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Garden Office Birkenhead, Wirral

Garden Office Birkenhead, Wirral built for Popcats Franchise Founder Catherinenext-arrow.png 

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Garden Office Birkenhead Wirral

A business entrepreneur has built a Garden Office in Birkenhead, Wirral and is aiming to expand her company after swapping working in noisy cafes for her own home based meeting room and office.

Catherine Williams founded  Popcats Music Time singing and dancing classes for pre-school children, and is now rolling out franchises around north west England, with plans to open next year in Liverpool.

She initially ran the business from her Wirral home, and held meetings in cafes and other public venues but soon became frustrated by the lack of privacy and space.

So Catherine decided to create an Garden Office and meeting room in the garden of the home she shares with husband Jon and their three children.

Thanks to Deeside-based Rubicon Garden Rooms, the 41-year-old can now sit down with clients and franchisees in a “professional” office space rather than having to travel to meet them at busy coffee shops.

Popcats Music Time, which provides classes and parties for babies through to five-year-olds, has gone from strength to strength since Catherine founded the company in September 2014. She now has franchises running across Wirral, Ellesmere Port, Southport and Crosby and is planning to take her concept into Liverpool.

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Rubicon Garden Rooms, which creates bespoke top-of-the-range units across the Wirral and the UK used for everything from Garden Offices to Hobby dens, teenage chill-spaces and Annexes for dependent relatives, was able to provide her with exactly what she needed.

Catherine, who was a primary school teacher for 15 years, said: “My husband Jon and I wanted an outdoor space that wasn’t a summer house or just a shed, so that’s why we approached Rubicon.

“What we’ve got is something that aesthetically looks solid and is maintenance free, plus its warm and comfortable throughout the year.

“It’s really pleasing to see it outside. We went for the black wood fibre composite option as we think it has a more classic look that matches the style of our house.

“My business is growing now and I have a lot of franchises so having meetings in public places is not ideal. You also never know who is in hearing distance, especially when you are discussing financial matters.

“The big thing for me was to have privacy. It’s brilliant -  I don’t have to travel and I can walk out of my back door and be in my office whenever I need to.

“We even had our Popcats Christmas meal in there! I’ve put a tree up and decorated it, there is plenty of space - it’s so adaptable.”

She added: “I’m looking to get the Liverpool franchise up and running, that’s the next phase, so having meetings in an office environment, somewhere that is a professional space, is so important.

“I absolutely love having my Garden Office space, it ticks all the boxes for me.”

Catherine, who has three daughters, was keen to get away from the stresses of a school environment and always believed the idea behind her classes would appeal to a large number of parents, although it didn’t all quite go to plan from the offset.

She explained: “I was doing supply teaching when I set up Popcats. I’ve always loved music and having had three children knew what I wanted to create as both a parent and teacher.

“I knew that by making the classes pay as you go, it would have appeal. I never took my children to classes where it was pay up front because you don’t always have the money or your child can fall ill and it’s wasted money.

“Now I’m in a position where I can take up to 50 in a class. There is a big social side to the job as well, with us all sitting together afterwards for a coffee and some fruit.

“The classes cover the seven areas of early years foundation stage. Childminders love it for that reason and I have parents who don’t take their kids to nursery on specific days so they can attend the classes.”

Catherine, who taught at St Anne’s Catholic Primary School in Rock Ferry for 12 years, added: “Setting up Popcats means I’m still teaching but without the stress of Ofsted.

“It’s a hard line of work and I’m so glad to be doing this now. Those that take on the franchises are former teachers too and it means they can earn what they did and it’s a lot of fun.

“I’ve built up a really good reputation so it means they are buying into a well known brand.

“I always wanted to go down the franchise route. I didn’t want to employ people so it was more appealing. People have a business to grow themselves.”

Rubicon provide fully insulated, zero-maintenance and aesthetic appealing Garden Rooms and Garden Offices. The company has just been accredited for its commitment to customer service, under the Buy With Confidence scheme run by local authority Trading Standards teams.

John said: “As a business person myself, I quite understand that Catherine really needed privacy when conducting her meetings. Talking to potential investors about business matters in a coffee shop isn’t ideal - a home office with space for meeting is the perfect solution.

“She was seeking a professional looking office space, with room to run her company,  that was low maintenance and value for money, which is exactly what we are able to provide.

“I’m delighted that she is so pleased with her insulated garden office made here in the UK and we wish her luck with her business, which I am sure continue to expand and bring joy to many more children and their parents.”

Insulated Garden Office on the Wirral in Cheshire


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What our Customers Say

"Please convey my thanks to everyone and we were very touched at your kindness. You were all an absolute pleasure to have around and it felt very quiet without you!! We are absolutely thrilled with the Garden Room and have now painted the walls and ceiling and the laminate wood flooring and skirting boards are being fitted tomorrow. Once the skirting boards are painted we can move in the furniture and will be like pigs in muck!!! Many, many thanks once again, we are absolutely delighted with our Garden Room. After you left Heather sat on the decking with a glass of wine, this is the life! Take care and you all have a safe journey tomorrow. Thank you once again."

Andrew and Heather - Ruthin, N.Wales

“We did an awful lot of research and found Rubicon online. We drove across to Deeside to have a look at their showroom, and all the different examples on display. We liked managing director John Lyon a lot and his approach gave us confidence to start the process. All in all, it took a couple of months from deciding that we would have a Garden Office until the team arrived on site as they were very busy and we needed to book a delivery slot well in advance. Then they were here for about three weeks for the installation which included drainage and water supplies for a toilet and mini kitchen. The team were lovely guys – no nonsense and very diligent, polite, hard-working people. Dave likes to cook a bit – mainly cakes and pastries – so he baked things for them, which always helps to keep the team happy..! We now have a beautiful extra Garden Office room, which Dave uses when he’s working at home. He has a 30 second walk to work in the morning, and it means we are no longer in the way of each other. I believe that the building is also a thing of great beauty and I would absolutely recommend Rubicon to anyone considering something similar.”

David and Rachel - Manchester

"We trawled through the internet and Rubicon sounded like the best bet for what we were after. We made an appointment and went down to the showroom on Deeside. There we met Managing Director John, spent time looking at the different examples on show and examining the products, and then had a good chat about what we needed. We never felt rushed or pressurised, and had time to think about what we wanted - his whole manner makes him such a good person to deal with. We felt that we were getting a good product. What Rubicon offered was perfect for what we wanted and, once we started the process with them, the work was done in just two to three weeks. The team turned up every day at the time John said they would, and were polite and very easy to get along with. Having them here working in the garden was no trouble at all and I would recommend Rubicon without a doubt - in fact some of the neighbours have already been round to see it and ask where we got it. I can say hand on heart that John and his the team from Rubicon were the nicest people we have ever had work for us."

Dennis and Val - Stockport

"Dear John, Thank you very much, all very professional from your company throughout the construction and installation. I cannot find anything, but if there is somewhere where I can place a review or recommendation on your web site I will be pleased to do so. Please just send me a link. As and when the garden, now under snow is complete, I will forward some photos, probably June the way the weather is. I have received a letter from Flintshire County Council asking for me to comment on your services. Just to let you know that I am returning it, highly recommending your company. All the very best to you and your company in the future. We are really pleased with our Garden Room and I would not hesitate in recommending you to any future customers. Just ask them to call me."

Mick and Barbara - Burnley

“I love my new garden room. Got to say this was one of the most enjoyable experiences of dealing with a company ive had for a long time. Finish is fab inside and out, its made such a difference, we use it all the time. Jake our son, won’t come out of there. Can’t thank John and his team enough of a great product at a great price….Thank you, etc etc.!”

Gill and Ben Henderson, Warrington

"We wanted to get a Garden Room that David could use as a separate office that was peaceful and quiet when he’s working from home. We liked what we saw at Rubicon’s showroom in Deeside straight away, and got on very well with the MD John Lyon – he immediately gave us the confidence that he would deliver what he promised, and he did. We took one of their standard Garden Offices and adapted it so that it would work for us, and nothing we suggested was a problem for Rubicon – they were really good to work with. They kept me posted all the time about what was going on, what stage they were at and who would be coming and what they would be doing the next day. They tidied up after themselves too, and really minimised any inconvenience. What was very important to me as well was that we had my elderly father staying with us at the time, he was 85, and they were so very respectful to him. Everyone from the young apprentice to the seasoned builders treated him brilliantly and talked to him about what they were doing every day while I was out at work. The Garden Office is lovely and warm as it’s fully heated, and so can be used all year round. I would most definitely recommend Rubicon Garden Rooms to anyone."

David and Kate - Frodsham

“Rubicon’s extension been fantastic, and it has really changed Ray’s life. It’s very warm and fully insulated, light and comfortable - it is easy to look after. We can get Ray in and out of bed and into his wheelchair much more easily, and it means that he has somewhere to go that’s his, for some quiet time. He loves sitting by the big window watching the birds and wildlife, or enjoying the views of the garden. The extension is very well made and went up quickly, and has changed our life. It means Ray has somewhere to sit, and we haven’t lost our lounge. When our three grandchildren come round, they love to go into his room and see him. I can’t thank Rubicon enough for the help their team have given us, they have been brilliant."

Ray and Josie - Mancot

“We had been looking for something to fill a big space at the bottom of our garden for some time and then Pat heard about a local Garden Room company through our friends at the golf club who had had one built for them. We went to have a look and were very impressed so contacted Rubicon for more details. I must admit that when we saw the showroom model we were so impressed that all logic went out of the window - we didn’t even consider the alternatives until after we had paid our deposit - not our normal way of doing things. But we needn’t have worried. I researched the internet and the price we had been quoted for what we had fitted represented excellent value for money. We could not be happier with our choice now and would like to thank Bill and Alan for doing such a great job - always smiling and nothing was too much trouble. We would highly recommend Rubicon Garden Rooms and are are actively passing on the message amongst family and friends. Good luck for the future”

Cliff and Pat Lovell, Llandudno

"Hi John, Just got back from a couple of days in London. I can confirm that invoice has arrived and has been paid. Many thanks for ALL your work. At our little garden party last Sunday all commented on the new Garden Studio - and one chap has examined it thoroughly (!!) and will contact you to arrange one for himself. All like the grey!! Hope you have a lovely Christmas, and hope we can keep in touch. Best wishes. PS Jan will send you photos with some plants in front!"

Stephen and Jan - Hawarden, Nr Chester

“This company may not be the biggest but they are surely the best. I drove my wife mad in my research for a building to run our business from after out-growing the spare bedroom I wanted something which could provide a distinct break between home live and work. To be frank there were not many companies within our locality, most of those i found were based down south and I wanted someone more local that I could put a face to ( and shout at if i needed!). A friend of mine had had some building work done recently and recommended I talk to them to see what they could do as he thought they also made garden offices. Best decision I ever made was to contact Rubicon the whole team are so professional and the product is fantastic. No complaints whatsoever apart from it did take a bit longer than I thought it would as they were very busy at the time. But the end result has been a triumph, exactly what I wanted at a competitive price and when i look at what i have saved by not renting an office it’s a no brainer…”

Phil Grayson, Northwich

"I saw Rubicon Garden Rooms online and wanted to find something that was nearby so that I could go and see what they were doing and talk to people face-to-face about it. I went along to the showroom in Deeside and I was very impressed with what I saw, and with the Managing Director John Lyon. I nearly ordered a conservatory but changed my mind at the last minute when I realised that one of these Garden Rooms would be nicer and much more use to me all year round. It was quite an investment so I took some time to think about it but eventually I decided to go for it and treat myself, as I was still working but also had my pension coming in. I went back for another chat and told them what I wanted and they just came and did it. They knocked down the old lean-to and started again and created this lovely room, leading on from my main living area. Rubicon Garden Rooms were just lovely to work with and did everything I asked. From the very beginning they gave me good advice and guidance and made it a really easy process throughout – I’d definitely recommend them to anybody else looking to extend their home simply and quickly."

Beryl - Talacre, N.Wales

"One of our disabled tenants required access to ground floor facilities, including a bedroom and bathroom. This need was urgent, so instead of a traditional build, which would be highly disruptive to the tenant, we approached Rubicon Garden Rooms who provided a high quality Garden Room attached to the property, which has the potential to be reused elsewhere in the future. We were delighted that Rubicon were able to quickly provide this essential modification to the property that met the council's rigorous standards for such work."

Cllr Helen Brown - Flintshire County Council

“We did quite a bit of research into companies that make them and chose Rubicon Garden Room as we thought a synthetic material would last better and we liked their range. Here in the Garden Room I can switch the laptop on and keep up with conference calls at any time, which is important as we have manufacturers in America and the Far East. Having this Rubicon room just gives us a bit extra space and lets me get away from the house when I need to. Their team were great, they cleared up after themselves every day and I couldn’t fault them at all. We’re very happy with what we’ve got, it’s a perfect, self-contained space with everything we need. and it makes a huge difference to my work-life balance.”

Nick and Paula - Halifax

"We had an office on a local business park, but being able to move into our own premises here has been a wise business move. We've got the perfect, self-contained space with everything we need. We can now open our French doors and have lunch on the patio in a lovely established garden, which is something most people would love. We did a lot of research and found that the prices were all very similar,” said Julian. “But what we liked about Rubicon was the fact that we could go and see their factory in Deeside and the examples they had on show. We also visited a few completed buildings and talked to the owners and we heard nothing but positive feedback so we decided to go with them. Most of the structure is prefabricated at Rubicon’s base and then they come and slot it together on site. They were great to work with – they were all very competent and everything I asked of John and his team, they delivered."

Julian and Kerry - Wirral

"Hi John, Hope you have enjoyed your weekend! Building is brilliant, we are extremely pleased with it, plaster is drying out nicely. I have sent over the last payment to your bank this evening.....On behalf of Clare & myself, I would like to thank You and the build team (Buster,Lee,Martin, Liam, Kurt & Dad), and not forgetting the window guys... for all your hard work and excellent eye to detail on our lovely pool room! Will let you know when everything is completed and you are welcome to visit with your Marketing PR person if you need any further photo’s. Look forward to meeting up for a cuppa soon :)"

Colin and Clare - Leicester


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