Live the sustainable dream by using Hemsec SIPs for garden rooms

  • 7 Feb 2022

During the lockdown of spring 2020, a Hemsec customer, experienced in brick and block renovation, wanted to use SIPs for a new garden room because he had heard about their insulation properties.

The customer wanted the garden room for the whole family, but especially his two teenage boys, young adult nephew and their friends – to hang out safely; to play pool and watch TV over a pint or two.

The customer was aware that SIPs offer plenty of advantages:

 – superior airtightness
 – quick installation
 – excellent insulation qualities
 – year round use with very low heating bills


An unforeseen benefit – the SIPs build was very clean

The customer was really delighted with how clean the whole SIPs project was, in comparison to the previous brick and block work on his loft and extension. Back then, the building materials were stored on the drive and had been dirty and inconvenient for a long time.

Worse, a line of concrete had been spilled which couldn’t be removed. The customer had had his driveway replaced after that, and certainly didn’t want to risk a repeat.

There were other benefits, too.

The panels were manufactured to order by a specific date, delivered on time and installation started the same day, instead of arranging delivery and storage of the bricks, and needing to wait whilst a bricklayer created the walls – which would have been weather-dependent.

As it was, on the first day, there was a downpour, and the installer simply waited in the customer’s house until it passed. If that had been a brick and block build, a day’s work would probably have been lost.

A step-by-step account of the build

Laying the foundations

Day one, the shed standing on the proposed location for the garden room was demolished. The garden room would be larger, and the customer wanted to guard against damp, so the existing concrete base was extended, and a layer of breeze blocks laid to raise it six inches off the ground. Concrete foundations are not essential to SIPs projects; as an example, an alternative is a metal frame on spikes.

Erecting the garden room frame

During the first day they were able to start getting the roof battens up and also put on the weatherproof membrane. Within 24 hours, the project was already taking shape.

The 2.4 x 1.2 x 11ml insulated panels were put up for the walls and a standard construction roof. Plastic cladding provided the external facings, each of the three sections simply clicking together. Standard bi-fold metal doors provided a wide entrance and plenty of light.

Fitting the interior

The SIPs were covered with plaster board and then plastered.

A new drain connected the toilet and sink to the existing sewerage. The customer specified a special sink tap which is perfect for the lads to rinse their beer glasses during half-time.

As well as space for the pool table – which doubles as a dining room table with a special cover on top – there is a recess for the large TV.

The garden room has its own electricity supply courtesy of a new consumer unit, together with plenty of sockets. It has its own Wi-Fi connection, hardwired internet and an inspection door in the ceiling to facilitate repairs.

Two weeks from start to finish

After laying the flooring, the project was complete; it took two weeks from start to finish.

The customer’s timescale had been pretty flexible – the only goal was to finish the project before the Euro finals, which was easily achieved.

Project costs and trades used

The fully-fitted and equipped, highly insulated year-round 4m x 5m dream garden room came in at £15,000.

The need for trades was limited and the roofer, plasterer and electrician were required for just a day each.

Reflections 12 months on

The customer and his family are thrilled with their new garden room. It is light and airy in summer, perfect for enjoying a barbecue. It is airtight, although it’s very rare the doors are shut in the summer. Over the colder months, it is an extremely popular destination for the young family members, because it is so well insulated – and houses the beer pump, pool table and TV. Heating costs are minimal; the electric fire only needs turning on for about 45 minutes on a cold winter’s evening.

The builder says he is becoming a bit of a SIPs evangelist.

“The project ran really smoothly, and the customer was pleased with the final result which means I don’t have to sort any complaints, and happy customers mean referrals. Their garden room is thermally efficient, sustainable and extremely durable. It will last the test of time, for sure. My message to any builder out there who has never tried working with SIPs is: do it. You won’t regret it.”

Let Hemsec help you get started

Hemsec was the first company in the UK to start manufacturing SIPs over 20 years ago, and now manufactures the largest range of high-quality SIPs sizes in the UK, all fully BBA Certified and carrying the PEFC sustainability certification for the timber used in the products.

To talk about how Hemsec’s team can help partner you, and get you get started with SIPs, please email [email protected] or call Nathan, Rob or Kate on 0151 426 7171.

Contact Hemsec:

Stoney Lane,
L35 9LL

T: 0151 426 7171
E: [email protected]

Visit the Hemsec website

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