If Making Beautiful Garden Buildings Is Wrong, We Don’t Want To Be Right…

Morning,

I hope Luther Ingram doesn’t mind me paraphrasing his great song…

I thought I’d take a little time out to write to you this morning. It’s been a bit crazy here at KSB Towers lately. Spring is finally upon us, our gardens are coming to life and even the mercury is rising…

The sun is out, well it was earlier. 

And you’re thinking about that new summerhouse you’ve been putting off or maybe it’s time to get serious about this working from home situation and make things a bit more ‘permanent’ – you need a dedicated working space and let’s be honest, some peace & quiet to get some work done without distractions. 

Sheds need updating or replacing, or you’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and get that workshop you’ve been promising yourself. 

Whatever your project, you have come to us, so thank you. 

If you’ve been given a build/delivery date that’s a bit longer than you’d anticipated, we’re so sorry. Our team here in Chartham are working flat out to make sure you get exactly the building you want, and the quality and craftsmanship that you expect from us. 

It will take a bit longer but we always aim to get it right and we don’t compromise on build quality ever, as you may know. 

So please bear with us, we only stop for tea, biscuits and the odd slice of lemon drizzle cake (all donations warmly appreciated…)

Any questions, call us between 9-5.30 Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays) and 9-12 on Saturdays. Or you can drop by our showsite just up the road on the main A28 where you’ll find a selection of our garden buildings. 

Remember,  we only build to order i.e bespoke. The showsite and our photos here on our website are purely for inspiration…

Have a long and enjoyable Easter weekend, take care.

All the team at KSB

7 Alternative Uses For Your Garden Office/Studio…

Hi, last year we launched our new modular home office/studio building. And while we were taking photos and shooting a video on our showsite just up the road…

KSB Modular Home Office/Studio Building

Well it got me thinking. 

Apart from using it as an office or a home studio, what else could you use it for? 

So here are 7 ideas…

  1. Outside bar/catering unit – full length bi-folding doors mean you could easily have an open/walk-up bar or food counter
  1. Mini art gallery/exhibition space – plenty of light…
  1. Sales unit – use it for product demos or sell your products
  1. Commentary box – again, you have full length bi-folding doors which you can roll back in the summer for a panoramic view. 
  1. Tiny home – fit a mezzanine half-floor. Ideal for seaside chalet maybe? 
  1. Home cinema – set up a huge screen with speakers, roll back those doors and gather round
  1. Mini stage for mini plays? Nursery/school use perhaps?
  1. Mobilise it – instead of a concrete base, put it on a trailer and take it to your customers/audience! – OK I’ll check this is doable but I can’t see why not?

      OK 8 ideas, but, food for thought eh? 

      #kentsectionalbuildings #bespoke #homegardenoffice #homegardenstudio #bespokegardenrooms

If Carlsberg Built Home Office Garden Buildings, They Would Probably Look Like This…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCj8mhzyTgY

An increasing number of people now find themselves ‘working from home’ – it is either entirely new to them or has simply become the ‘status quo’ rather than an occasional day or two a month. 

So a permanent, dedicated, stand alone working space is now a necessity. 

Enter the home office/studio garden building.

A building that will allow you to set up shop at home without the distractions and inconvenience that can sometimes cause. 

A building that will look good in your garden, will be hand made by skilled craftsmen to order, in other words, a quality, bespoke garden building. You will be proud to show friends and family, and proud to sit and work in, looking out through those glorious bi-folding doors offering a panoramic view of your garden. 

Your new home office will be light, those to those full length bi-folding doors, and you can leave your work stuff in there – in situ – without fear of it being moved or having coffee or food spilt all over it. 

And you can rest assured, it will be safe & secure. 

Those solid oak bi-folding doors are ultra secure – stainless steel fittings,54 mm think with 24mm toughened double glazed doors, 3 point locking system and internal slide bolts.

And…

You can add heat in the midst of Winter if you need it or in the Summer, open up those doors to keep you cool. 

And finally, you can even reclaim some tax too

What’s not to like? 

Our latest modular home office garden room is available to view at our showsite on the A28 near the junction with Station Road here in Chartham if you fancy a close look…

But don’t ponder too long, we have a bit of a waiting list now. 

If you have any questions or you’re ready to order, call us on 01227 738 374

Home office/studios – what you can claim back tax for & what you can’t…

If you’re now working from home more often then you might consider adding a purpose built home office in your garden. 

Working from home can be great, but it also has its distractions and you may struggle to separate home from office in terms of boundaries and storage etc. 

This is where a dedicated, purpose built home office garden building can be the ideal solution. You get space, peace & quiet, storage room for your business and a beautiful view, not to mention lockable doors! 

But what are the tax perks? Are there any? 

Yes and no. Before we go any further, you can get this post in a handy PDF to read later if you like, here it is

Let’s get the bad news out the way. Although a garden building is officially a moveable item (can be done but usually they stay put) the HMRC view it as a structure from whence your biz operates so unfortunately, you can’t claim the initial build cost/price. 

Even associated costs like delivery and erection charges, even the cost of decoration fall into this evil trap. 

Now for the good news: 

You can claim for cost of furniture for example under capital allowances. 

You can also claim for the cost of thermal insulation if you feel you need it (our brand new home office comes with beautiful double glazed folding doors with the most secure locking you could wish for) 

You can claim for running costs such as heating, lighting and running water if you have a separate supply into your new home office building (not extended from your home) 

Repairs are also included, this includes redecoration costs for example. 

More good news:  The VAT rules regarding structures are different to those for income tax & corporation tax. Although as we outlined earlier, you can’t claim for the entire purchase cost, you can claim the VAT element of your new home office garden building – HURRAH 

This short guide is the briefest of guides. We would always advise you to check with your accountant…

For photos, videos, typical specification and prices please visit us online at https://kentsectional.co.uk/our-range/studio-home-offices/

All About The Base – FAQ’s

When it comes to preparing to install your new bespoke garden building, you need to think about the base for that building, irrespective of what size it is.

Essentially you have two options:

  1. Build it yourself or
  2. Ask us to build it for you

 If you’re thinking ‘how hard can it be? I’ll get Bob to do it for me, he’s a builder…’

Here are some frequently asked questions – and answers – which may help you (or Bob) get it right.

And you do have to get it right. Lack of planning and preparation in building your base can cause problems with the installation and later affect the building itself.

 So without further ado, let’s crack on…

How big does the base have to be?

If you have ordered a 10’ x 6’ shed the base has to be 9’10” x 5’10”, so whatever size building it has to be 2” or 50mm off each dimension

What is it made of? Concrete I assume?

We can offer a timber frame with a floor but depending on the site conditions we can lay a concrete base.  

This consists of 4” hardcore and 4” of concrete including a polythene damp proof membrane. 

I have trees in my garden, is that an issue?

We cannot be responsible for tree roots and if a tree is close or in the way of the building a tree surgeon will have to remove the tree and grind out the stump.  

If we lay a base on this ground or any ground that may be subject to movement we will include reinforcing mesh

Are there any restrictions on where I can put my building/base?

We advise you to contact your local council just to make sure but there shouldn’t be any restrictions

What will it cost?

All bases are priced individually and a site survey is normally needed

What access do you need to my garden?

We need a wheelbarrow access with no overhead restrictions

How long after building the base can you install the building?

We need approximately 2 weeks of dry weather after the base has been laid

We take a huge amount of pride in what we do, so please ask us if you have any questions about your base, your building, any accessories you might need.

You can call us on 01227 738 374 9-5.30pm Monday to Friday and 9-12.00pm on Saturdays email info@kentsectional.co.uk

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To…

Oh but we do…

Last week one of our customers asked us to replace their old shed with a summerhouse.

When we went to survey the site we noticed that the shed still bore one of our original plaques as pictured above. 

Back in 1958 John Griffin founded Kent Sectional Buildings, using his skill and experience to create bespoke garden buildings that were not only ‘fit for purpose’ then but would last for many years. 

In fact they lasted decades, we are still finding examples like this one! 

And although John Griffin is sadly no longer with us, our build quality is as good today as it was back then in 1958. Perhaps even better dare I say it. 

Some of our craftsmen here in Chartham are second generation KSB men, schooled in the tradition and customs of their fathers before them, and every bit as skilled as them. 

Upholding and improving the high standards set by John Griffin. They have to because a) our customers would not keep returning to us and b) his wife Marina Griffin is here and keeps a watchful eye on us all, along with unwavering support and guidance. 

Our materials are carefully chosen, we only build to order for our valued customers, present and new. And yes, we still attract plaques to our buildings because we’re very proud of them and our reputation. 

If you have any questions or you need any guidance with your garden building, please give us a call on 01227 738 374 or pop in and see us.

Why Buy A Bespoke Garden Building?

First of all, what is ‘bespoke’. Well it’s quite simple, it means custom made for a particular customer. 

Not mass manufactured, not bulk buy. Not available at your local B&Q or Homebase (due respect to those guys who sell some great stuff) 

Our garden buildings are made to order for you when you’re ready to order. We don’t have ‘stock’, you can’t just order from our website. We cater especially for you and what you need. 

We make garden buildings, anything from a ‘standard’ shed to a home office (like the one pictured above) a workshop, greenhouse or a conservatory to your design and specification, for you only. 

You choose the wood you would like, you choose the specification along with any changes to the design you’d like incorporated. Of course, you can’t order blindly – purely on spec – we know that. 

So on our website we show examples of our buildings we’ve made for our customers over the past 62 years, since 1958. Many of them are still standing, looking almost as good as they did when we made them and as fit for purpose as they were then. 

(In fact, we get quite a few calls from customers who have moved home and would like another shed, workshop or greenhouse to go in their new garden!)

This happens because our customers know that our buildings stand the test of time. 

And they last – and look good – because we only use quality wood, wood treatment and fixtures and fittings. Quality always lasts. You won’t get that with a mass produced shed from a DIY warehouse.  

You can visit our website and get an idea of the kind of building you’d like and add your own design changes if you like, the photos are there to inspire you and guide you, we’ve included specifications and prices so you know that we don’t scrimp on quality and we love what we do. 

If you’d like to take a closer look, we have an un-manned showsite about half a mile away from our office and workshop here in Chartham, it’s actually on the main road close to the junction with Station Road. 

There are several buildings there which we will add to now that we’re open again and in time for the Summer (fingers crossed we enjoy a long hot summer) 

And of course you can always call us for help and advice and to order your new bespoke garden building. We make each building from scratch to your design and specification. 

Our skilled craftsmen love what they do – you’ll really see that in the quality of your garden building when we install it for you at your home. 

So, whilst ‘normal’ might have changed for most of us, you’ll be glad to know our standards and workmanship are as high as you expect them to be.

We’re so glad to be fully open again and hope to see and hear from you very soon.

Everyone at Kent Sectional Buildings X

7 Inspirational Things You Can Use A Shed For

We love sheds! They’re arguably one of the most versatile buildings you could have. So many uses…

That’s not a potting shed! it’s a beautiful ‘standard’ shed by Kent Sectional Buildings

And I started thinking, what exactly can you use a shed for? 

Here are 7 ideas to feel inspired by. Ready? 

Home office/studio/working space – you can convert a standard shed into an office but you’d need quite a large one otherwise it would be very claustrophobic. Also, you’d need to have proper windows and a door(s) and make it secure. A workshop or a purpose built home studio/office. 

Pub/drinking den – of course! Especially now as we’re not allowed to go down the real pub! So why not convert your shed into a micro pub? Or a whisky bar? I love this example which was featured in George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces – Shed of the Year –

Amazing Spaces – The Whisky Shed…

Are you a movie buff? how about a cinema instead? This really is a labour of love as the guy built it himself from scratch. Truly inspirational…

Amazing Spaces – Your (very) local Odeon…

A granny annexe? Technically this would be more like a yurt or at least a bespoke workshop but this can definitely be done. Install plumbing and electricity, windows and security and you’re all set.   

If you like nothing better than to potter about in the garden, you may need some storage space for your tools and plants. Oh and don’t forget your radio, kettle, teabags and milk 😁 

Which means you’ll need a mini fridge in there too. You have a choice of a standard shed or you could opt for a potting shed, pot your plants and keep them safe from an unexpected frost and inquisitive members of the animal kingdom. 

You too could have a potting shed like this one day…

Perhaps you have a main or side business making things. In that case chances are you could do with a workshop. These tend to be sturdier than a standard shed, more robust and larger.

You can add an electric feed to charge and power your tools, speaking of which, you’ll also need a decent lock if not two. Maybe a light outside the door too and a wireless camera so you have some security/deterrent. 

Finally, you could build an unadulterated mancave (or woman cave) like Charlie Sheen did. Although it looks like he got other people to actually build it but the point is, imagine what your ideal den would look like, outside and in. What decor would you have? TV, pool table? Bar? Library, outrageously good sound system? 

          Remember, if you can imagine it, we will build it

If you’d like some advice about what you have in mind, please give us a call on 01227 738 374 between 9am and 4pm whilst the lockdown is on or you can email info@kentsectional.co.uk

Will These Inspire You? 10 Global Businesses That Started In Garages…

You may need some more space, somewhere you can go to ‘get creative’ – and work on your new venture whatever it may be. 

Whatever it is, here are 10 world famous businesses that started out in a garage…

Behind this house is where Jeff Bezos started Amazon…

Amazon – Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in ‘94 as an online bookstore – from his garage in Bellevue, Washington. The first book was sold July ‘95 and barely 2 years later in ‘97 he issued his IPO!  

The garage where Apple was born…

Apple Inc. – In 1976, Steve Jobs then 21, and Steve Wozniak, 26, started by selling 50 units of Wozniak’s Apple I Computer at $500 apiece to a local retailer.

Jobs used the purchase order to show a parts distributor who let them have the parts. The two of them and their small army of helpers then built 50 computers in 30 days – from hand – from a garage in Cupertino, CA.

The birthplace of Disney

Did you know that less than an hour from the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA is the house in LA where Walt Disney started his now world famous company?

Back in 1923, it belonged to Walt’s Uncle Robert. Walt and his brother Roy moved in to the house with their Uncle and set up their first studio in the small one car garage. It was there they began filming the Alice Comedies which formed part of Alice’s Wonderland.

A friend’s garage became the home of Google

The lady in the photo above was actually Susan Wojcicki. And in September ‘98 she kindly let Larry Page & Sergey Brin use her garage seen in the background here. 

Their burgeoning start up however was interfering with their education so they tried to sell the business for a cool $1 million, which would have been nice!  It was not to be though, the attempt failed when Excite! turned down the chance to buy it. The rest, as they say, is history! 

Harley Davidson’s shed!

This is my favourite I have to say. Way way back in 1901, a young 21 yr old William Harley began drawing plans for an engine that would power a bicycle. Over the next 2 years Harley and his mate Arthur Davidson built their motorcycle in their friends’ 10x15ft shed as featured in the photo above. 

That sketch is lovely isn’t it? Evocative of humble beginnings aswell as a nice piece of art. Anyway, Harley Davidson officially began trading in 1903 and is flourishing today, around the world. 

Some 36 years later, in 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started HP in Dave’s garage with seed capital of just $538!  Their first product was an audio oscillator, guess who was their first customer? The one and only Walt Disney! He bought 8 oscillators to help with the the sound system for Fantasia.

Dave Packard’s garage is well renowned and recognised as the birthplace of Silicon Valley and HP is of course, a huge global business. 

Forgive me, this isn’t a picture of a garage I know. But it is a picture of the very first Lotus car showroom in Tottenham Lane, North London. In 1948, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman, built the very first Lotus racing car in stables behind The Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London using a 1930s Austin Seven and a power drill!  

Thought you’d enjoy that one!

Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler started Mattel out of their garage in 1945 in Southern California as a picture frame company.  

To make their materials count, they began using picture frame scrapes to create dollhouses. Soon their dollhouses were out-selling their picture frames so they turned their emphasis to toys. Mattel, Inc. is today highest-grossing toy company in the world.

Another picture that isn’t of a garage. Sorry! 

Was the summer of 69!  It was! Michael Kittredge – at the tender  age of just 16 – made a scented candle in his garage from melted crayons as a gift for his Mum (ah, bless).  The neighbours, being neighbourly of course and in no way nosy blighters, noticed and wanted to buy the lad’s candles, so he start making lots of them. 

Only 4 years after that, Kittredge outgrew his garage so he moved the Yankee Candle Company to an old mill in Holyoke, Massachusetts, today dear reader, it’s the largest manufacturer of scented candles in the US.

The last one I’m afraid, and if you close your eyes and use your imagination, you can begin to imagine you see a picture of a shed can’t you? I mean, that’s definitely not a picture of Tony Maglica is it? 

OK you got me. It is Tony, who moved to LA in 1950 from Croatia, his homeland. In 1955 he made a down-payment on a lathe and started working in an LA garage.

Mag Instrument became an official business in 1974 and released their 1st flashlight in ‘79. Today, Maglite is the standard issue flashlight for all police officers in the US.

So, that idea you have floating around in your head, why not build a space to get it out of your head and into production? You could choose a garage, a shed, one of our sturdy workshops or a home studio/office

Whatever you can imagine we can build. Then you can crack on….

Give us a call now on 01227 738 374 or pop in and see us 

Video Killed The Radio Star…

(Well, since we were never radio stars in the first place, I think we’ll be OK)

We decided to go for it anyway. So today we made our very first video… 

We’ll follow up over the coming days with other videos featuring our workshops and potting sheds before we crack on with the rest. 

If you need a shed or any other garden building, you can have one built especially for you. To your design and specification – i.e bespoke. 

But to give you an idea we have a page where you can see the typical specification, prices and of course, some pictures of ‘standard’ sheds our clients have ordered from us in the past. 

Anyway, back to the video. It’s our first stab at it so please be gentle, we’ll get better (hopefully) but at least it’s short and sweet.  

We’ll figure out how to add music and other bells and whistles as we go. 

They are just meant to give you an idea of what we can do, and have been doing since 1958! I know, it’s flown by! 

Why make videos at all? Because not all our clients live locally to us, here in Chartham near Canterbury and some aren’t even in Kent. We have clients in Essex and London, even in France! 

So it’s handy to keep an eye on what we’re doing, and if we add more products we’ll make sure we take videos and post them on our Youtube channel so you can see for yourself. 

If you are local though, why not pop in and see us? 

We’re in Station Road in Chartham, on the A28 just outside Canterbury. 

Actually, if you like, why not stop at our show site? it’s on the main road just before you turn into Station Road if you’re coming from Canterbury. 

That’s it for now. Possibly the shortest blog post ever. 

But like the videos, there will be more…

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