Will I need Planning Permission or Building Regulations approval?
In planning terms, our Lodges are defined as ‘outbuildings’ which are generally considered as ‘permitted development’, meaning that you are unlikely to need planning permission to have a Lodge.
There are some general conditions which need to apply to satisfy this permitted development. Outbuildings must not be forward of the main elevation of the original house; they must not exceed 50% of the total area of land around the original house or be used for self-contained living accommodation. Also, they must be single storey, with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of 4 metres with a dual pitched roof (as the Lodges have).
Variations do apply in particular areas such as National Parks, conservation areas, Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, World Heritage Sites or within the grounds of a listed building.
In terms of Building Regulations, the Lodges are built to the highest standards which would normally exceed standards required for building regulations. However, Building Regulations approval is not normally be required if the floor area of an ‘outbuiding’ is less than 15 square metres and contains no sleeping accommodation. If the floor area is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for Building Regulations approval providing that the outbuilding contains no sleeping accommodation and is at least one metre from any boundary.
We will always carry out a site survey to check for any likely issues in terms of the positioning of your Lodge in relation to boundaries, adjacent structures, soil type, drains and sewers, trees and general ground conditions. If we feel that it is appropriate, we will also advise that you check with your local planning authority to see if permitted development rights apply. We can provide a service to help with this process if you need us to.
For more details, the government’s online Planning Portal includes a range of guidance on planning permission and building regulations in England and Wales.
Are all hardwoods more solid than softwoods?
The terms hardwood and soft wood are actually biological terms rather than necessarily describing the ‘hardness’ of the wood. So, it is not always the case that hardwoods are more solid than soft wood. The difference between hardwood and softwood is essentially about how trees reproduce. Hardwood trees produce trees that have seeds with some sort of covering. This might be a soft fruit covering, such as in the case of an apple, or a hard shell covering such as that found on an acorn. Softwoods on the other hand allow seeds to drop to the floor without any such protective covering. In the most part hardwood trees are deciduous and so lose their leaves during the winter, whereas softwoods are mostly termed ‘evergreen’ and tend to keep their leaves all year round.
Balsa wood for example is an extremely ’soft’ wood as is Cedar however both are classed as hardwoods. The high quality softwood we use is in fact a ‘hard’ wood and it is this quality which stands out in our work. One cannot mistake quality construction and materials when experienced first hand.
Do people use lodges all year round?
How long does it take to install and complete?
What is the thickness of the walls?
How long does the building last?
What is the appearance on the inside?
The standard floor has a plywood finish which is left ready for the customer to fit carpet or laminate flooring. We can offer laminate flooring, please contact us for details. The ceiling has birch faced plywood and a vaulted ceiling (on the pitched roof versions)
What colours are available?
Can electricity be installed?
What foundations are needed?
What is the best site?
Can I hang items on the wall?
Can I see one?
What about heating?
How is the floor finished?
Can I customise to suit my requirements?
What are the steps to placing an order?
How do I pay for my lodge?
What is pressure treatment?
No further treatment is ever needed. If you want a coloured finish you can paint over pressure treated timber with almost anything, including all normal wood preservatives in any colour. It can also be stained and oiled it for example.
What maintenance is required for doors and windows?
As the newly erected lodge settles it will adjust to the changes in the atmosphere and this may mean doors require subtle adjustments by planing down to keep them ‘free’, although our doors are made using engineer timber which is less prone to movement.
Is the timber sustainable?
All of our timber (we use Douglas Fir, Larch and Spruce) is provided from FSC approved sources, usually timber grown from the FSC forests in Scandinavia. (Baltic countries such as Latvia and Lithuania as well as Russia also exports softwoods, whilst hardwoods are often imported from the Far East. Check to see is the timber used in any timber product you consider buying is made using FSC timber.) The Forest Stewardship Council ensures that the timber is continually re-planted to ensure sustainability. The timber is then kiln dried before being shipped to the UK ready for assembly. All external timbers used in the lodges are pressure treated with an environmentally sound treatment, to ensure that it is resistant to rot & decay for 20+ years.
Good forestry management requires the selective felling of trees which would otherwise gradually lose tensile strength over time and which would inhibit new growth resulting in forests which contain a lower grade quality timber overall. Careful forest management is a necessary practice to maintain balanced and healthy forests and should not to be confused with indiscriminate de-forestation which is seen in areas of the world particularly in regions where tropical rain forests predominate and which devastate wild life habitat and contribute to global warming