Ollie Allen ringing in the changes in the garden

Ollie Allen is a professional carpenter and, as such, he loves all things timber. He is never happier than when he is building – or displaying wedding rings! He has combined these two passions in his new garden room which featured net carbon negative products from West Fraser throughout.

West Fraser’s SterlingOSB Zero is one of his favourite panels as he explains,

“It’s a great product because it comes in different thicknesses, it’s strong and the price is great. It’s a versatile material because it works on both building sites, as well as more contemporary settings in offices, retail outlets and hospitality venues. It’s risen in popularity in the interiors and architecture world over the past few years which is great to see from a UK-made product. It looks good painted as well as with a plain clear coating when used on furniture and installations, which is how I’ve mainly used it in the past.”

Ollie has recently completed a bespoke garden room project in his own property; and now he is seeing demand soar for this sort of building as people work from home more.
At the beginning of the project, Ollie specified West Fraser’s SterlingOSB Zero as the perfect material for this novel, modular, easy-to-build timber-framed building.

He explains,

“Compared to other sheet products on the market, it stands up to weather and humidity really well, it’s lightweight and even better on a typical build budget. West Fraser uses UK-grown timber and process and manufacture everything here in UK, which is really good to know it’s not clocking up air miles – that makes for a more sustainable future for the building industry. SterlingOSB has long been a favourite of mine for building with. It cuts well without chipping and splintering, it’s uniform and it doesn’t move after installation, which is perfect for timber framing projects. We used 11mm to skin the exterior before cladding in shingles and the 18mm board as the interior face. These two boards, combined with timber studs or PIR boards, make for a really fast and strong method of wall construction.

And when the weather was dicey?

“I knew I would have periods of time when weather would affect the build schedule. Being in Yorkshire, where it’s wet approximately 95% of the time, this build has been no different to any others I have managed! So I turned once more to West Fraser and the popular CaberShieldPlus system. Once installed with their D4 adhesive, it’s rated for 60 days of bad weather. It’s perfect for those ‘roof off renovations’ or the first floor of an extension, especially when customers change roof window designs every other week! The flooring is super easy to install and has a tough and durable outer coating of melamine, similar to a kitchen workshop but textured for grip. Using the polyurethane glue in the joints, it gives extra waterproof protection and keeps out the elements whilst you build the rest of the structure. I have found the boards easy to clean, which helps keep the dust levels down compared to typical dry chipboard flooring products.”

He continues,

“Throughout the summer months last year, I had been working hard to get the frame, the insulation and the watertight elements sorted for the build. We lined the whole building internally with SterlingOSB Zero as its perfect for multi-use spaces and can look pretty stylish too for modern workshops and design studios. In the areas where I wanted wall mounted cabinets, I made sure to use 18mm thick OSB boards to help take the weight of the storage cabinets.”

What does he use the building for exactly now?

“For the past five years, alongside building projects and woodworking, I’ve been making handmade stainless-steel wedding rings for my wife, Jessica’s, jewellery business. As the UK’s shops and businesses closed for lockdown, and a few of my woodwork projects slowed down, we created a website and launched our new and improved wedding ring brand, www.flinnandsteel.co.uk.  Using social media, Instagram and Facebook adverts to help people find us online, we soon saw an increase in interest, and enough to know it was worth pursuing. It was perfect timing for the completion of my new garden studio and workshop, ready to take on more customer orders. Fast forward six months and we are in 2021 with an extra two staff members to help me fulfil our order book from customers nationwide, and all the rings are handcrafted in this very workshop.”

This summer I hope to complete the exterior landscaping around the garden studio. We will create a path to the house along with a small-paved space outside the studio – the perfect place to crack a beer on those sunny evenings, so watch this space!”

For further information on West Fraser please visit uk.westfraser.com