With the growing popularity of garden rooms and other ‘temporary’ structures, one company is really
‘turning the screw’ when it comes to its approach to the foundations. Here, Alex Cash of Little Holme explains why his firm prefers the adjustable screw foundation system from Stop Digging and the important logistical, financial and time savings that it brings.
“Taking just five minutes per screw to install and at around a third of the cost of digging out and casting traditional concrete foundations, without factoring in time and equipment, screw foundations for any garden room project make perfect sense,” explains Alex Cash. “For this project the two-man team from Stop Digging arrived on site just after eight in the morning while my guys were unloading and by 11:00 we had a sold foundation on which to start constructing this 7x4m garden theatre room.” On average Little Holme completes three to four projects a month, all using the Stop Digging ground screw system. It prefabricates each project using SIPs (structural insulated panels) in its Derbyshire workshop and then sends installation teams out across the UK and has successfully completed almost 40 builds using this approach in the past 12-months.
This garden theatre project in Woking, Surrey, which cost the client around £25,000 is typical and was completed from start to finish in just 10 days. Compliant with all appropriate build regulations, the project included all structural elements, the bi-fold doors, external cladding, all electrics, installing the projection system, plastering, decoration, final-fix and all external finishing. “Having a perfectly level and stable floor and being able to erect the walls on our first day on-site, rather than lose days in constructing the foundations, makes a massive difference to the overall length of a project and the cost. But more importantly because installing the foundations is not weather dependant, using screw foundations mean we can accuratelyschedule our installation start date and eliminate all uncertainty.” “In the past, even a few days’ delay in preparing conventional concrete foundations could result in us having to totally reschedule fabrication and other aspects of the project, often costing us up to seven weeks and throwing our production schedule into real chaos. The foundation screws can literally be installed in the depths of winter or on a wet squally day. What’s more, in locations with limited or no natural direct access to the rear of the property, they can even be ‘walked through the house’ if necessary along with all the construction components – so access to the site is never an issue – and with no hardcore needed and no spoil having to be disposed of, the process is simplified and the back breaking element of the job is avoided.” A truly sustainable and biodiverse solution, screw foundations come with differing screw heads and lengths. Beam screws are perfect for installing horizontal beams and joists on small building installations and for decking and come in three lengths; 865mm, 1,000mm and 1,200mm. There is also a choice of 70mm and 95mm screw heads, ideal for installing fence posts, carports and barriers with adapter screws and bolts also available for other applications like securing garden furniture. The galvanised, corrosive-free, tapered steel screws can be adjusted to differing heights to eliminate any cross-fall on a site and are totally environmentally sustainable. No excavation is required and they can be easily repositioned, should the structure ever need to be moved, which makes them ideal for use with all ‘temporary’ buildings. Alex concludes: “The customer was delighted with the overall result. Not only was the job completed in a 10-day window but because all aspects were totally controllable we could deliver it for a really competitive price that still achieved a reasonable profit margin. Using the ground screw system gives us a real cost effective head start on a project. Any builder looking to control costs and better manage their installation schedules should seriously consider using the Stop Digging foundation screw system.”