Actis-loving garden room specialist sees orders double during the pandemic

A Kent-based garden room specialist has seen demand for its buildings double over the past year as people work from home, with Actis insulation enjoying a rise in orders as a result.

One of Watts and Holden's latest projects, an extension at a house in Maidstone, doubles as an office by day and a teenage den by night.

Its timber frame construction meant it took only ten and a half days to build from start to finish.

Customers are given a choice of two insulation options, with the Actis Hybrid variant proving extremely popular, not only because of its impressive thermal efficiency which reduces heating bills for the owners, but because it is a dream for the builders to install.

"We like the ease of fitment, it's clean and produces no dust or mess," said Ben Watts who has been running Watts and Holden with Mark Holden for more than 20 years.

He and his team used 75mm honeycomb insulation Hybris and insulating reflective breather membrane Boost R Hybrid in the walls, with 125mm Hybris and insulating vapour control layer H Control Hybrid in the flat roof.

"Timber garden rooms have been rising in popularity anyway over the past few years. But since last March we have been overwhelmed by the increase in our workload. In fact, demand has doubled over the period of the pandemic," he said.

Mark Holden added: "The bulk of our work is creating and building free-standing garden rooms. As well as providing much-needed extra space, some of our customers tell us this helps them feel they are actually going to the office, because they physically need to walk down the garden to get there.

"As well as separate garden pods, we build timber frame extensions. It doesn't give the same distinction between work and home, but does provide much needed extra space, and of course adds value to the house."

Homeowner David Bayliss, a training manager for a web company, is delighted with his new office.

"Like most people working from home, as well as space I need privacy in which to carry out my meetings. This new room is ideal. It also means my children have somewhere to go in the evenings, so we don't get under each other's feet. As well as looking much nicer than the tired conservatory it replaced it's a whole lot more energy efficient, thanks to the Actis insulation the builders have chosen. So I'm looking forward to lower heating bills."

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