Any building that is to add value to your life and your property must be built to last a lifetime.

One of, if not the key elements to achieve this is the building’s foundation, solid foundations provide structural integrity, integrity that means a build will stay true and upright for life.

Working From Home

Since the pandemic, there has been a shift for homeowners who have looked to utilise their outdoor garden space. The trend was driven by the need to work from home, but we quickly realised that this for many, although initially better, in the longer term, is not good. Noisy environments, lack of space to spread out, and the always-in-use dining table soon started to wane our enthusiasm and productivity. Psychologically for some, we were never away from work as now our work had occupied our homes!

The work from home revolution was here, and like any industrial revolution to be truly successful, it needed to develop, and develop it did. People converted lofts, spare rooms, and summer houses in search of peace and space and the pursuit of holding an uninterrupted Teams or Zoom call, all with a suitable backdrop as now everyone had a view into your home.

The Summer House Office

The summer house gave the biggest transformational benefit for those working from home. You left the house and walked to work through your garden, then you left your work behind you and walked back home, perfect, physically and mentally you were detached from work when the day was done!

The summer house had arrived, but for many in the rush to find their perfect workspace unfortunately the summer house had not evolved.

People had outdoor rooms built with bi-fold doors, clad walls, and laminate floors, but built on wooded foundations.

Outdoor Rooms and Outdoor Offices – The Market

MALA Rooms a leading outdoor room construction company commented: “Our hearts sank, albeit quicker than the foundations we observed being laid by some other companies. Building that should add value to your lives and your home built on wooded posts foundations is not the ultimate for life foundation”.

Creating Better Foundations for Outdoor Offices

“We use two types of foundations for our buildings, either concrete which still can create additional costs for digging out and removing soil, increase installation time by having to mix and let concrete set and damage to tree roots. Our preferred method and the method we always recommend and use in 90% of our builds is galvanised steel ground screws”.

“It’s hard to convey, but we love ground screws. Firstly, they do not rot, swell, shrink or warp, that’s really quite important when you consider that a foundation is underground and we live in the UK!”.

“Secondly, they do not damage tree roots, we can install them quickly which means we can get on with the exciting part of building the building. A wooden post foundation can last years, but with the financial investment made in an outdoor building our customers want the building to last a lifetime – you wouldn’t want your house sitting on wooden posts!”.

“A solid foundation means the building is highly unlikely to have any movement, especially one that has a light gauge steel frame sitting on top of it (that’s why we build our frames in steel too, not wood). You build your perfect room, with a wooded foundation and a wooden frame, you have beautiful bi-fold doors and then there is movement because the wood has failed, the end result is that your doors or windows will bind, quite an issue to rectify as any glazer will tell you”.

Ground Screws – What Are They?

“There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing ground screws being installed, we always ask MALA customers to watch the process, it literally underpins the understanding that their build is on solid and substantial foundations”.

No matter what the substrate contains, clay, soil, chalk, flint, limestone, or tree roots the ground screw is suitable. An average size garden room will usually require between eight and sixteen ground screws, the volume of ground screws needed will also take into account the intended purpose of the room. A gym with heavy weights or a dance floor for fifty people to dance on every weekend could increase the number of screws required.

MALA Continues: “We also think ground screws make our buildings aesthetically better as the building is elevated above the ground, it makes for better drainage, air circulation and less contact with moisture creating a solid foundation that looks after the building that is on top of it”.

Ground screws come in all sizes but only one shape, that’s screw shape. A typical ground for an outdoor room will be around 1200mm long and 70mm in diameter and good ground conditions have a load bearing of 750 kg. Load bearings are calculated to ensure they are suitable for the intended use. Nature’s forces are also taken into account when calculating load-bearing requirements – two feet of snow on a roof is quite a heavy weight to add to your room if it is full of people watching the latest Disney blockbuster on Saturday night movie night in your cinema room.

Ground screws are used in large and small construction applications, from multi-story homes to commercial buildings, so when deciding to use ground screws for your outdoor room you really have made the correct and best decision, a decision that will provide you with peace of mind for decades to come.

MALA continues: “Another key benefit of ground screws is that they can be installed in any weather, unlike the use of concrete as a base or a timber post support. This has been key to the installation of outdoor buildings during the winter months. Customers either need their room urgently for work or want it in time for spring and summer, not being built during those clement months. Come rain, hail, sun, or snow, we can install our ground screws unaffected by weather conditions or the effects those conditions have on the foundations. You cannot lay concrete in the cold or wet weather; you can use screws!”.

An Outdoor Office to Last Decades

The end result is the proof in the pudding. A MALA room boasts a 25-year guarantee against its foundation and frame rotting or swelling and that’s important. MALA continues: “It’s a great feeling to have your building completed, but if you haven’t built correctly and a few years later when your room’s floor has developed a bounce, is springy and those effortlessly sliding bi-folds are not so effortless, in fact they have stuck and you can’t get in your room, are you sure your builder will still be there for you! We’re not so sure, that’s why we build buildings that are built using modern-day construction methods so that they are built to last. Like all things in life, a solid foundation is key to a successful future”.

Looking for a Garden Room or Outdoor Office?

For your very own MALA Room contact us today on 0333 335 5221 or email us at