern house.

Can I take my Garden Room with me if I move house?

Yes you can, although it is a big job. We can do this for you but would need to quote on an individual basis.

How long does it take to assemble on-site?

Our skilled teams take from 7 to 10 working days on average dependent on the building size.

What foundations are required for my Garden Room?

As standard we install special concrete pile or steel screw foundations (particularly on uneven ground). There would be about 16 of these on a 4m x 3m building giving a very strong and stable base. We can also fit to an existing concrete slab where required. 

What do I do if my ground is uneven?

As our base is supplied with adjustable galvanised feet (each capable of withstanding 6 Ton loads), we can accommodate most uneven ground situations up to about 18" fall.

How is my Garden Room delivered?

There is a lot of material so it arrives on either a 7.5 ton lorry or a couple of long wheelbase vans. Suitable access is required and when we do our site survey we check that your location can accomodate our access needs before confirming your order.

Where can I see one of your Garden Rooms?

Factory visits 7 days a week are welcome by prior appointment. Sometimes we can arrange a visit to a prior customer but some people do not want strangers wandering around their garden so we respect their privacy.

Do you make Charitable Donations?

Yes but only to our sponsored charities which are:

Help for Heroes

Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

RSPCA

Do you employ your own Fitters?

All our fitters are trained by us and most of them work for us full time. However in certain areas of the UK we do use Approved Installers who we have trained and vetted but are not employed directly by us.

Can I extend my Garden Room if I find I need more space later?

In certain circumstances, yes.

 

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