Award finalist for trades 2012

The Startups Awards, sponsored by NatWest and organised by

Southwicks Garden offices has been recognised as an outstanding company from many hundreds of similar companies. Direct comparisons were made between each company based on revenues, profitability, success to date, and how it matched up to the specific criteria set out for the award. An important attribute was having a 'great lifestyle business model'.

David Lester, founder of, commented: “We are delighted with the response to this year’s Awards. We received many hundreds of entries from an incredibly diverse range of companies.

“The finalists are a  fantastic example of the prosperous and highly successful start-up businesses we have here in the UK."

Insulated garden room with storeroom 23' x 14'

Insulated garden room with storeroom 23' x 14'. Complete with georgian double glazed doors and windows.
Antique oak flooring, seamless plasterboarded walls and ceiling, full length decking unit.

Also includes 5 double sockets, 3no. 5' double light fittings, consumer box, heating, sensor lighting, cctv, television arial and socket, decorative finials, perimieter water gulleys/soakaways.

Latest insulated garden studio completed..

Size 16' x 12' with double doors, 4no.  full pane double glazed opening windows and front decking unit.

Editorial release

Latest editorial press release for the insulated garden offices has gone live...

Southwick's Insulated Garden Rooms

Working from home? Outgrown the spare room? Or just need somewhere with peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of family life, where you can enjoy your hobby in comfortable surroundings? Then an 'all-in-one insulated home office/retreat' could be the answer.

Southwicks can offer an attractive 'retreat', designed to discreetly blend
into the garden, being versatile, insulated, secure, comfortable, outdoor
office/hobbies/playroom, etc.

SOUTHWICK'S INSULATED GARDEN ROOMS - A family run business serving the local area - pride themselves on combining high quality materials and workmanship with keen prices, friendly personal service, and l00% customer satisfaction.

Full home building installation includes solid foundations, full electrics, heating, full insulation for all year round use, internal seamless plasterboarding, internal and external cuprinol paint finishing, double glazing, security, flooring and more. Everything is supplied and installed giving you the total solution.

They provide a FREE no-obligation detailed Site Survey at your home to help you determine your needs, following which you will be sent the full fixed-price quotation confirming any special requirements.

Any questions? Give one of their friendly, knowledgeable team a ring now on 01329 319276 or 07920 773198 and they will be happy to assist. Alternatively visit their website

Latest garden office base

Concrete paving slab base - For 16' x 12' Insulated garden log cabin.
(Materials: 2.5 tonnes compressed scalpings, 1.2 tonnes grit, 175 kg cement, 48no. 600mm x 600mm paving slabs)

Garden office concrete foundations

Preparing to deliver 1.6 cubic meters of concrete into place for the foundations of the insulated garden office..

Foundations for concrete base 18' x 12'

Prepared foundations ready for concrete. Size 18' x 12' Dug out and levelled ground. Temporary timber shuttering and 2.5 tonnes of compressed scalpings.

Latest insulated garden log cabin just completed

                              16' x 11' Insulated Garden Cabin finished in cuprinol shades silver birch

Latest garden office just completed!

12' x 8' Insulated Garden Office with double doors, georgian windows and decking unit.

Vehicle graphics

Just has some great sticker graphics done by discount banner printing for my box trailer. Price was very reasonable. delivery time was short, and they went on like a treat!

Log cabin bases

See the different ways a proper base can be done for a garden log cabin.. 

concrete paving slab base

Concrete paving slab base - 16' x 10'
(Materials: 2 tonnes compressed scalpings, 1 tonne grit, 150 kg cement) 

railway sleeper base on compressed scalpings

Railway sleeper base on compressed scalpings - 12' x 8'

Why you should use us and buy our log cabins

Southwicks is a family run business serving the local area whom pride themselves in providing the 'Total Solution' and combining high quality materials and expert workmanship with a friendly personal service, and 100% customer satisfaction.

All our cabins Feature a specially designed 4-way chamfered notch-joint system ensuring a tight fit to all boards with no room for damp or wind penetration - beware of log cabins that feature square cut logs with square notch-joint, as they can leave a sloppy joint with large visible gaps.

All UK designed, machined and manufactured - Cheap competitor imitation log cabins are generally imported.

Features heavy duty premium shingle roofing as standard - beware of log cabins that come with no roof covering or cheap felt, leaving the log cabin completely open to the elements.

Features oversized extra  large doors and windows.

Features key-lockable opening windows and all doors and windows are professionally draft sealed.

Features a generous all round roof overhang which protects the building from severe conditions - beware of log cabins with little or no roof overhanging leaving them vulnerable to the wind and rain.

We use premium performance materials all round including Kingspan k18 insulation and plasterboard system with seamless joints, cuprinol preserving and colour shades, quality  flooring options to name but a few.

Full home garden building installation includes solid foundations, full electrics, heating, full insulation and internal seamless plasterboarding, internal and external paint finishing, double glazing, security,  carpets and more!

We provide and install everything you need, giving you the total solution! One complete package at the keenest price. No hidden extras.

8 x 10' Insulated Garden Office

The latest Insulated Garden office has just been completed...

Working from home more common among older workers

Research has suggested that the majority of people working from home are older, with analysis suggesting that the over-55 age group are most likely to do so.
Conducted by the TUC, the study found that around one in five workers in this age range work from home on a regular basis. However, the trend to do so has been growing across the generations for the past decade: In 2011, around three million people worked from home but by the end of 2011 this had risen by around 25 per cent to 3.8 million.
The paper also found that different geographical areas have different flexible working trends. For example, around 16 per cent of workers in the South West regularly work from home, while just ten per cent of those in the North West do so.
Work Wise UK Chief Executive Phil Flaxton commented: “As the employment market emerges from the downward trend, the way in which people work will have changed significantly.
“Increasingly, it is becoming the norm for employees to work away from the office, with 'presenteeism' becoming a thing of the past. Managers habits and controls must change in order to maintain this momentum.”

Avoiding distraction when working from home

Working from home offers a huge number of benefits over being tied to a 9-to-5 office-bound job. Of these, freedom is perhaps the one of greatest value.

Changes to your schedule, a doctor's appointment, looking after your children or even taking the dog for a walk in the middle of the day… all of these things are simple everyday tasks that become an issue when they need to be built around a strict working schedule at a set location.

When you work from home, these things are not issues. In fact, some people find that it makes a nice break in the working day to sort out some household chores. But there is another side to this in that working from home greatly increases the number of potential distractions.

To help tackle this, we've built up a round up of motivational tactics from homeworkers to help you get a good day's work at home:

- Keep to a schedule and try to start and finish work around the same time each day. While it can be tempting to roll out of bed late, your business will suffer if your not putting in the hours during your most productive times of day.

- Plan breaks. These could be something like taking the dog for a walk, or watching the news with a cup of tea. Whatever you choose, try and get away from your desk to refresh your mind.

- Make a to do list. Write down everything that needs to be done at the start of the day and work your way methodically through each task. It can also be helpful to have a long-term task list to ensure you don't forget about anything – sites like can help with this.

- Establish a designated work space. This could be a room or an area if you're short on space; either way, let your family or house mates know that it is a working space and ask them to respect this by not disturbing you unnecessarily.

- Try and work somewhere with plenty of (preferably natural) light to help keep up positivity levels.

Stay hydrated. Studies have shown that our concentration levels dip noticeably when we don't drink enough fluids. Unfortunately, coffee doesn't count, so have a glass of water with your cuppa too.

- Close your internet browser when you're not actually using it for something work related. This should help limit 'browsing time'. If you want to read an article, schedule this in as a break.

- Consider wearing office clothes even if you're not planning on leaving the house that day. It's a bit of a cliché, but there is a lot of truth in the power of telling yourself to “dress for success”.

Are property developers designing with homeworkers in mind?

Working from home is becoming so popular that it appears some property developers have started to incorporate the idea into their property designs.

Recent research found that Hampshire is one of the UK's most popular counties when it comes to working from home and the county actually has around 25,000 home offices. With this in mind, Taylor Wimpey has built its latest set of houses in the region with extra space to incorporate a working area.

Sarah Pasco, regional sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties, explained: "We understand that working from home is becoming increasingly popular and as such many house hunters are looking for a spacious property which lends itself well to changing needs over time."

The firm's recent development, the Glaciers at Everest Park, offers town houses with open plan kitchen/dining rooms, a separate study and a varying number of bedrooms depending on how much space people require for their lifestyle and family.

While homeworkers often dream of having extra space to spread out and get to grips with their daily workload, those living in smaller properties needn't be put off by their lack of space. With a bit of clever thinking and negotiation, it is perfectly possible to run many types of home businesses from a one-bedroom flat or similar so long as the desire to succeed is there.

Homeworking set to contribute £8bn

People who work from home are set to contribute around £8 billion to the UK economy this year, according to recent research.

The poll, conducted by Shedworking for Asda, revealed that home-based businesses are showing strong levels of growth, despite the wider economic difficulties present in the country. In fact, the £8 billion figure is an increase of almost £2 billion from the same poll in 2010.

Furthermore, the majority of businesses were confident about their expansion prospects. Almost 79 pre cent expected to work from indefinitely, but many were also looking at expanding out of the home, with 13.5 per cent of those predicted turnover growth of 20 per cent or more.

Just five per cent of those questioned expected no growth or a decline in sales, while 35.1 per cent were looking at growth of between five and ten per cent.

Alex Crow, homeworking specialist with Asda, commented: “Many households are taking a go-it-alone approach to business and are reaping the rewards.

"The low cost of starting up a business means that many households are pursuing the entrepreneurial dream. With the value of the back garden economy reaching an amazing £8 billion, home-based businesses are now lending a whole new meaning to the term 'home economics'.”

Latest testimonial has just been received

We are writing to thank you ever so much for the wonderful log cabin, art studio.

This is a fantastic addition to our garden and a great space in which to work. Everyone who has seen it has loved the look, space and construction.

Jon and his team worked reliably, turning up just as specified, which is rare this day and age. Due to the great work ethic and pleasant manner we then asked for our garden to have a mini makeover, which is another great success.

From what i have seen i believe Jon to have a good sense of design and layout. All items in my studio such as the sink and the storage for my canvases have been selected and thoughtfully positioned. We are now in the process of furnishing this.

The taking down of the old building was managed all by Jon, making the whole process hassle free. This has  given us the needed extra living space, I only wish we had done it sooner.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Jon and his team. Great all round. Thanks to the lovely Dave too. 

The Cooper's, Fareham

Latest insulated garden office just completed

Latest garden office has just been completed in Hampshire. Insulated, roof overhang and decking, Paint cuprinol willow. Attractive and secure.

Could working from home provide much-needed extra time?

Working from home every so often could help Britons who are struggling with too many things to do and not enough time.

According to a recent report from J.P. Morgan Asset Management, 'generation busy' is really feeling the strain, with two-fifths never managing to get to the bottom of their to-do list.

To tackle this, Brits need an average of three and a half hours extra a day – which equates to an extra day a week. Working from home can help with this by avoiding commuting time, which can be around two hours a day for many people.

It appears that it is relaxation that is suffering in the time squeeze. Indeed, 30 per cent said that they would dedicate more time to themselves if they had an extra half hour a day, while 21 per cent would sleep for longer and 20 per cent would set aside more time for their partner or family.

Keith Evins, head of UK marketing at J.P. Morgan, commented: “We've all been there – stretched in different directions and not enough time in the day. With the pressures of work and life mounting it's no surprise Brits are feeling the strain, and wanting another three hours a day – an extra day a week – to get things done.”

He also urged people to make more time to consider their financial position, rather than pushing it aside until last thing.

Recent install - Garden office (16' x 10')

Recent install - Garden office (16' x 10') with two tone paint finish. Internal seamless walls and exposed wood in vaulted ceiling.

Recent install - Garden Art Studio 16' x 18'

Recent install - Garden Art Studio 16' x 18' fully insulated with vaulted ceiling and seamless walls. Also, running water from a butler sink. The floor was finished with oak parquet flooring.

Homeworkers urged to give thought to office space

Creating an office space from which to work from home can be an exciting prospect but it isn't something to be rushed into.

A recent article from the Reading Eagle has advised people to consider their move carefully before going ahead with a transformation. For example, working out who is going to use the office space and when will ensure that there is sufficient room to move around comfortably, which should make it that bit easier for everyone to get on with their work.

Secondly, you might not require all of the storage space of a desk and a simple table could work better if you want to create the feeling of more space while still enjoying a large enough space to spread work across.

Then there is all of the organisation that is required in any workspace. Keeping files in a sensible order will make work feel less daunting. The article also suggests being creative when it comes to storage for stationary in order to keep the space fun and inspiring.

This also goes for the décor and layout of the room; it needs to be inspiring to you and your type of work rather than just a generic workspace that you are not particularly interested in. Paint colours, furniture and lighting can all help in this area.

Study reveals Britons' long working hours

A recent study has revealed the long working hours endured by many Britons and has suggested flexible working options as a way of relieving the stress that can result from this.

Conducted by Regus, the study found that one in ten UK office workers put in over 11 hours a day at their jobs. In addition to this, 43 per cent are forced to take work home to get things done more than three times a week and 69 per cent regularly check their work emails out of working hours.

With such high demands on their time, employees might find that working from home helps them to get more done instead of wasting time on a lengthy commute.

Dr Clare Kelliher, professor of work and organisation at Cranfield School of Management, suggested that employers who are concerned about their employees well-being should help them to find “practical ways of dealing with increased workloads” while maintaining a “satisfactory balance between their work and non-work lives”.

She added: “One way of dealing with this is to enable more flexible and remote working, where staff can work from home or from a location closer to home.

“Our study found that staff who work remotely tend to report higher levels of job satisfaction and achieve higher performance levels both because they been able to avoid long or stressful commutes and also because they are removed from the day-to-day distractions of the workplace.”

Technology to thank for choice to work from home

If it weren't for significant developments in technology, it is unlikely that so many people in the UK would have the option to work from home.

This is according to a recent report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which has noted the differences between the workplace now and that of 1950s Britain.
In the past, the majority of people had set working hours, but now things have become more flexible due to the advance of digital information technology. As a result, employees' schedules are generally more flexible and there is more scope for them to work from home should they desire.
This, however, comes with a new problem of 'information overload'. With smartphones and laptops, people are nearly always available, making it hard for some individuals to separate their personal and work lives.
The increase in the number of people working from home could also be down to a change in the type of work Britain delivers. In 1952 there were around 8.7 million manufacturing jobs, but this has now fallen to just 2.5 million.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people in 'knowledge jobs' has risen from 25 to 44 per cent, while those in customer services and personal service jobs has risen from six to 16 per cent.

Technology will facilitate working from home, survey finds

The ever-improving availability of technology looks set to provide an increasing number of people with the option to work from home.
This is according to a recent survey conducted by recruitment firm Office Angels, which found that 71 per cent of people surveyed believe that there will be a rise in the number of home workers by 2036.
However, this could have a range of knock-on effects. For example, 54 per cent of those questioned believed that they may never meet other members of their team, while 39 per cent reckon that employees are equally unlikely to meet their bosses before they start work.
While this will obviously increase the flexibility on offer for employees, there is a risk that it will have a negative impact on the working environment, with 43 per cent of employers questioned stating that they are worried about a lack of engagement and loyalty if people only ever work from home.
David Clubb, MD of Office Angles, commented: “Remote working can be a great tool for a business, offering a flexible working model which benefits its employees and allows access to a greater pool of talent, as location is less of an issue.
“However, it's essential that companies continue to support their staff and do not allow them to feel abandoned.”

10 reasons to start a business

There's never been a better time to start a business - find out why Read more

People working from home urged to maintain discipline

Maintaining a good level of discipline could be the key to working from home on a successful basis, it has been suggested.

Writing for Fast Company, Kevin Purdy noted that while it may not initially seem important to carry out the old routine that was required for working in an office, many home workers come to regret not keeping up these things in the long-run.
Dressing respectively, for example, and shaving or applying make-up, may all seem like unnecessary time-wasters when you first start to work from home. But a few months in, when you're lazing on the couch in your underwear at midday and struggling to get that report finished while watching the television, you may well come to regret your lack of personal discipline.
Mr Purdy also noted the social change that comes from not working out of an office. There is a tendency to rely heavily on social networking sites to replace the chat that previously took place between colleagues.
However, many home workers speak highly of their increased productivity when working from home thanks to the lack of distractions, so remember this once you're settled into a routine and try to keep Facebook and Twitter time to a minimum.

Garden Room outer shell options

The home garden room outer shell options have just been uploaded to the website


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