Frequently asked questions
What are the differences between the PO (Pod Office) and the expensive R1 and R2 Pod?
The biggest difference is "under the bonnet" in that the R1 and R2 Pods comply with building regulations. If this isn't an important factor for you then the PO Pod would be the way to go assuming the size is good for you.
What Pod models do you supply?
The R1 Pod is available from very small (1820mm x 1820mm) all the way up to 10m x 3.64m with prices ranging from €20, 000 up to €100,000. We launched the POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS1 Pod in January 2009 in the UK first and with constant improvement we now offer the latest version - the R1 - IRELAND's No 1 truly zero maintenance garden room.
The height of the R1, like all or Pods is 2.5m so is allowed under "permitted development" and 9 times out of 10, planning permission is not required. (There is an extended height version which adds approximately 300mm or 1ft to the interior floor to ceiling height)
The R1 is incredibly flexible with many options like flyover roofs, half windows, fanlight windows, large "picture" windows and doors positioned anywhere - even on the rear. Plus - it complies with building regulations - this is a huge factor if you want the best insulation and fire safety. The R1 is also portable (like all our Pods) so it remains your asset which you can take with you or sell on if your circumstances change.
The R2 is the big brother of the R1.
It's sizes range from 4550mm x 4550mm up to 10m x 4550mm.
The R2 is the R1 with a 4550mm (25ft) depth. If you require more space and you have the extra budget then this is the one for you.
The 3rd option we now offer is the game changing PO garden office which offers the best aspects of the R1 at a bargain price. Perfect for those requiring quality extra space for offices and hobbies and where the extra options like flyover roofs and window options are not crucial.
The PO garden office sizes range from 2.44m x 1.82m up to 6m x 2.44m and again, has an external height of 2.5m You won't find better value for money anywhere else:)
What height is the Pod?
The height of all the POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS Pods is 2500mm. This normally means no planning is required - even if you have the flyover roof, planning won't normally be required as this falls within "permitted development" for Pods and garden offices.
The R1 and R2 complies with building regulations - does this matter?
It does if you want maximum comfort from the cold weather in the winter and the warm weather in the summer. Complying with building regulations means you can live, sleep and eat in a R1 or R2- it is that well insulated. It is the ultimate insulated garden office.
There are also some situations where complying with building regulations is a legal requirement. I discuss this below...
From 25sqm to 30sqm size - you MUST have a garden room which complies with building regulations, unless you can position your garden room at least 1m away from all of your garden boundaries AND you never intend sleeping in it.
Above 30sqm you ALWAYS have to comply with building regulations (which the R1 and R2 do) - if you don't, then it is an illegal garden room and your council can tell you to take it down.
Worst case scenario is that if your garden room were to have a fire, and it then spread to a neighbours shed or worse - their home, then if your garden room is over 25 square metres and didn't comply with building regulations then you may not be insured for any of the damage caused by the fire.
The POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS Studio complies with building regulations and we will deal directly with your council, if required, to give them proof of compliance.
If you don't require building regulations or can't afford a R1 (or R2 if you want 25' or 4550mm depth) then there is a brand new "POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS Basics" or PO insulated garden office design which incorporates the core fundamentals of the POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS design, these are...
TRULY ZERO MAINTENANCE EXTERIOR.
Lots of suppliers now make the "no maintenance required" claim but simply ask to see one of their garden rooms which is 5 years old and had no painting or staining. It will look extremely weathered. We stopped supplying timber garden rooms in January 2012 for this reason.
The PO is portable so you can take it with you if you move home or sell it on if your circumstances change.
It comes with the IRELANDs longest guarantee.
It is fully insulated with 90mm of ecotherm and complies with permitted development so you don't need approval from your council to install it.
It has "A" rated double glazed sealed units which are equivalent to triple glazing.
Insurance rated multi-point door locks.
It is the IRELAND's biggest selling contemporary garden office.
If I move home, can I take my garden office with me?
Yes. Portability is crucial..
Portability increases the long-term value of your garden room because it gives you options.
You can take it with you if you move home.
Or you can sell it to a third party if your circumstances change.
You need to allow at least â‚¬3k plus Vat for moving a small garden office (near our workshop address).
Do you make many sizes for the room in the garden?
Yes, the R1 goes up in depths of 910mm (3ft) increments.
It can go to any size in the other direction - e.g. 9100mm or 10010mm etc.
The R2 has an extra strength roof and can go up to 25' depth (4550mm) and any size in the other direction.
The PO studio are a different size format -
it comes in 4 sizes - 8ft x 8ft (2440mm x 2440mm),
12ft x 8ft (3660mm x 2440mm) - 16ft x 8ft (4880mm x 2440mm) and 20ft x 8ft (6.1m x 2.44m).
Don’t forget that we quote INTERNAL sizes since we believe this is the usable space that you are interested in for your garden office or garden annexe.
To arrive at our external sizes, it is very simple: just add 550mm to each dimension (or 1ʹ 10ʺ) for the R1 and R2. Add 250mm (10 inches) for the PO garden office.
e.g. For the R1 and R2, a 3640mm x 3640mm Studio externally will be 4190mm x 4190mm. Or in feet, a 9ʹ x 9ʹ will be 10ʹ 10ʺ x 10ʹ 10ʺ externally.
Do I need garden office planning permission?
With the low roof (we call them LoLine) Pods like the POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS, probably not since your studio height is 2.5m. This means it is allowed under what's called "permitted or exempted development."
The main disadvantage with garden office planning permission is the time it takes.
If you want to handle the planning application, we can supply the drawings you need, at no cost.
If your concerned about planning, it is worth visiting your council with a rough layout of your garden, and a photo of the studio you want, because they can often just give you, “a letter of permitted development”.
This means you don’t need a full planning application. A letter of permitted development is not a legal requirement though – if you know that it all complies – then you can just go straight ahead with your Pod installation.
What windows/door configuration do the Pods come with?
The R1 and R2 Pods come with one entrance door as standard with full length windows on the frontage to either side of the door.
The door is positioned centrally, unless the studio size dictates otherwise or you want it in a different position.
With the POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS garden office we can give you virtually any configuration you wish since this flexibility is has been designed by POS, Want a door on the rear? No problem. Want a half window on the right side – no problem.
Simply email a rough sketch of what you want and we can do a floor plan and costings for you. I can then order a 3d drawing for you of your garden office or garden annexe.
The new PO also has full length windows and a single door which can be positioned anywhere across the frontage. French doors are not an option with the PO Pod.
Can you supply a more bespoke garden office design?
The PO has fewer options but yes we can with the R1 Studio…
The R1 is very flexible and allows for doors in any position, windows in any position and we have many options.
For example we now supply…
Half windows if you want to put your desk right up to your garden office wall.
High “Fan Light” windows for daylight into a toilet say or extra light for artwork.
Decoupled treadmill flooring if you want to reduce the vibration of the whole Pod whilst exercising (also an option with the PO Pod)
Compact shower, toilet, wash hand basin, extractor fan and boiler cupboard to run it all. Perfect after a gym workout or as living space.
External down lights if you have a flyover roof. Spectacular in the evenings.
We now supply a recessed blind for €200 (per window/door) which is excellent – especially on doors or tilt windows where the movement of conventional blinds can mean they can be damaged.
Outside corner pillar lights which show off your Pod in its best evening light (PO also)
Internal partition walls and doors if you need more than one space e.g. a cubicle for your toilet or a kitchen area or bedroom.
Extra decking around your garden office as a relaxation area – looks great and helps avoid mud from wet days entering your room in the garden. We have standard depths of decking which are 910mm - 1820mm & 2730mm.(3ft, 6ft and 9ft.) Also an option with the PO Pod.
Our R1 comes in our most popular colour combination of light oak windows, green walls and light oak facias and soffits although other colours are available. The PO standard colours are anthracite windows, corners and fascia with merlin (light grey) walls.
We can also supply light oak walls now although this option is more expensive as the material comes from Italy. Due to the expense, some customers have the light oak walls on the "visible" part of their studio and green for the walls which are at the rear or hidden by side fences and hedges.
Can a toilet, sink or shower be installed in my Pod?
We don't install sinks, toilets or showers in the PO Pod but for the R1 and R2.
The other alternative is...
If you just want a toilet or kitchen installing, a local (to you) builder or plumber should be able to give you far more choice and better prices for doing what is fairly straight forward work.
Please note though that all the toilet, shower and kitchen options we supply are designed to be portable. It's unlikely that your local builder will bear this in mind when he installs a toilet or kitchen for you.
What colours are available for my garden office?
All of our Pods can be supplied in the following colours...
Windows...light oak or anthracite grey.
Exterior walls, corner pillars, fascia’s and soffits can be supplied in merlin grey (light grey), anthracite grey (dark grey), juniper green (dark green), black (please note that black will "fade" more quickly than other colours.), oak (please note the "oak" wall panels are expensive compared to the other colours.).
The most popular R1 and R2 colours are light oak windows, juniper green wall panels and light oak pillars fascia’s and soffits. There is a small surcharge for the alternative colour options because we don't keep them in stock.
The standard colours for the PO garden office are anthracite windows, corners and fascia with merlin grey exterior walls.
How Long Does It Take To Install A Room In The Garden?
Small Pods can be completed in one day.
Larger studios can be 2 or 3 days and the very large studios 5 or 6 days.
Pod Living’s clever design means that our speed of installation is one of the major ways we can keep our costs low.
Please do bear in mind that during the winter, the days are shorter and so the install days may extend.
Also bear in mind that we have no control over the weather and that poor weather can upset our fitting schedule considerably, so you will have to be patient with us if this is the case.
Do I Need A Concrete Base For The Room In The Garden?
No, the Pod sits on a chassis which can be adjusted to account for uneven ground, this in turn sits upon concrete feet that can sit straight on soil, grass, gravel e.t.c.
This gives a considerable cost saving and means your Pod can be sited on very sloping ground without an expensive, huge, concrete base. Concrete is one of the worst offenders for climate change, and our bases use roughly 5% of what a full concrete base would need for a room in the garden.
Is The Pod Insulated?
Yes, - you won't find a better insulated garden room. This is the "hidden aspect" of most suppliers designs - they are reluctant to discuss this aspect in full since from the outside, you simply cannot tell.
One of our main competitors only use 40mm of ecotherm in their walls - I had to email for this information as it's not discussed on their website. The R1 and R2 have 105mm of insulation and even our "Basic" PO uses 90mm of ecotherm. This is a crucial and "hidden" part of a garden room, especially since severe weather hits a garden room on 6 sides, whereas a room in your house may only have 1 or 2 outside walls - your garden room will have 6 - so it has to be extremely well insulated to be comfortable.
The R1 and R2 comply with the latest building regulation standards for houses.
This means your studio will comply for fire regulations and insulations values.
It's also why we don't discount the studios - we couldn't supply this quality at a lower price. If you sign up to our newsletter you will see more detailed information about these aspects and if budget is an issue - checkout the PO "Basics" Pod - it's still 100% truly zero maintenance.
Is The Pod Secure?
Yes. A key feature throughout the design was the peace of mind in knowing equipment and data will be safe. 24-7 Limited are our exclusive partners that offer full security and surveillance all day and night.
The Pods glass is toughened and the door/windows are fitted with insurance rated locks (see certificate below).
We also prefer all our doors opening inwards for extra security (this hides the hinges) although we do install french doors opening outwards and we can change the way any door opens - if you wish.
What is the internal finish?
For all the Pods...The floor is covered with an oak laminate flooring. This is 8mm thick and is a good quality laminate flooring. If you are working with water or need a tougher floor, we also install Aquastep flooring which is very good in bathrooms or if you simply want a longer lasting floor.
The ceiling is a plain white mdf and plywood on the R1 and PO.
The walls are white "proboard" panelling used to comply with building regulations for fire and thermal qualities on the R1 and R2. The walls on the PO are mdf.
Ideally the walls and ceiling need 3 coats of paint. We charge a small (subsidised) fee
to paint 2 coats of undercoat on the interior walls, doors, and ceiling panels - we do this at our workshop.
We only paint white sorry - and we don't do the painting on site because of the drying time required between coats. This would then be ready for you to paint just the top final coat.
On the R1 the double electric sockets are fitted flush, 450mm above the floor. 6 double sockets are included in the price of the R1 and R2 Pods.
The PO Pod double socket is surface mounted. It comes with 1 x double socket but more can easily be added for a small fee. Also - high sockets (at approx 1200mm) can be added in all the garden studios.
The R1 and R2 internal lighting is modern down lighters, using long life, low wattage, very bright LED bulbs.
The PO internal lighting is GU10 style led bulbs which are adjustable on a strip above the Pod windows and door.
What guarantee do you supply?
The longest in Europe.
A unique 11 year guarantee on the external structure, 1 year longer than the usual 10 year guarantee, such is our confidence in the POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS materials and design. A special guarantee and combined with the fact that we require no deposit, gives you complete peace of mind AND we'll take your POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS Pod back if your not happy
What heating do you need in the studio?
Normal electric heaters are fine but for all year use - we do recommend heat exchange (air conditioning units) since they can be heaters in the winter and be cool in the summer.
Do the Pods come with internal lighting?
Yes. The lighting on the new R1 and R2 has been updated to the latest LED bright, low voltage, low wattage, long life bulbs which are down lighters from the ceiling.
These bulbs are very economical to run.
They have a manufacturers lifespan of 40000 hours. They have a standard 1 year guarantee but if you register with the company, they lengthen this to 5 years and if any of the units are faulty in this time, they will replace or repair them.
The PO lighting is GU10 style adjustable led bulbs which run on a strip above the Pod windows and door. They are very bright long life bulbs.
What flooring do you install in the Pods?
We install 2 types of flooring...
Oak laminate which is 8mm "V" groove and a more expensive Aquastep which is water proof and tougher.
IMPORTANT: Please note that office chairs with castors will eventually damage virtually any flooring. This is because there is continual abrasion, usually from hard nylon castors which when combined with body weight and a touch of grit or dirt, becomes a recipe to permanently damage your floor. A protective mat can help stop this happening.
Also, rubber castors may help but even then, a 12 stone man moving around for 7 hours a day will still be an issue on any laminate or wood floor even with daily cleaning and vacuuming. If this is an issue for you, you'd be best looking at the Aquastep flooring which has a longer lifespan.
What internal height are the loline studios?
The New R1 is approx 2080mm or 6' 10''
We do also offer a taller interior which is popular with dance teachers (they can wave their arms about:-) This "extended" height studio is approx 7' 6'' but please note - you will need planning for this OR you can do what one of our customers did and dig a 300mm hole in your Garden to avoid planning. Please also double check these dimensions if you are buying tall furniture to put in your studio.
What tax allowance can I set against my studio?
A recent customer said that because our studios are portable, then 100% of the purchase price was tax deductable for his business but you should always discuss your situation with your own financial advisor.
What are the materials used for the Pod roof? Is a Sedum roof an option?
The roof on all our Pods uses a material called epdm.
It is a Firestone product with a 50 year lifespan which is similar to rubber and comes in one piece - regardless of the size, it always comes in one piece which means there are no gaps for rain or snow to get through.
On top of the epdm we always install gravel. Gravel enhances the look as epdm is not pretty - this means when you or your neighbour look down on your Pod from a bedroom that it is far prettier. The gravel also helps stop leaves clogging up the gutters and down pipes and reduces the noise from rainfall inside your Pod.
We don't recommend sedum as a topping for any of the Pods for a couple of reasons - sedum can get extremely heavy with rainfall or snow soaking into it and sedum also needs maintenance at least twice a year to keep on top of it. Gravel requires less maintenance.
What Is The Width Of The Pod Doors When Opened?
The width of the door for the PO and R1/7 is 730mm when opened. The door frame is 880mm wide.
What is the lifespan or maintenance-free period of each pod?
The POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS offers "quarter century" maintenance free-time, since 25 years is the minimum lifespan of the exterior materials exposed to the Irish weather as advised by the manufacturers.
If you live within 2km of the coast then the decision to repaint may be required after 25 years. This is due to the salt air which can be very corrosive.
We are the No 1 supplier in Europe of truly zero maintenance Pods. (We use steel, upvc, glass and epdm - no timber!)
All timber garden rooms require looking after - even the most expensive cedar clad designs.
If you are looking at a timber studio as an option I'd recommend visiting an existing customers garden room since showroom timber studios will constantly be maintained and may even be indoors so you won't see the inevitable weathering.
if you own a Pod Office Solutions Pod, that's 25 years where you won't have to worry about painting or staining your studio. A weight off your mind, as well as a long term cash saving and zero pollution from toxic chemicals to maintain a timber garden room.
Paints and stains are very polluting and having to do this every 2 to 4 years is a large job.
With your Pod you have more time to enjoy your Pod, garden office or garden annexe.
To ensure the prolonged life of your POD OFFICE SOLUTIONS studio and protect your investment all our studio construction methods have been thoroughly tested with independent structural calculations and U value calculations, Certificate of conformity/Kitemark licence and condensation analysis documentation are all available upon request.