Over the course of the last year Professional Builder has been periodically dropping in on carpenter, Ollie Allen as he undertakes a bespoke garden room project in his own property. It was a job that was originally begun before lockdown but, with the changes wrought by the pandemic, these are the kind of domestic improvement works that builder’s are increasingly capitalising on. Whether it’s a home office or, in Ollie’s case, an area to pursue a new business interest, the demand for extensions and conversions shows no sign of abating.
“Throughout the summer months I had been working hard to get the frame, the insulation and the watertight elements sorted for the build. We lined the whole building internally with Norbord OSB as its perfect for multi-use spaces and can look pretty stylish too for modern workshops and design studios. In the areas where I wanted wall mounted cabinets, I made sure to use 18mm thick OSB boards to help take the weight of the storage cabinets.
Even though most people’s experiences of 2020 have been worse than they had hoped for, we saw it as an opportunity to grow our small wedding ring business. For the past five years, alongside building projects and woodworking, I’ve been making handmade Stainless Steel Wedding rings for my wife Jessica’s jewellery business. This was my side hustle if you like, and always brought in the money, but not something we could expand or grow until now.
As the UK’s shops and businesses closed for lockdown, and a few of my woodwork projects slowed down, we created a website and launched our new and improved wedding ring brand Sheffield Steel Rings.
Using social media, Instagram and Facebook adverts to help people find us online, we soon saw an increase in interest, and enough to know it was worth pursuing. It was perfect timing for the completion of my new garden studio and workshop, ready to take on more customer orders.
Fast forward six months and we are in 2021 with an extra two staff members to help me fulfil our order book from customers nationwide, all the rings are handcrafted in this very workshop.
I’m really pleased with the materials I choose for this build. We have had a pretty snowy winter here and all my Quickslide windows and doors have kept the weather at bay and me nice and toasty inside the workshop.
Alongside plenty of light coming in with the two Roofmaker fixed roof lights, which have been great on dull days to brighten up the space.
This summer I hope to complete the exterior landscaping around the garden studio. We will create a path to the house along with a small-paved space outside the studio – the perfect place to crack a beer on those sunny evenings, so watch this space!”
For further information on Norbord visit https://www.norbord.co.uk/
For further information on the Roofmaker range of rooflights visit https://roof-maker.co.uk
For further information on Quickslide visit https://www.quickslide.co.uk/
For further information on Sheffield Steel Rings visit www.sheffieldsteelrings.co.uk
At the beginning of the project Ollie specified Norbord’s SterlingOSB Zero as the perfect material for a modular and easy-to-build timber framed building, as well as Quickslide’s Flush casement windows and doors.
Late last year, the Sheffield-based chippie, Ollie, installed the Rubber4Roofs one-piece EPDM system, Roofmaker Roof Lights, and made use of Norbord OSB’s 12mm OSB for the cladding.