Can I Have a Wood Burning Stove in My Garden Office?
With the rise in working from home and people starting their own businesses the garden office is becoming more and more of a popular choice over a daily commute. With this rise in popularity comes a rise in options in not only the building type but also in certain luxuries like tech to link to the main house and more traditional things like wood burners.
To answer the initial question; yes you can have a wood burner in your garden office BUT there are a number of things to consider and some potential barriers to having one installed.
Why Would You Want One?
There are a number of reasons why a wood or multi fuel stove is a great idea in a garden office. The first is simply because they are great to have. The cosy feeling a stove provides will really add to the atmosphere in your office. For many people garden offices are traditionally cold in the winter and somewhere they spend a lot of time on their own. By adding an efficient heating system like a stove you can combat the cold and bring some extra comfort into the room. Fires are also great for stress, hearing the crackle and pop of a stove during work can be great for concentration and combating stress. A stove is also likely to be a better heat source than other options like electric heaters. Wood can be bought in bulk and is likely to be cheaper than electric options as well as being better for the environment.
There are a number of things that need to be considered before getting a wood burner installed.
It is important to get a professional to help measure and correctly choose the chimney height. There are local companies like www.wakefordfireplaces.com in most areas so it is well worth finding someone to help. The reason behind this is that the height of the chimney depends on the roofing material you have. Slate and other fire proof materials mean a smaller flue but untreated tiles or even turf will need a taller chimney. You also need to consider where the smoke will go and how your neighbours will feel about it. Wood smoke can be quite annoying in high volumes every day of the winter.
Floor and Structure
Before you even think about ordering a stove you need to check the floor and structure itself can handle the weight of a stove. It is often a factor people forget and this can be disastrous. Stoves are heavy and so is the hearth stone you may choose to have underneath it. Once again, getting some professional advice is important but if you know your garden office is old and the timber could be better then it may be worth looking at strengthening options.
Stove size is measured in both physical size and also power output. It is important to get the right power output to match the room size otherwise you may have too much heat or simply not enough. A garden office is likely to be a small space when compared to a lounge or kitchen diner in a house so small is the way to go. A stove with a power rating of 5kw or less is ideal. If, however, you have chosen to not insulate your office then a more powerful burner might be needed to make sure you get enough heat. It may actually be more sensible to spend money on insulation rather than on more wood and a bigger stove in the long run. This is a useful starting point when looking at stove size – http://www.stovax.com/faqs/solid-fuel/size-stove-need/
Planning Permission and Building Regulations
In the UK you do not need planning permission to install a wood burner or chimney in a house but in some cases you do for external buildings. It is important to consult a professional to avoid being caught up in a planning dispute which could be very costly. The planning portal is a very good place to start – https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/43/outbuildings
Along with planning there are also the building regulations or building control. These pertain to levels of insulation and use of the building and in most cases these should be looked into. They are less involved than full planning and in many cases it is just a form to fill in and a small payment for inspection.
There is no doubt a stove in your garden office will be an asset to you and could well as value to the overall property. But, it is not something to be rushed into and should be properly researched and checked by professionals. There are a lot of online stove shops and some people try to install them on their own. This is not advisable and especially not in wooden buildings. Also, remember to install a carbon monoxide alarm along with a smoke alarm.