Since 2020 increasing numbers of people have been working from home. In fact, some people have enjoyed it so much, they’ve built dedicated offices in their gardens! Whether you call them garden rooms, garden pods, outdoor rooms or garden studios, it’s important that you keep them heated and comfortable. Which leads many people to ask, can you install a log burner in a garden office? Keep reading to find out!
What to think about before you install a log burner in a garden office
Whilst you may be filled with enthusiasm at the prospect of installing a cosy, warm log burner in your garden office, there are a few important points to consider.
Can your garden office accommodate a log burner?
Before you rush out and buy a log burner, you first want to make sure that your garden office meets the necessary requirements for a log burner:
Log burners can give off a considerable amount of heat, so it’s important you get the right size stove for your space and you have enough clearance around the stove. All stoves need a certain amount of clearance around them, so it’s important to measure the space in your garden office, so you know what size stove you can fit in and the clearance it requires.
It’s important to consider the floor of your garden office as this will have a bearing on the type of stove you can install.
Some stoves are tested so that they can be placed on a thin (12mm) hearth, even if the floor is made of wood, whereas other stoves will require a concrete/constructional floor.
Do you need planning permission to install a log burner in a garden office?
This is a question which has a variety of answers depending on your particular situation.
Whilst it’s possible to add a log burner to your home without planning permission, this isn’t always the case with garden offices.
For example, if you live in a listed building you will almost certainly have to obtain planning permission before installing a log burner in your garden office.
If you’re not sure if you require planning permission in your particular circumstances, then it’s always best to check with your local authority before you go ahead with any work.
Summary - it’s always a good idea to inform your local planning officer before you install a log burner in a garden office.
Do log burners in garden offices have to adhere to Building Regulations?
Yes. It is a requirement that log burners should be installed in a way that is compliant with Document J of the Building Regulations.
This is to ensure that the log burner has been installed in a safe manner and won’t pose a fire risk.
Other installation requirements
Aside from checking on planning permission, and adhering to Building Regulations, there are a number of other factors that you will need to think about when installing a log burner in your garden office.
Smoke control areas
Before purchasing your log burner, it’s important to check if your garden office is situated in a smoke control area.
Smoke control areas are parts of the UK where only approved types of log burners can be used.
To find out if you live in a smoke control area, you should contact your local authority.
If you are living in a smoke control area, then you’ll need to buy a DEFRA-approved log burner. These are log burners which have been specially designed for use in smoke control areas.
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Because you’ll be installing a solid fuel-burning appliance, you’ll be required to also install a carbon monoxide detector in your garden office.
This is because CO build-up can easily prove deadly, so you’ll want an indication if fumes are not being properly vented away from your garden office.
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In order for your log burner to function properly, it may be necessary to install additional air vents in your garden office.
A properly-qualified installer will be able to tell you what type and how many air vents you require.
Choosing the correct size log burner for your garden office
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Should you check the above factors and come to the conclusion that your garden office will be able to accommodate a log burner, then the next thing you’ll need to do is work out what size log burner will be appropriate.
This is important because if you choose a log burner that’s too small, it won’t be able to heat your office properly. Likewise, if you purchase a log burner that’s too big your office will become swelteringly hot every time you use it.
For the average garden office, you’ll want a log burner which has a heat output of 5kW or less.
If you’re unsure what size log burner is correct for your garden office, then use this handy ‘stove calculator’ from our partner company Direct Stoves:
Simply input your garden office’s measurements and insulation type and the stove calculator will tell you what size log burner will be most appropriate.
Who should install a log burner in a garden office?
As we mentioned earlier, if you want to install your log burner in a manner which is compliant with the Building Regulations, it’s strongly recommended that you use an appropriately qualified professional to do so.
If you are intending to install a wood burning or multifuel stove (AKA a log burner), then you should use a HETAS-qualified installer.
HETAS - the Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme - is the national body responsible for approving log burners for use in the UK.
HETAS also oversees a qualified installer scheme. Installers who are HETAS qualified are trained to install log burners in compliance with the Building Regulations.
To find your nearest HETAS-qualified log burner installer, use HETAS’ search portal here.
What do you need to install a log burner in a garden office?
Aside from the obvious - the log burner - there are a number of other parts and components that you’ll need in order to safely install a log burner in a garden office.
Your log burner will need to sit upon a suitable hearth. This is particularly important if your log burner will be freestanding (which it almost certainly will be in a garden office).
Before you buy a hearth, you should check the size of your log burner - this is because the hearth must have particular dimensions based on the size of the log burner.
It is expected that a hearth for a freestanding log burner, meets the following requirements:
> It is made from a sturdy, non-combustible material.
> It should be at least 12mm thick.
> It extends 300mm (12-inches) to the front of the log burner.
> It extends 150mm (6-inches) from the sides of the log burner.
> It must cover a minimum area of 840mm x 840mm.
Note, the above applies if your log burner raises the temperature of the hearth up to (but not exceeding) 100ºC. Should your log burner raise the temperature of the hearth above 100ºC, then all of the above applies, except the floor of your garden office will need to be a solid constructional floor (concrete slab).
Heat protection panels
Depending on the construction of your garden office, it’s strongly recommended that you fit heat protection panels on the walls nearest to your log burner.
Proper heat protection panels are made from 25mm thick calcium silicate board which is able to withstand the high temperatures generated by log burners. When fitting heat protection panels it’s vital that you level a 10mm ‘air gap’ between the panel and the wall that it’s shielding.
The log burner should be positioned at least 50mm away from these protection panels. In addition, heat protection panels should extend at least 200mm above the main body of the log burner.
There are a few products on the market such as Vlaze Heat Shields which add decoration as well as heat protection. There are also enclosure pods which act as a heat shield and hearth.
We offer the Charnwood Aire 3 as a kit with the pod included.
You’re going to need a way of getting the smoke and combustibles generated by your log burner, up and out of your garden office safely.
So, you’re going to have to invest in a suitable chimney flue.
Here at Trade Price Flues we recommend that garden offices always use twin-wall chimney flues.
This is because twin wall flue systems feature additional insulation, protecting any surrounding walls or materials from the hot smoke and combustibles travelling up the flue.
Twin wall flues are also designed to be used in properties or buildings which do not have a traditional chimney - which means they are perfect for use in garden offices.
Chimney flue kits for garden offices
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Here at Trade Price Flues we have created a specific twin wall chimney flue kit for garden offices and similar types of buildings.
The kit contains everything you need to create a fully-functioning chimney for a log burner in a garden office.
In our garden office twin wall flue kit, you get:
> 1x twin wall standard adapter.
> 2x 1,000mm twin wall straight length pipes.
> 1x 500mm twin wall straight length pipe.
> 1x twin wall rain cap.
> 1x twin wall roof support.
> 1x Dektie ‘Eazy Seal’ flashing.
> 1x twin wall storm collar.
> 4x twin wall locking bands.
> 1x twin wall 95-135mm wall support.
In short, almost everything you need to get your log burner up and running in your garden office.
Many log burners will come with a stove pipe included.
If you’re unfamiliar with stove pipes, these are long tubular sections of vitreous enamel tubing which are used to connect the log burner’s firebox to the chimney flue.
As such, they’re an essential piece of equipment! If your log burner doesn’t come with a stove pipe, then be sure to buy one that is of the appropriate size and diameter to fit your log burner.
One thing that many garden office owners overlook when it comes to log burners is firewood.
If you’re going to be using your garden office - and therefore log burner - on a regular basis, then you’ll need to have a plentiful supply of firewood, ideally near at hand.
So, think about where you’ll be able to store firewood near your garden office. Ideally, this storage will be a proper log shed.
But if that’s not possible, then anywhere that is well ventilated, raised slightly above the ground and protected from the worst of the elements will work.
The benefits of installing a log burner in a garden office
Having read this far, you may be wondering if you’ve got the time and/or knowledge to install a log burner into your garden office.
The good thing is - you don’t have to!
With the help of Trade Price Flues and a HETAS-qualified installer, installing a log burner in your garden office couldn’t be easier.
In fact, a log burner could even be the most efficient and best way of heating your garden office compared to the alternatives.
Let’s consider the benefits of installing a log burner in a garden office.
Reduced heating bills
How do you currently heat your garden office? If it has an electricity supply and you’re using an electric heater, the chances are you’ll be paying way over the odds to keep it warm.
The cost of electricity has risen in recent months (February 2022), and it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, we could all soon be paying the highest-ever electricity bills.
With a log burner, you can drastically reduce the cost of heating your garden office. Firewood is cheap, and it’s even cheaper if you’re able to find somewhere where you can source it for free!
So, if you’re thinking about working in your garden office throughout the colder months of the year, we’d strongly recommend investing in a log burner.
Ease of installation
Sure, there are certain things you do need to do to ensure your log burner is installed properly (as outlined above), but compared to other forms of heating, using a log burner in your garden office is a doddle!
For example, if you have a basic garden office which isn’t connected to the electricity supply, then to use an electric heater, you’ll need to dig trenches across your garden, run cables and piping to your office and have a qualified electrician come and hook everything up.
Likewise, if you wanted to use a gas heater, the work involved would be even more arduous, complex and costly.
Instead, a log burner can be installed by a qualified HETAS installer in only a few hours. Plus, once it’s installed, there’s practically no maintenance involved.
To make things even easier for you, we can speak directly to your HETAS installer and ensure they have all the correct parts for your log burner installation.
Compared to other types of heating appliances like electric heaters, log burners are incredibly long lasting.
Because they are so simple, there’s not really a great deal that can go wrong with a log burner.
You simply need to give it an occasional clean and make sure you’re burning properly seasoned firewood.
It’s realistic to expect a log burner to last decades - which when compared to the alternative heating appliances - is incredibly good value!
Log burners are eco-friendly
If environmentally considerations are near the top of your priority list, then a log burner should be your first choice to heat your garden office.
Because log burners use a renewable resource.
Buying your firewood from sustainably managed sources is far more environmentally friendly than using a heating appliance that uses a non-renewable resource such as oil or gas. Even electric heating appliances predominantly rely on electricity generated via polluting energy sources such as coal, oil and gas.
What’s more, modern EcoDesign log burners are incredibly eco-friendly. They give off practically no pollutants or particulates - so both you and your neighbours will be happy!
With a log burner, you are free of the shackles of mainstream energy providers.
With a log burner, you can truly take your garden office ‘off grid’.
Once you’ve made the initial investment in the log burner and installation, you won’t have anyone else demanding cash to keep your heating on. You can simply collect your own firewood to keep your garden office heated.
Log burners are cool!
This is a rather more subjective point, but what would you rather have heating your garden office whilst you work?
A sterile, boring electric heater? Or a crackling, glowing log burner?
We know what our answer would be.
Log burners have increased significantly in popularity in recent years and have certainly developed a cultural cache of their own.
If you want to really turn your garden office into a relaxing chill out zone or man cave, a log burner is certainly the coolest heating choice.
The best log burners for garden offices
If you think that you can meet all those requirements listed above, then you can definitely enjoy having a log burner in your garden office.
But, what are your options? Well, we’ve listed some of our most popular log burners for garden offices below.
Woodford Lowry 5 Wood Burning/Multifuel Stove
The Woodford Lowry 5 is the perfect log burner for a garden office. Robust, yet compact, and with a 5kW heat output, this is a log burner which ticks all the boxes for garden office heating.
It has a thick gauge steel body and a smooth crafted cast iron door that gives it a sleek, modern appearance. Complete with its large viewing glass, the Lowry 5 will be an impressive addition to even the grandest of home garden offices.
The Woodford Lowry 5 is also DEFRA-approved and EcoDesign compliant so is suitable for use in smoke control areas. It’s also highly efficient, with an efficiency rating of 75.6%, so it won’t make your firewood bills too high either!
Woodford Lowry 5XL Widescreen Wood Burning/Multifuel Stove
Should you be looking for a slightly larger log burner (but still with a smaller 5kW heat output), then the Woodford Lowry 5XL will be perfect.
This is a log burner which has a slightly larger, chunkier body, and a large widescreen viewing window. So, if you want to be able to sit in your garden office and enjoy the view of a blazing, crackling fire, this is the log burner for you!
It’s a log burner which is also easy to maintain thanks to its built-in riddling grate and ash pan.
What’s more the Woodford Lowry 5XL is EcoDesign compliant and DEFRA-approved so it can be used in smoke control areas with no issues.
Woodford Turing 5 Wood Burning/Multifuel Stove
If simplicity is what you’re after, then the Woodford Turing 5 stove has got you covered.
The Woodford Turing 5 has a nice, simple appearance with large viewing glass providing a panoramic view of the fire inside.
The Turing 5 has been designed for maximum environmental credentials and energy efficiency. So, it burns cleanly, giving off barely any particulate matter or other combustibles, whilst also being highly efficient as it generates its 5kW heat output.
It’s also a log burner which is EcoDesign ready and DEFRA-approved, so it’s suitable for use in smoke control areas.
We can help!
Have you got your heart set on a log burner, but you’re not sure what the installation involves?
Then talk to Trade Price Flues.
We’re happy to offer plenty of free advice and information.
What’s more, if you’re going to use a HETAS-qualified installer, simply point them in our direction and we can work with them to ensure that they have all of the correct parts and components to ensure the installation goes as smoothly as possible.
If you’ve got any questions right now, contact our friendly customer service team on 0161 7300 969 (Monday to Friday, 8am - 4.30pm), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Heat your garden office with Trade Price Flues
Whether you just need the components to install an existing log burner in your garden office, or you need everything including the log burner, then Trade Price Flues can help!
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