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Alex's Garden Room Man Cave

acgwilliam

Active Member
So the time has come to build my very own man cave in the garden. We moved into our new house two weeks ago so after quickly unpacking the rest of the house work has begun on the man cave. The base was laid today and the rest of the building will go up over the next few weeks in stages.

I'm fortunate enough to work for a company who build garden rooms as part of their business so I have quite a lot of help along the way.

The garden room will measure 5.4m x 3.6m internally with a 3.8m double sliding door to the front to allow light (and me) in. The plan is to have 2/3 sofas, plus 2 TVs, a Sky UHD box (if they hurry up and release one), the BT UHD box and an AVR with at least 5.1 surround sound.

As I mentioned the base went down today, and the main building frame will be constructed next week. The building will be plasterboarded on the inside, so I'll then have to arrange to have it plastered, wait for that to dry before getting it painted and finally have the flooring and electrics finished off.

I'm also planning on having a WiFi air conditioning unit installed to keep the temperatures level all year round. The WiFi element will allow me to turn on the heating before going outside.
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
Kit Wise I've got a pretty much blank canvas which is pretty rare, as I've always just added little bits and bobs to the set up as I've gone.

I took advantage of a huge price drop due to a price match and an additional 10% saving in John Lewis today to pick up a 65" 8500 Samsung TV, which will be the main screen. I'll also have a secondary 55" W805 (I Think) 1080p Sony from 2013 which will be wall mounted to the right hand wall, and has a mount which enables me to turn it out towards the main seating area.

I'm planning on buying the Denon AVRX3200W which supports Dolby Atmos for future proofing as my main receiver. The biggest benefit to this is that it will work as an HDMI matrix as well, allowing me to send the various input feeds (Sky, BT, PS4, PC, etc) to either of the 2 screens from one app.

Speaker wise I'm less decided. I don't really want to spend much more than £1200 on speakers and sub at this stage, so I was looking at some Monitor Audio Bronze floor standers, rear and centre and a REL T5 Sub, or the Cambridge Audio AERO 5.1 Black package from Richer Sounds. I'm pretty much a complete noob to speaker matching and buying so any input here would be great.

Other kit will include the BT Ultra HD box, a PS4, a UHD Blu Ray player after christmas (once they've launched) and a PC. I'll also add a Sky Hd/ 4k box as and when it's launched to give me all the football.
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
This is how the garden looked when we bought the house. The gardens pretty small but I figured with the weather we have I'd use a building more than I'd use the garden.



So today was base day. Before I started I had to lift a patio, and get everything as level as possible. The building sit's on a steel ring beam, which sits on a series of mini piles, so whilst the piles can be adjusted in height to level the building it's easier if the ground is flat to start with.

Off I went with my spade and dug out one corner of the plot where the building was going and went off to work feeling quite pleased with myself only to come home and find a duck pond had developed in the hole as the clay soil doesn't really drain.




Fortunately we managed to bail this out with a small bucket and an old mug and we were able to lay the base without too much hassle.







I'll post more updates as the build progresses.
 

lukeredpath

Active Member
Is that from thegardenoffice.co.uk? Watching with interest as they were one of the suppliers I was considering for mine next year. Their prices are very competitive.
 

Minty

Well-known Member
Looking great so far. Something my b in law is very interested in in the not too distant future.

Good luck with the rest of the project. Subscribed.

M
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
If you don't mind me asking, what is your budget for the building (excluding all the decorating, furniture, AV stuff)?
I'm looking for something similar, but to use as a shed/workshop.
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
So today was the first day of building in earnest. Typically the heavens opened but the rain let off and allowed us to crack on with the building.

First up the floor panels were added to the ring beam.


Then we screwed the walls panels together.


Support is added above the doors.


And eventually the roof was added, as well as the doors and windows.



We managed to get the glass in and the building water tight by the end of the day but it was too dark to get any photos by then. AV wise I've also wired in a double sky feed which is then coiled up by the side of the building, ready to run around the back wall, fence and up to the sky box. I've also done the same with an armoured cat6 cable, which will be run back to the house and straight into the BT hub.

Internally I've run 2 speaker cables to each of the rear and front positions which then terminate behind where the AV bench will sit. These are all run through the walls. The biggest challenge here was keeping track of which cable is which. I went for the old school approach of post it notes cut right down and then selotaped to each cable so I can easily connect everything up to the right port on the av receiver once all is finished.

I'm considering using a wall plate for the speaker connection. Has anyone had any experience with these? Do they affect quality at all and are they easy to use?

I've also run an HDMI cable from the right hand wall to where the AV receiver will be through the walls which will provide a feed for the second TV.

Tomorrows job will be to run all the electrical cables for the 8 double sockets, wall lights and external lights, as well as installing the deck and finishing off the outside. On Friday it will then be plasterboarded inside ready for plastering next week.

In terms of budget typically £18-20k for the building depending on the options selected. I've then probably spent another £5k ish on kit for inside and an air conditioning unit which will heat and cool.
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
Sorry about the delay in updates, had a weekend in Rome for SWMBO's birthday. 2nd day build progress saw the outside cladding finished off and the majority of the plasterboard attached on the inside ready for plastering.



The cladding on the underside of the roof panels and around the outside has also been added, as well as the guttering to the rear.



Inside the building is a little muddy. I decided not to bother with boards to protect the grass as the whole thing is being replaced with patio/decking and artificial grass after the building has gone in but a combination of heavy rain and poor drainage in the garden led to the garden resembling a trench.

Before the plasterboard was attached I got to run all the cables through the walls. I've run 2 sets of speaker cables to each position which will provide Atmos future proofing. There is also a sky and ethernet feed coming from the main house which comes in behind where the main TV bench will sit.







Layout wise the plan is to get the room looking something like the graph paper below. I'm not 100% sure on the location of the Besta units to the left hand side as the air con unit inside will now be on the side wall, rather than the back wall in the drawing. I have the TV arriving for the main wall in the next week, and already have the second TV.



The next job is to finish off the plasterboarding, install back boxes for all the sockets and to have the building plastered. Plasterers are booked in on Wednesday, which hopefully should see it ready for painting 10 days or so later. I'm hoping for some better weather to speed up the drying process.
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
The plasterboarding is now all complete. The plasterer has also arrived this morning and will hopefully finish off tomorrow. Sorry about the lack of quality photos but I'm having to nip out in the mornings before work as it's dark in the evenings when I get back.







So the back boxes for all of the sockets are now installed. The speaker cables just feed out of the walls but I'll just screw some brush front plates onto these to make them look neater. I plan on putting wall mounted speakers at the rear which should hide where the cables come into the room anyway.





I also need to get the mop out and mop the floor from all the mud. The grass is slowly coming back to life but I have someone coming to give me a quote tomorrow to run paving from the house to the man cave.

I'm currently waiting to see what Sky's announcement is next week before deciding which box to add for my multiroom. I'm hoping it's a 4K one but we will have to see. I've already got the 4k BT box for Champions League games which will go in the man cave which is currently situated in the lounge.

The TV get's delivered tomorrow so that will give me a kick up the bum to hope the plaster dries and and to get the room decorated. Once it's all painted I can lay the laminate flooring, add the skirting and get the electrics finished off. I'll also be adding the WiFi air con unit. Just need to decide 100% on speakers and av receiver and to get these ordered ready for the big install.

Currently debating app remote electrics. I've seen the Lightwave RF series which seems to make sense unless anyone has used anything better? Ideally I'd like to be able to control both the lights which are wired in at the switch, and the lights which are plugged into the sockets from the same app. I'll then have external garden lights installed using the same system.

Most importantly I need to pick a Blu-Ray for the big premiere.
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
So the plasterer has finished and now just got to wait for it to dry before I can paint. This could be a long week! I, hoping it will be ready to paint on Saturday but that could be wishful thinking.

Kit shopping wise I now have a dilemma I was hoping for some help with. I was planning on buying the £750 Denon AVRX3200 but have now seen the Pioneer VSX930 which is almost half of the price.

DENON AVRX3200WBlack Atmos AV Receiver

PIONEER VSX930Black Atmos AV Receiver

My main needs are at least 6 in and 2 independent HDMI outs for the 2 tvs, Dolby atmos for future proofing and to be controlled using an app.

Is the Denon really worth the extra money? I'm fairly sure I'll be pairing it with the Monitor Audio Bronze B5 speaker package

http://www.richersounds.com/package/speakers/speaker-packages/pah012549
 

peter-d-w

Active Member
So the plasterer has finished and now just got to wait for it to dry before I can paint. This could be a long week! I, hoping it will be ready to paint on Saturday but that could be wishful thinking.

Kit shopping wise I now have a dilemma I was hoping for some help with. I was planning on buying the £750 Denon AVRX3200 but have now seen the Pioneer VSX930 which is almost half of the price.

DENON AVRX3200WBlack Atmos AV Receiver

PIONEER VSX930Black Atmos AV Receiver

My main needs are at least 6 in and 2 independent HDMI outs for the 2 tvs, Dolby atmos for future proofing and to be controlled using an app.

Is the Denon really worth the extra money? I'm fairly sure I'll be pairing it with the Monitor Audio Bronze B5 speaker package

Monitor Audio BRONZE B5 5.1 Black | 5.1 Speaker Package | Richer Sounds
The Pioneer looks to be very good value and I doubt that there would be an appreciable difference in the Denon. Might be worth listening to them both if you can though. What deal did you get on the TV?
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
The Pioneer looks to be very good value and I doubt that there would be an appreciable difference in the Denon. Might be worth listening to them both if you can though. What deal did you get on the TV?
Thanks, I'll pop down to Richer Sounds and see if I can get a demo.

I bought the TV from John Lewis but my wife works for them so got 12% discount off the shop price of £2400 so worked out quite nicely
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
image.jpeg
image.jpeg


Plaster is pretty much dry now. These photos are from this morning. A couple of oil filled radiators with the doors open helped speed up the process.

I will give it a couple of mist costs of white on Saturday before hopefully painting Sunday. Finally starting to make progress!
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
So this weekend has finally given me the chance to get outside in the light and assess progress. Patio is coming along nicely and runs flush with the deck step on the front. Just needs finishing around the edges and pointing in.

This will hopefully be done on Monday time allowing.
image.jpeg

image.jpeg


I've also been able to start painting. Progress took a while as I had to fill the plaster imperfections and sand down the whole room but I've finally completed my watered down coat of white on the whole room. Tomorrow I'll be up early and hopefully get the main painting done, ready for the flooring to be installed during the week.
image.jpeg
 

peter-d-w

Active Member
I'm a little worried for you that I don't see any provision for drainage? It would be a shame to have to negotiate 2in of water pooling on the new patio whenever you want to retreat to your new shed.
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
It's ok, it's on a slight slope, the water will all run off towards the deck step and then drop down through the gap. The building is then sat up 6 inches from the ground so it's got plenty of places to go (is the plan anyway)

It rained pretty heavily on Friday and dried up and disappeared in an hour so I'm hoping it won't be much different once it's been pointed in
 

peter-d-w

Active Member
Your picture after digging out the grass shows that the water pools on the clay soil. I wouldn't want all that water under a wooden building especially as it looks to be set on wooden battens on top of the steel ring beam. It might pay to install land drains front and rear and route them to a soakaway at the bottom of the garden. I have recently had a similar structure built in my garden and dug out a soakaway for the rainwater from the roof to run into.
 

barry7767

Active Member
A soakaway is unlikely to be of use if the ground is clay soil, particularly if it already pools. Plus they have to be sited 5m from any building so placement could be difficult?
 

peter-d-w

Active Member
That's a good idea, it's literally that corner as the rest of the ground is in a slope, I'm probably putting artificial grass to the left of the building so I will put a soak away under that
I would advise that you chat to your patio layers tomorrow while you still have time to make some changes. Dig a big hole and drop in a load of rubble and or gravel before filling it in. It will make some difference even in clay soil. I used a perforated plastic land drain the full width of the rear of the building set in gravel and ran it into a 1M x 1M x 1M approx soakaway but anything will help. If you are installing artificial grass to the side that is even more reason to provide some extra drainage.
 

acgwilliam

Active Member
Will have a chat to them regarding soak away but a few places I've looked suggest not much use on clay. Thanks for the tips though.

The floor incidentally is made of metal so no issues with that and water underneath.

Today saw a little progress as I continued painting. Two coats of white mean the ceiling is complete and I've now painted the three non feature walls grey.

Here's a panoramic of progress after the white coat, pics of the grey to follow tomorrow.
 

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