Coastal Garden Buildings

Even a simple shed can be turned into a man cave masterpiece. A space to retreat, get some peace, or spend time with friends and enjoy the finer things in life. If you’re planning on creating your own garden man cave, here are our top 10 must-haves for your new space.

1. The right space

Before you get into the detail of your man cave, the first thing to start with is the space. Your building could be anything from a basic shed to a full-on combination summerhouse with an extended canopy. Size matters, so think about the space you’ll need. For example, if you plan to include a pool table, you’ll need a sizeable building to accommodate the table and that all-important cueing room. But if a comfy chair and a mini-fridge are all you wish for, then a standard garden shed will do the job just fine. Don’t forget to plan for things like electric supply and wifi if you’re planning to include fridges, lighting, sound systems etc. We highly recommend brilliant electrician Mike at Probyn Electrical who can get these important details in place.

2. Bar area

A bar area makes a focal point for your man cave. Choose from ready-made or bespoke, made-to-measure options. Go traditional with a wooden bar or select high gloss, bright colour furniture to make a real statement. Home Bar UK has an amazing selection of hand-made wooden bars that can be personalised and come with fridges and lighting already built-in. https://home-bar-uk.com/collections/shop-bars-birmingham

3. Comfy seats

From sofas to bar stools, you’ll need to be able to relax in your space. We love these quilted effect faux leather bar stools from Cox & Cox for old-school armchair meets modern bar style. https://www.coxandcox.co.uk/new-twist-counter-stool/. Bench seating can also be a great use of space and can be custom-made by a carpenter, like this stylish option from the brilliant acbespokecarpentry or even a DIY job if you’re feeling skilled.

4. Giant TV

If watching sport’s your thing, you’ll need a decent wall-mounted screen or a projector to bring the magic of the big match to life. This is also a must if you’re a keen gamer. Don’t forget to mention this when designing your actual building, as additional wall or ceiling supports may be needed to keep your tech safely on the wall.

5. Cold drinks

No one wants a warm beer, right? There’s a vast selection of mini and full-size fridges and drinks coolers of all shapes, sizes and designs available to suit your space. Man Sanctuary has a great range, including branded mini-fridges and wine coolers. Add some retro colour with this Rubik’s mini-fridge https://www.mansanctuary.co.uk/product/husky-rubiks-mini-fridge/

6. Snacks

Peckish? Apart from the obvious crisp and nut stash, why not sneak in a toastie machine or have your pizza oven or BBQ to hand to rustle up some decent grub. Check out the smart Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven that will have your pizzas cooked in just 60 seconds, or the tech-tastic Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill that lets you monitor and adjust the temperature at any time with just your phone!

https://www.stewarts.co.uk/ooni-karu-12-multi-fuel-pizza-oven

https://www.stewarts.co.uk/traeger-pro-575-pellet-grill

7. Entertainment

A dartboard is a must-have, surely? Such a simple game to while away the hours in peace, whether it’s practising your skills or playing with friends. Darts Corner has a great range of dartboards and accessories, including dartboards that you can personalise and electronic options https://www.dartscorner.co.uk/dartboards-c122. We’re also huge fans of the Basketball hoop – another simple but brilliant form of entertainment. If you’re splashing out, Home Leisure Direct has a great selection of pinball machines, arcade machines, pool tables and more https://www.homeleisuredirect.com/ for the ultimate home pub experience.

8. Statement wall art

Make your walls your own. Whether it’s stylish prints or neon signs, put your own stamp on the walls around you. We love this neon option from The Man Cave Project https://themancaveproject.co.uk/collections/all/products/man-cave-neon-led-sign/. Law & Moore has a wide range of framed prints available, including movie, television, and music-inspired options like this stylish Lost Boys-inspired movie poster https://www.lawandmoore.co.uk/product/the-lost-boys-movie-poster/. If you’re a footie fan like our director Martin, a signed and framed team shirt will take pride of place. Up the Cherries!

9. Music!

Take your playlist to the man cave with a simple smart speaker like an Amazon Echo Dot https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084DWCZXZ/. Or, for something a bit more substantial, combine your man cave music with garden sounds using a complete outdoor sound system, including ceiling and outdoor speakers. https://www.smarthomesounds.co.uk/speaker-ceiling-outdoor/shop-room/garden

10. Light up your space

A neon wall sign or under-counter LED lighting on your bar might look fun, but they’re unlikely to give you sufficient light for late nights. If you’re going with a pool table, you’ll need some down lighting over it. This Pool ball lighting bar from Liberty Games is pretty epic https://www.libertygames.co.uk/store/pool-and-snooker-accessories/pool-and-snooker-lighting/pool-ball-light/. For softer lighting, this multifunction lamp from Not On The High Street will not only give you light but can also charge your phone and be your wireless speaker too https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/mysmarthomehub/product/white-led-lamp-bluetooth-speaker-and-wireless-charger

Feeling inspired?

It all starts with the right building, so why not pop into our show site next to Stewarts Garden Centre in Christchurch and look at our display buildings. We have a man shed onsite, as well as lots of other garden buildings that you could transform into your new space, tailored exactly to what you want.

From traditional garden pubs to modern music studios and stylish chill-out zones, we’ll help you create your space, your way.

Whether it’s a simple garden picnic or a sumptuous beach feast, we’re big fans of the Great British picnic. To celebrate National Picnic Week, we spoke to local food lover Flora Richardson from The Forest Foodie to get her pick of the best picnic spots in and around the New Forest.

Flora, tell us the secret, where are the best places to picnic in our local area?

“I have a few favourite picnic spots depending on how I arrive at the destination! When I’m not working, I am always out walking my dogs, mountain biking in the Forest, or out on the water sailing or paddle boarding. All of which usually involve a picnic and a glass of rosé, of course!

If I am walking, I love Tanners Lane in Lymington (SO41 5SP). It is just the most stunning wild beach at the bottom of a country lane with views out to the Solent for miles. At high tide, this is so dreamy for the dogs to swim too. We seem to be able to whittle away time here very happily. It’s a real switch-off haven, often with donkeys and cows shading under the trees.

When out on the water sailing, Newtown Creek on the Isle of Wight is a beautiful spot to stop for a picnic.

It is a sheltered anchorage surrounded by National Trust land where you often see seals whilst swimming. Whilst it does get busy in the summer, it is still worth it for the view. We often sail over there and enjoy a picnic on board or paddle ashore to the beach.

Rhinefield, near Lyndhurst, is a great place to cycle to and pause for lunch if I am out on my bike. Here you can find the oldest trees in the New Forest and some of the tallest trees in England. It’s amazing how a forest can be so varied in its appearance. It is quite magical here with its hugely tall trees, stunning walks, and gorgeous river meandering through. We love to ride our bikes around here and highly recommend this as a great picnic spot. There are picnic tables, toilets, and an ice cream van, which is always handy!

When I am out on my paddle board, Hurst Spit is a great picnic destination. It’s a lovely, gentle paddle up from Keyhaven. We strap a picnic to our boards and head up to the spit near Hurst Castle. If you pull up on the inside of the spit, it is pretty sheltered and a great swimming spot too! It’s too far for most people to carry a picnic on foot, so it’s usually quiet and very peaceful.”

What’s your favourite picnic?

“For me, it’s got to be Surf & Turf. Rare fillet of beef, Local Lobster, Prawns, Bearnaise Sauce, a token bit of salad, and a lovely bottle of wine from The Solent Cellar. I usually manage to justify making some scotch eggs – with runny yolks (always) – for a ‘snack’!

I might be a little biased, but I did launch The Forest Foodie based on my pure love of food and drink. All of the picnics we make are filled with things I adore. Surf & Turf is my absolute ultimate.”

Who is your must-have picnic companion?

“My husband Ian and our Labradors, Sausage and Otter. Apart from having a seriously fun time together, getting out for a picnic is our switch-off time. Time away from busy screens or kitchens.

In the midst of running a start-up business that is 24/7, it’s incredibly important to me to make time for us and head out to enjoy the incredible place that we live – either by the sea or in the Forest.”

Thanks, Flora, for your great tips!

At Coastal Garden Buildings, we are huge fans of a beach picnic down on Avon Beach, just a mile or so from our show site in Christchurch, Dorset. If you don’t fancy packing your own picnic, you can always treat yourself to traditional seaside Fish & Chips from The Lobster Hatch. Or collect a delicious Seacuterie platter from The Noisy Lobster Deli.

You don’t even have to leave home to enjoy a picnic! Create the perfect picnic spot right on your doorstep with one of our wide range of garden buildings, including stunning summerhouses and glorious gazebos. Pop into our showsite next to Stewarts Garden Centre in Christchurch, Dorset, or design your own with our 3D configurator.

We are delighted to be hosting a Great Garden Tea Party during Mental Health Awareness Week on Saturday 14th May from 2-5pm to raise funds for the Sheltered Work Opportunities Project at Cherry Tree Nursery and Chestnut Nursery and help tackle loneliness. Please come along and join us! Everyone is welcome.

As soon as our Office Manager Rachael spotted the Great Garden Party campaign, she knew it was something we would want to support. The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week this year is loneliness which affects millions of people in the UK every year, from teenagers to the elderly and everyone in-between. It is a key driver of poor mental health.

Particularly during the pandemic, many people struggled with loneliness.

Yet research has proved the benefits of spending time with nature on our mental health, including spending time in our gardens. Research led by the University of Exeter found that spending two hours in nature a week can significantly boost your health and wellbeing. According to the mental health charity Mind, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, improve your physical health and self-esteem and reduce loneliness.

“Mental Health is a topic close to our hearts. We are keen to do what we can to help raise funds for this fantastic local charity. During the pandemic, having a garden was a huge help for our mental and physical health. But we know many people weren’t so lucky to have that access to outdoor space. We’re really looking forward to hosting this event and bringing people together.”

Rachael Penny, Office Manager

The event at our showsite next to Stewarts Garden Centre in Christchurch, Dorset, is totally free to attend. We simply ask you to give a donation of whatever you can in exchange for your delicious tea and cake! Doggie treats will also be provided so please feel free to bring your four-legged best friend with you.

Huge thanks go out to the generous team at The Noisy Lobster Bakery.

They are kindly donating some of their delicious flapjacks, brownies and cupcakes for you to enjoy at our Great Garden Tea Party.

Located close by on beautiful Avon Beach, the Noisy Lobster Deli, Shop & Bakery is open all year round. In the Deli you can find delicious Cured Seafood, Sauces, Condiments & Butters all made in the Noisy Lobster kitchens. They also stock a range of local producers, freshly baked bread and even their own blend of coffee. The bakery offers fresh homemade bread, cakes and other treats made daily. They also make special celebration cakes to order.

Thanks also go to our friends at Stewarts Garden Centres

The coffee shop at their Christchurch Garden Centre is kindly donating some scrumptious scones for you to enjoy for your afternoon tea.

Located just next to our show site, the Garden Centre offers a wide range of quality gardening products and services and friendly, down to earth advice. Proud to be a family-run business (like us!) they have been plant growers since 1742 and still maintain their roots of growing their own plants to sell within their garden centres.  

If you can’t make it along to our event or would like to host your own garden party, you can find out more at  https://swop-garden-party.eventbrite.co.uk. Everybody can get involved in some way. It doesn’t matter if your garden is large or small, a patio or balcony. It’s about sharing a cuppa, spending some time with friends, family, colleagues and neighbours and raising some funds to support local people with mental health issues.

We look forward to welcoming you on Saturday 14th May between 2 and 5pm.

Do let us know if you have any dietary requirements, so we can make sure we have catered for you.

Many people have been adapted to working from home over the past two years. Was it finally a dream come true for you? Or did working from home turn out to be a total nightmare?

As COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, some people have returned to the office, whilst other companies are allowing employees to work from home on an ongoing basis.

If working from home is here to stay in your household, here are our top 5 tips to help you stay as focused and productive as possible.

1. Have a dedicated workspace

Working from the kitchen table might have been a short term stopgap, but it’s not the best long term solution. Having a separate space to work helps you divide work and home life. Of course, we’re biased, but a garden building home office can be the perfect way to work from home. You can maintain clear boundaries between work and home life with a short walk to work. With careful design, your garden office could also double up as a home gym or relaxing outdoor space, as well as add value to your home.

2. Think about your body

No one can be productive if they are in pain. If you are working from home regularly, you need a proper desk that you can pull a chair underneath and a supportive, height-adjustable chair. Are you employed? Your company should carry out a health and safety assessment with you and may provide you with suitable equipment. Self-employed? There’s some excellent advice on the HSE website about home working, including a video about maintaining good posture when sitting at your computer. If you start to feel any pain like lower back pain, see help from a health expert like a physiotherapist or chiropractor. Ignoring pain may end up making things worse, not better.

3. Create noise to suit your mood

For some people, working from home can be lonely. Do you miss the noise and chatter of the office? Having the radio on in the background can be a great way of making sure you don’t feel alone. The plus side of working from a home office is that you can be in charge of your space. Why not create Spotify playlists to suit your mood? Perhaps some energising tunes to get your going on a Monday morning or relaxing music for when stress levels are high. Don’t be afraid to embrace the silence too. Whilst it might seem strange if you’ve come from a busy office environment, some people love the peace, away from distractions.

4. Change your scenery – both inside and out

Like with music, working from home means you can control your space. That could mean putting motivational quotes on the walls to inspire you when needed. Creating vision boards to keep you focused on your goals. Chop and change your environment to help you stay on track. But don’t be afraid to step away from the desk too. Whilst every job has different requirements, everyone needs a break. Taking regular breaks enables you to re-energise and refocus. Whether it’s a walk a lunchtime, a few stretches whilst you make a coffee or a break to walk the dog, fresh air is vital.

5. Avoid household distractions

It can be easy to get sidetracked by household chores when working from home. Just putting the washing on, or filling the dishwasher. Doing a spot of weeding in the garden or finishing a DIY project. If you can fit these in a break, fine. But if they impact work time, you’ll always be playing catch up. This is where a separate space like a self-contained garden office can really help. With the right equipment and a bit of organisation, you can install fridges, have kettles and lunch ready so that you don’t have to re-enter the house and see that washing up until work is done.

Our home offices come in a range of styles and sizes and can be tailored to your needs. They are fully insulated for year-round use. All come with stylish finishes to suit you, including cedar cladding, fully lined and painted walls, double doors, electrics, laminate flooring, an infrared heater and our popular pallet wood feature wall.

Pop into our show site next to Stewarts Garden Centre in Christchurch, Dorset, to browse our range of display buildings or design your own bespoke garden office online with the Lugarde 3D Configurator. Choose every detail to fit your size, your style and your budget. It’s super easy to use, taking you step by step through each component of your building, giving you all the options and prices available to help you create your dream home office.

Have you ever thought of adding a green roof to your garden room, summerhouse, log cabin or home office? It’s certainly becoming a popular choice.

We work with the experts at Pritchard & Pritchard, who specialise in green roofs and living walls, to add green roofs to our bespoke garden buildings. Their founder, Charlotte Pritchard, talked to us about how green roofs work and the benefits of choosing one for your garden building.

What is a green roof?

“Beautiful, sustainable, energy-saving living roofs are transforming commercial and residential properties and helping to combat climate change. The term ‘green roof’ actually encompasses several different living-roof systems. Extensive roofs use low-maintenance plants, most commonly sedum. Semi-intensive roofs typically include a wider variety of hardy, drought-t plants, including wild flowers, herbaceous perennials, grasses and small shrubs. Intensive roofs have the widest variety of more demanding plants (in terms of substrate, maintenance and irrigation). They usually include perennials, grasses, bulbs and shrubs, in some cases, trees and lawns.

Why should I choose a green roof for my garden building?

“Apart from looking natural and attractive, a living roof can deliver many benefits, including helping to mitigate climate change and boost biodiversity. According to BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), the benefits of a green roof include:

– Reducing a building’s energy consumption and lowering the cost of heating in winter and cooling in summer.

– Lowering the urban heat island effect by absorbing heat into the plants and substrate rather than re-emitting it to the local environment.

– Reducing surface water runoff.

– Improving air quality through plant respiration.

– Reducing noise through a building’s roof, both inside from external noise such as road traffic and outside from internal noise.

– Providing foraging resources for urban bees.

– Providing refuge for invertebrates from extreme temperatures.

That’s a whole host of benefits for you and the environment from choosing a green roof.”

Do green roofs require lots of care and maintenance?

“The type of roof you choose will affect the amount of upkeep required. Extensive roofs are low maintenance and an excellent choice for many homeowners. These require quarterly inspections and maintenance. Like any ground-level garden, if left alone, weeds will soon take over and plants will become oversized or die.

Semi-intensive and intensive planting schemes will require more visits. These monthly visits would include irrigation, fertilising, weeding, pruning, replacement planting or seeding, checking irrigation and drainage systems and pest control.”

How long will a green roof last?

“A properly installed, irrigated and maintained living roof should last for over 40 years. There are living roofs in Germany built using a similar lightweight type of system used today (pioneered in Germany) that date back to the 1970s. Arguably, the oldest living roof in the world is on top of a 400+ year-old medieval fortified tower house, Torre Guinigi, in Lucca, Italy.”

Can I have a green roof on any garden building?

Our Director, Martin Penny, comments, “You can choose to have a green roof on our exclusive The Hut Garden Room, or any of the Lugarde models of summerhouses, log cabin and garden rooms. You can choose from any size or shape. Compared to a standard roof option, the only additional consideration is that your garden building may need to be reinforced with extra rafters to strengthen the roof.” 

At Coastal Garden Buildings, we have already installed several garden buildings with green roofs across Dorset, including in Swanage, Friars Cliff, and Wimborne. Why not pop into our show site next to Stewarts Garden Centre in Christchurch, Dorset? Have a look at our display of stunning garden buildings and chat to our team about the green roof option.

Pritchard & Pritchard is the UK’s leading independent installer of living walls, living roofs, podiums and roof gardens. You can find out more on their website: https://green-roofs.co.uk/

Sunday 27 March is Mother’s Day and to celebrate we are running a competition on our Facebook page.

Nominate someone special for your chance to win by commenting on our Facebook page and telling us the name of the person you would like to nominate. It could be your mum, step mum, grandma, or the special person in your life that feels like a mum to you.

The stunning gift collection prize worth £69 includes an insulated shoulder tote bag and large picnic blanket with two seahorse tea cups from the summerhouse range by navigate.ltd.uk. A lovely gift to say thank you to that special lady in your life.

You can even post a photo of your mum to our Facebook page or tell us why she deserves a treat. We’d love to celebrate the brilliant mums that do so much to support us all.

Here are the full Terms & Conditions of the competition:

Coastal Garden Buildings – Mother’s Day Competition – March 2022

  1. The promoter of this competition is Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd, Stewarts Christchurch Garden Centre, Lyndhurst Road, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 4SA.
  2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  3. The competition is open to registered users of Facebook, aged 18 or over, who are residents in the UK.
  4. Employees of Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd and its affiliates and any other persons or employees of companies associated with this competition and members of the families and households of any such persons, are not eligible to enter this Competition. Any such entries will be invalid.
  5. All information detailing how to enter this competition forms part of these terms and conditions. It is a condition of entry that all terms and conditions are adhered to. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  6. To enter, entrants must comment on a Coastal Garden Buildings Facebook page post before the closing date. Text comments and photo comments are both acceptable forms of entry.
  7. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Entrants using multiple Facebook accounts will be disqualified. Entries must comply with the terms and conditions of Facebook.
  8. Each entrant agrees that they have independently developed and/or have the relevant authority/consent(s) to submit the Entry and will not infringe the intellectual property or any other rights of any person.
  9. Entries will not be accepted if deemed inappropriate or offensive by Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd (in its absolute discretion).
  10. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  11. The closing date for entries is Sunday 20th March 2022 at 23:59. After this date, no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  12. There will be one winner. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection of the winning Entries.
  13. The winner will be drawn at random from all the entries by a member of the Coastal Garden Buildings team on Monday 21st March 2022. The winner will be notified via a Facebook private message within 14 days of the closing date and announced on the Coastal Garden Buildings Facebook page.
  14. The prize is an insulated shoulder tote bag and large picnic blanket with two seahorse tea cups from the summerhouse range by navigate.ltd.uk. The total value is £69.00. It will be delivered to the winner at the address they provide, free of charge, or can be collected from Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd, Stewarts Christchurch Garden Centre, Lyndhurst Road, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 4SA within 28 days of notification that the prize is ready for collection.
  15. The winner must provide their name and a contact telephone number or email address. They must also provide their address if they wish to have the prize delivered to them. If a winner cannot provide any of the above details within 14 days of being contacted by Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd the winner’s entry will be deemed invalid and Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd reserves the right to select another winner from the remaining entries.
  16. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
  17. By entering, entrants understand that they are providing their information to Coastal Garden Buildings and not to Facebook. This competition is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion will be directed to Coastal Garden Buildings, not Facebook.
  18. The winner consents to Coastal Garden Buildings announcing their name publicly on their Facebook page as a prize winner, making copies of or publishing the whole or any part of the entry and otherwise exploiting the entry and any rights in relation to the entry for any purpose and without compensation. If you do not agree to this, please do not enter the competition.
  19. The information entrants provide will be used by Coastal Garden Buildings for the purpose of conducting this competition. Coastal Garden Buildings may disclose entrants’ personal information to its contractors and agents to assist in conducting this competition or communicating with entrants. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation.
  20. Coastal Garden Buildings reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time or offer a reasonable equivalent to the prize described. The winner may not exchange the prize for cash or other cash alternative.

February is the month of love and to celebrate we are running a competition on our Facebook page.

Tell us what you love about your garden for your chance to win a £50 Stewarts Garden Centre gift card. You could buy something even more beautiful for your garden. Or treat yourself to a delicious lunch in their coffee shop.

Post a picture of what you love about your garden on our Facebook page, or simply write in a comment. It could be your favourite plant, your most stunning view, your chosen place to relax in the sun – it’s up to you!

We can’t wait to celebrate what you love about your garden, especially as Spring approaches.

Here are the full Terms & Conditions of the competition:

Coastal Garden Buildings – Love Your Garden Competition – February 2022

  1. The promoter of this competition is Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd, Stewarts Christchurch Garden Centre, Lyndhurst Road, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 4SA.
  2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  3. The competition is open to registered users of Facebook, aged 18 or over, who are residents in the UK.
  4. Employees of Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd and its affiliates and any other persons or employees of companies associated with this competition and members of the families and households of any such persons, are not eligible to enter this Competition. Any such entries will be invalid.
  5. All information detailing how to enter this competition forms part of these terms and conditions. It is a condition of entry that all terms and conditions are adhered to. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  6. To enter, entrants must comment on a Coastal Garden Buildings Facebook page before the closing date. Text comments and photo comments are both acceptable forms of entry.
  7. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Entrants using multiple Facebook accounts will be disqualified. Entries must comply with the terms and conditions of Facebook.
  8. Each entrant agrees that they have independently developed and/or have the relevant authority/consent(s) to submit the Entry and will not infringe the intellectual property or any other rights of any person.
  9. Entries will not be accepted if deemed inappropriate or offensive by Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd (in its absolute discretion).
  10. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  11. The closing date for entries is Monday 28th February 2022 at 23:59. After this date, no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  12. There will be one winner. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection of the winning Entries.
  13. The winner will be drawn at random from all the entries by a member of the Coastal Garden Buildings team on Tuesday 1st March 2022. The winner will be notified via a Facebook private message within 14 days of the closing date. The winner will be announced on the Coastal Garden Buildings Facebook page.
  14. The prize is a Stewarts Garden Centre gift card with a value of £50. It will be posted to the winner by the address they provide, free of charge. It can also be collected from Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd, Stewarts Christchurch Garden Centre, Lyndhurst Road, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 4SA within 28 days of notification that the gift card is ready for collection.
  15. The winner must provide their name and a contact telephone number or email address. They must also provide their address if they wish to have the prize posted to them. If a winner cannot provide any of the above details within 14 days of being contacted by Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd the winner’s entry will be deemed invalid. Coastal Garden Buildings Ltd reserves the right to select another winner from the remaining entries.
  16. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law. Any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
  17. By entering, entrants understand that they are providing their information to Coastal Garden Buildings and not to Facebook. This competition is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion will be directed to Coastal Garden Buildings, not Facebook.
  18. The winner consents to Coastal Garden Buildings announcing their name publicly on their Facebook page as a prize winner, making copies of or publishing the whole or any part of the entry and otherwise exploiting the entry and any rights in relation to the entry for any purpose and without compensation. If you do not agree to this, please do not enter the competition.
  19. The information entrants provide will be used by Coastal Garden Buildings for the purpose of conducting this competition. Coastal Garden Buildings may disclose entrants’ personal information to its contractors and agents to assist in conducting this competition or communicating with entrants. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation.
  20. Coastal Garden Buildings reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time or offer a reasonable equivalent to the prize described. The winner may not exchange the prize for cash or other cash alternative.

Ever since the pandemic hit, we’ve seen an explosion of interest in home gyms. If you can’t go to the gym, why not bring the gym to you instead? Even though thankfully commercial gyms have reopened, many people have realised the benefits of having a home gym. With a gym right on your doorstep (literally!), it’s much easier to fit exercise into your daily routine. Your home gym can be tailored to precisely the equipment you need, as well as being a dual-purpose space for either working or relaxing at home.

We spoke to local personal fitness coach James Bovett, The Mudeford Coach, about how to design and equip your home gym.

“If you’re considering investing in a home gym, it pays to think upfront about what you want to use it for. This will determine everything – from the size and shape of the space to its location in your home or garden. What sort of exercise do you really enjoy? There’s no point in buying a rowing machine just because it doesn’t take up much space if you’ve actually never used one. If you love running, go with a treadmill. If you love cycling, build your home gym around your bike. Do what you love, and you will use the space so much more.

Location is essential when it comes to home gyms

Yes, you can try and hang a boxing bag in your garage. But if it’s freezing cold, you’ll never actually use it. Having a dedicated space specifically designed to meet your exercise needs is really important. Creating a separate garden building means you can tailor the area to what you need and equip it properly for use all year round. Think about:

  • Insulation to keep the building warm enough all year round. If your home gym is too cold, not only are you less likely to use it, you’ll also be more prone to injury, particularly if you are strength training as your body will cool down quickly in between steps/reps.
  • Ventilation, especially for the summer, to invite cooling air in as you raise your heart rate.
  • Inside and outside space – I love the idea of having bi-fold boors across the front and then a decked area outside. That way, with the doors open in the summer, you can use the equipment inside the gym whilst making the most of the fresh air and use the deck for your warm-up and stretching.

Power is a key consideration

Not only will you want electricity for lighting so you can use your home gym during darker winter mornings and evenings, but you may also want additional heating or air conditioning, to manage temperature extremes. Your equipment may also need power. Less critical if you’re thinking about weights, but if you want to use your Peloton interactive screen, apps like Zwift or have a TV on the wall for your Joe Wicks workout, then power is essential. A mini-fridge to keep cold water in the gym is also a nice touch or a sound system to blast your favourite play list.

Alongside power, think about wifi! Especially if you want to tap into online training or motivation. There are various options, such as wifi boosters or laying cables. They can all help you get your home wifi signal out to a garden building. But where you position your home gym in your garden can also make a big difference.

Do I need planning permission for a home gym?

This depends on the type of exercise you’re thinking of doing in your home gym. For example, if you’re planning on weightlifting or boxing-based training, this will require quite a different design. Do you want a flat roof or apex roof? You’ll need a higher ceiling than standard, should you wish to perform any overhead bar presses. You’ll also need to think about groundworks, like a reinforced concrete base and rubber matting inside to absorb any weights you drop down.

Punchbags will need to be hung from reinforced ceiling joists, not just standard ones. You can get freestanding bags, but they’re not as good/heavy-duty, and will take up even more floor space. Pullup bars can be wall or ceiling-hung but will also need to be attached to proper joists and allow you the height to pull yourself up without bumping into the ceiling. But generally, if you’re going for an exercise bike, rower, running machine or bench press, a standard garden building will be just fine. If your building is under 2.5m high, you are unlikely to need planning permission. Though it’s always best to check with your local authority.

Personalise the interior of your home gym to make it yours

There are some practicalities here, like using flooring that’s easy to clean. Porcelain tiles are highly durable and come in a vast array of shades and effects. Along with laminate flooring, they are both popular options. Just add an exercise mat for comfort. You’ll also want wall paint that is ok to be wiped down, like Farrow & Ball paint. Maybe you’d like to add a mirror to check your form or to take some progress pictures? Depending on the type of building you choose, be careful with how you attach items like this to the interior walls. Check with your building supplier/installer.

You may want to add some motivating quotes on the walls to keep you going when training gets tough. Or pictures of your fitness inspirations at their best, like Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Steve or Sir Mo Farah? You could even put up pictures of your family if that’s what inspires you to be more active.”

Add value to your home with a garden gym

Our director Martin Penny adds, “It’s a good idea to future-proof any garden building you invest in. A home gym can add real value to your property if you think about the long term. Can the building be utilised if you don’t want a home gym anymore? Things like positioning in the garden are important. You might think you want your home gym in a more shaded area of your garden. But would any future property owners prefer a garden room that’s bathed in sunshine?

Your garden gym can also be dual-purpose if you design it correctly. If you’re working from home, it can be a home office as well as a home gym. Either by zoning areas or going for a slightly bigger space, you can create a building that helps you not just exercise at home but also work, relax or entertain, by creating your own slice of outdoor living.

If you’re mulling over the idea, you can easily design your own building using an online configurator. Create your own garden building to suit your specific requirements. Get an itemised cost too, without even having to leave your home.”

Looking for home gym ideas?

Why not call us at Coastal Garden Buildings now on 01425 274000 to book an appointment to discuss your home gym? Or pop in to see our range of garden buildings in Christchurch, Dorset. We are conveniently located just opposite Stewarts Garden Centre, with plenty of free parking and a range of buildings for you to look around. Our expert team are on hand to give you planning and design advice. Or use our online configurator to design your garden building.

You can follow James on Instagram and Facebook to benefit from his fitness tips or get in touch with him to book a session. James works as a Personal Fitness Coach at Complete Active – Mudeford Quay Crossfit, Calibre Fitness, The Village Gym and can also coach you at his home or yours. He runs 2 circuits classes a week at Mudeford Wood Community Centre, Wednesdays at 7pm and Thursdays at 6pm. These are ideal classes for anyone looking to improve their fitness or get moving a little more – from complete beginners to seasoned athletes.