Photo Studio, Stockport, UK

What to do with a long garden?

Our clients in Stockport approached us with the desire to expand their family business by using the far end of their long garden to build a Studio. The footings already existed from a historic outbuilding long gone and forgotten. So first steps were to visit with our associate architect to establish if the existing hard core base was viable for the size and structure of the building they dreamed of having at the bottom of the garden.

Planning the building of a Studio

Measurements were taken and after technical consultation with our associate architect, a plan was devised that would provide an impressive wooden framed 10 metre long building complete with beautiful birch cladding, slow-sloping roof, full length porch overhang, insulation, weather roof felt roof, anthracite grey double glazed doors and windows. Exciting! A brick foundation would be laid first to protect the wooden structure from ground water, and helped to channel rain around the building towards the slightly sloped far end of the garden plot. Our architect advised on structural considerations so that the correct materials were sourced to construct the timber framework.

Building construction of our Studio

We love working with beams and trusses, joinery is at the heart of much of the work we do. It is our expertise. Once a reliable, sturdy structure is complete we can start filling in. As this studio building will be a work and creative space all year around it needed to be fully insulated and weather proof. Our panel insulation material of choice was a high performance fibre-free thermally efficient insulation board called Kingspan. We installed this everywhere – in the floor, walls and ceiling panels between beams before creating the internal surfaces of our space.

Cladding with an alpine feel

After our clients considered a range of options for external cladding, we opted for British Birch Cladding as our most cost effective option as it offers a good alternative to the more expensive Cedar and Douglas fir. It is both beautiful as well as tough and durable making it ideal for exposure to knocks and scrapes and the wilds of British weather in our North West location! The roof was finished with sealed a rubber roofing system that is highly durable as it doesn’t wear easily and has a life expectancy of 50 years. This type of roofing system is designed for flat and slightly sloping surfaces, so was ideal for our needs on this project.

Windows and Doors

Opting for darker grey double glazed window frames and doors added the contemporary, graphic edge to what might have melted into the background or even looked somewhat dated if white frames had been chosen. The grey compliments the silver tones that come out in the birch wood as it weathers and ages. Lovely!

Internal features: Electrics and heating

Before adding internal surfaces and the finishing touches to the inside, our RH Joinery electrician made sure all specified cables were threaded into places for power supply, internal and external sockets and light fittings, projector and electric heaters.

Finishing touches

Surfaces were installed and the plasterers came to do their magic. Electrical fixtures were added in and we laid a mighty amount of gorgeous commercial grade laminate. The studio certainly started to look like a studio at this point! The perfect shade of grey was chosen to maximise light and photographic efficiency.

A chaise longue was sourced for fabulous photo shoots and studio lighting positioned at the ready! Once our clients are ready we will return to design and mount a ceiling rail lighting and changeable background system as a permanent feature. Can’t wait!

Any several let downs and disappointments with delays from other builders that we approached, Ryan and his team arrived and listened. They provided effective advice and filled us with confidence. They turned up when they agreed promptly and were always communicative. At no point did we feel that they had taken over. We felt that they offered practical advice and a range of options, but left the final choice to us. They tidied up after themselves and were keen to complete work to the highest standards. In order to support us in our deadlines they extended their hours to finish work without delay, often working into the evening and in freezing cold temperatures without complaint. Their passion for finishing their work off to the last detail was much appreciated. We particularly liked the way Ryan his team would offer creative and practical suggestions to problem solve – like we were all part of a team!

David & Fiona Owners David Laslett Photography