FAQ’s

Over the last 5 years, we have been asked hundreds of questions, and although we prefer to chat through the answers with more detailed and specific information, many folk prefer to choose their question and read at leisure, and so in the hope of making things simpler for you, we have categorised the questions into the subheadings below. Some questions are asked much more frequently than others, particularly for example aspects of installation, planning permission, VAT etc, and those questions we have highlighted in bolder text.

Please let us know if there is any aspect of this that you would like to discuss further. It would be great to hear from you.

Here are a few “Frequently Asked Questions”. They are intended as a guide only. They are not comprehensive. They carry no legal responsibility. They are our best endeavours to help, but please understand if we emphasise the “errors and ommisions excepted”. We will be only too pleased to chat over the phone and/or come and visit you to expand on any of the questions or concerns that you may have.

And many of the questions are referred to, and maybe duplicated in the text of our website, but thanks for your interest.

Please click on a section of interest below:

SECTION A -MAINTENANCE

WILL CEDAR ROT?

Cedar has its own built-in preservatives known as thujaplicins, which enable cedar to last for centuries, even in wet conditions. Unlike most other timbers, it needs no artificial treatment.

WHAT IS THE MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENT FOR THE CEDAR EXTERIOR?

From the point of view of degrade or rot, no treatment is required. For the Cedarlodges provided with the “natural finish”, then cedar, like all other timbers, will react to strong direct sunlight. Either the customer can “leave it to nature” and within two or three years, the cedar will turn from being brown/red to a mature silver/grey. Alternatively, cedar oil will maintain the original colour for a while. But for those wanting to preserve the cedar shade for a longer period, then we recommend the use of Sikkens Novatech wood treatment. All our Lodges are treated with this preservative, and it is recommended that it be re-coated every 4 years or so… a simple and inexpensive application.
Where we are providing a painted or coloured finish, then it is advisable to “refresh” every 5 years, depending on exposure to the elements and to sunlight.

WHAT MAINTENANCE IS REQUIRED ON THE INTERNAL WALLS?

The internal walls are painted with a hardwearing Dulux or Laura Ashley paint, but we can give the specification to our customers, and with minimum effort, the walls can be kept in pristine condition.

HOW DO I PROTECT THE OAK WORKTOP?

The worktop is finished in the factory with a Danish oil. We recommend reapplication every year or so. If deeply stained, it is preferable to sand down before re-treatment.

HOW LONG WILL THE LODGE LAST?

There is no reason to suggest that the lodge will not last well in excess of 30 years. We provide a 10 year warranty.

SECTION B -PERMISSIONS, REGULATIONS & BRITISH STANDARDS

IS PLANNING PERMISSION NECESSARY?

Firstly, can we stress that we are not planning experts and cannot take any responsibility for our understanding of the planning requirements.
Secondly, let us define the nature of the Cedarlodge products.

In both cases, they conform to the definition of a “Caravan” even though they look nothing like one!

The Caravan Acts define a caravan in broad principle, as a structure that is made “off site”, delivered in no more than two parts, has a maximum length of 20 metres and a maximum width of 6.8 metres, and “capable of being moved”. Our products tick all the boxes!

In the case of the Cedarlodge, most customers prefer the cast iron wheels to remain as part of the permanent chassis, and very visibly and very obviously, the Cedarlodge is “capable of being moved”.

In most cases, the Cedarlodge is delivered on wheels and can be moved and removed on wheels, but generally the customer leaves the customer in one position, or sometimes relocates together using wheels purchased from us.

But in both cases, our units are “capable of being moved”.

And then the distinction is whether the Cedarlodge is being used privately and “ancillary” to the enjoyment of the house.

If yes, then broadly speaking, it is our understanding that planning is not usually required as the permissions/rules/recommendations are the same for a caravan, a boat on a trailer, a motorhome etc.

If on the other hand, the application is commercial e.g. air B&B or a small glamping site or a small or large holiday park, then usually planning permission is required for a “change of use” for that particular site.

There are special considerations in areas of outstanding natural beauty, conservation areas, national parks etc.

There are also special “relaxations” in some farm based activities.

With a view to speeding up the whole process and minimising bureaucracy, the government has introduced improvements to the planning application process, especially the planning “pre app”, and even though small applications can be done by the customers themselves, any medium to large scale application is probably best put in the hands of planning experts who know local planning rules and preferences, need for conformity to local architecture, screening etc etc.

SECTION C -DESIGN & SPECIFICATION

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CEDARLODGES?

A detailed and important subject, and to avoid repetition, may we refer you to the option on the menu bar of www.cedarlodges.co.uk

WHY DO WE USE CEDAR?

Cedar is a well-accepted timber from British Columbia, renowned for its beautiful appearance, its ability to last for centuries without maintenance, and its sound and warmth insulation properties. lt is the product of choice amongst architects, and recognised worldwide as being the ideal material for garden buildings & lodges. We buy in container loads, direct from the sawmills of British Columbia, and as a result, we are able to pass on to our customers, the benefit of the savings that we can achieve.

CAN I HAVE A VERANDAH LARGER THAN THE STANDARD INDICATED?

The standard terrace is 2 metres wide and shown on our illustration. If you have a particular requirement for a different shape, that can be arranged.

WHAT ARE THE INTERNAL FLOOR DIMENSIONS OF THE CEDARLODGES?

These are fully detailed on the appropriate section of our website.

ARE CEDARLODGES INSULATED?

The floor is insulated with 50mm thick insulation boarding. Likewise the walls. The roof has 70mm of insulation.

The windows have double glazing as standard. Full length glass e.g. on the French doors, is double glazed and toughened. Cedar, MDF, OSB and all the other products that we use within the fabric of the floor, walls and roof has a very high insulation value. This means warmth in the winter and coolness in summer.

We have commissioned some very extensive reports on heat loss and likely energy costs, and would be only too pleased to share these with you with the appropriate explanations.

Cylinders can vary from 13 kgs up to  37 kgs. Maybe we could assume a very, very average cost of about 12p per kilowatt hour, and the overall energy consumption will still be very attractive, as will the flexibility and “off grid” convenience.

In cooperation with the well-established insulation material manufacturer, we have done considerable research into the optimum insulation that we can provide. We incorporate a high degree of insulation in the floor, the walls, and most particularly, the roof. Windows and doors are double glazed.

In practical terms, this means that the unit remains very warm in cold and adverse conditions, and cool in summer. And even more importantly, it means that the lodge can be used all year round in total comfort… an important concern for operators of lodges wanting to extend the season to the maximum… and by the same token it enables holiday makers to enjoy the lodges  well into the “shoulder” and off season periods.

HOW IS THE WATER HEATED?

Electric through-feed heaters are our standard. Upgrades/options include different versions of the Morco rnage of LPG gas fired heaters, suitable for water and radiator heating.

HOW IS THE CEDARLODGE HEATED?

As standard is an electric wall panel heater. This has a fairly low, therefore acceptable, power requirement. And because of the very high insulation of our units, it is usually extremely adequate to heat the air to a very acceptable temperature even in cold winter periods.

Additionally there is an electric low wattage towel rail, which is ideal for the shower room.

As an alternative, an electric fired stove, typically on the style of the shepherd’s hut woodburning stove, but not dependent on wood supplies. These units can be supplied an optional extra.

We have established the names of the leading manufacturers of woodburning stoves suitable for smaller spaces, and would be pleased to pass on our findings. We would prefer our customers to arrange that installation with a local supplier and local service, who can offer a direct warranty, and  probably install at a lower cost.

WHAT TOILET SYSTEMS ARE AVAILABLE, AND REQUIRING WHAT FORM OF DRAINAGE?

As standard, we offer a typical WC, supplied by fresh water, piped to site, and with a standard domestic drainage system, connected in turn to the site drains. In some instances, customers prefer to have an independent sceptic tank, which are now simpler and easier to install than in the past, and are ideal for a grouping of say 3 or 4 lodges, and where access to the main system is more difficult.

An alternative is the typical “cassette” type toilet, which depends on a small holding tank to which water is provided by way of mains water supply, or an “Aquaroller” portable unit. This system depends on the use of chemicals and discharge into a cassette, which from time to time, is removed and wheeled to a disposal point. Alternatively a macerator system worked on a similar principle to the chemical system, but where black waste is size reduced and capable of being pumped in a much smaller diameter pipe over long distances, and even uphill.

We will be happy to share our experience in these respects to enable you to choose the best system within the confines of vour particular situation

 WHAT SERVICES ARE THERE TO THE LODGE BY WAY OF WATER? 

lf there is no water “piped” to the immediate vicinity of the lodge, then the caravan type “Aquaroller” is an industry-wide well recognised facility for bringing water in a rollable container from the nearest available tap, directly to the lodge. And thereafter, a pipe with a submersible pump, enabling it to be drawn directly into the lodge.

Alternatively, and in most instances, mains water is available in terms of a “stand pipe” arrangement with on/off control taps. Or supplied underground through blue water pipes. These are connected directly to the lodge, and the pressure controlled by regulator.

WHAT SERVICES ARE THERE TO THE LODGE BY WAY OF ELECTRICITY?

Electricity can come in several forms.

Most sites have mains electricity, which is either connected permanently to the input lead on the lodge or alternatively it comes to the lodge on an underground electricity supply feed, and connected via blue plug and socket system.

Large multi-bedroomed lodges would typically have a 70 or 80amp supply. Many touring and pitches carry a 32 amp supply. A 16 amp supply is the norm for the average touring pitch.

ln a totally isolated area we can come up with a proposal for an “off grid” supply. If water heating is taken care of by LPG propane gas, including maybe a gas powered stove, then the electricity requirement can be minimal and can be satisfied by solar panels and even wind turbine, in turn triple charging a large battery, referred to as a “leisure battery” ,which is usually very adequate to power a low wattage LED lighting system and other low consumption items like ipad charges etc.

IS THERE SMOKE DETECTION EQUIPMENT?

Yes, there is a carbon monoxide detector, combined with a smoke detector, all in the same unit, and fitted as standard.

IS THERE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER?

Yes, fitted as standard.

IS THERE A WATER ISOLATOR VATVE?

Yes.

IS THERE A MAIN ELECTRICITY ON/OFF SWTTCH?

Yes, next to the main consumer unit.

 

WHAT IS THE TOTAL AMPERAGE DRAW?

This will vary tremendously depending on the customer’s specifications. We have drawn up detailed schedules showing the amperage draw of various electrical units e.g. through feed shower heater, a 2kw fan heater, lighting, toaster, kettle, oven etc etc.

And thanks to Mr OHM and his law, we have converted this into amperage to see whether a certain specification will fall within a 16 amp supply, a 32 amp supply or a much heavier supply e.g. 70 or 80 amps. We would be only too pleased to consider this with you, but the starting point is what form of energy is currently available, or practically and economically made available.

SECTION D - OPTIONAL REQUIREMENTS

SECTON E - HOT TUB CONSIDERATIONS

DO WE SUPPLY HOT TUBS?

As a company, no, but they seem to be an increasingly desirable part of the scene. We work alongside the hot tub and pool trade and can suggest and recommend, where appropriate. Major considerations are the electrical loading, speed of heat up after maintenance, and maintenance procedures in general.

WHAT IS THE KILOWATTAGE OF A TYPICAL HOT TUB?

Hot tubs can be as low as 2kw, and therefore well under 13 amps, but they can also be fitted up with high amperage elements and gas and other heating systems.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAT A HOT TUB WITH A 2KW HEATER?

We have done some calculations which indicate the time needed to heat a hot tub with a 2kw heater, from cold to a recommended temperature of say 33 degrees centigrade. Obviously this will be quicker with a higher wattage element.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO FILL A HOT TUB?

A typical hose pipe delivers between 800 and 1000 litres of water per hour. A typical tub happens to be in the same region, and therefore will take about an hour to fill. With a submersible pump, it can usually be emptied in a matter of minutes.

HOW IS THE WATER CLEANED IN THE HOT TUB?

Most hot tubs work on a cartridge filter, like the old air filters in cars. Alternatively a sand filter. They are rendered all the more efficient by the use of an ozonator and the correct use of chemicals.

WHAT ARE THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR MAINTENANCE OF A HOT TUB… DRAINING, CHEMICALISING ETC ETC?

This is a large subject, and there are well prepared rules and recommendations. The best source of information is BISHTA, which stands for the British and Irish Hot Tub and Swim Spa Industry.  Your hot tub dealer will be only too pleased to advise you on the requirements for intermittent/regular emptying, cleaning, filtration, chlorination etc. It is a matter of treading the fine line between practicality and commerciality on the one hand, and health and safety on the other.

WHAT IS THE RUNNING COST OF THE HOT TUB?

Again, please see our appendix. Assuming a typical drop in temperature of 5 degrees centigrade per 24 hours, then the heat input required is shown on the appendix. On an 800 litre hot tub, that would be approximately 5 kws, and involving the heater itself for about 2 hours in the full 24 hour cycle. A typical supply price per kilowatt hour is maybe 12 pence, i.e. 50p-60p per day.

SECTION F - INSTALLATION & TRANSPORTATION

HOW ARE CEDARLODGES DELIVERED TO SITE?

There is a difference between the two products….

Cedarlodge

The Cedarlodge vary in length and specification. They all conform to the maximum width trailable on the highways. The smaller and lighter units can easily be winched onto a 2 or 3 axle trailer and towed behind a standard 4 x 4 vehicle. These include heavy duty residential vehicles such as a Landrover Defender, Landrover Discovery etc, which have a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes, which is usually more than adequate for the combined weight of the trailer and its pay load.

As a result, the cost of transportation to site (and indeed the manoeuvrability of the product is more favourable. For the much larger Wyoming unit with its full “leisure” compliment of kitchen, wall bed, shower room facilities etc, we have found it more practical to load onto a low loader and deliver to site, unload and manoeuvre into final position, as per a subsequent FAQ.

Cedarlodge

In the case of the Cedarlodge, the overall width is 3.3 metres, which is within the legal road limits of a caravan transporter. The product is winched onto the transporter at our factory, delivered to site, unloaded and finally positioned. Obviously the cost of these heavy vehicles is more than  the use of a standard 4 x 4.

We have a number of photos in our photo gallery, which clearly show the process.

 

WHAT SITE PREPARATIONS ARE NECESSARY?

Cedarlodge

Most customers of Cedarlodge require the facility to move the structure from time to time, and the main concern is to ensure that the four cast iron wheels do not offer a “point load”, bearing down into soft ground. They need to be supported by flagstones, a small concrete slab, a pier or expanse of wood, so that the load is spread rather than allowing the wheels to sink into the ground. Many customers like the idea of railway sleepers.

Cedarlodge

The removable wheels are temporarily fixed to long engineered beams, running the full length of the Cedarlodge. Again, it is important to spread the load and a total of 6 or 8 concrete piers are ideal. Even more ideal is a total concrete pad or raft, extending under both engineered beams. We can provide advice and drawings, where necessary.

IS THE LODGE DELIVERED TO SITE IN ONE PIECE OR IS IT ASSEMBLED ON SITE?

Yes, it is delivered to site in one piece.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN “SITING COSTS”?

As per Section 4, there is an extra function by way of the fitting of the eaves and patio…. This is chargeable, but it depends on the options that are called for and the distance from site.

WHAT IF THE TRUCK CANNOT GET CLOSE TO SITE?

The transporter will deliver as close as possible. If  the transporter cannot get to the immediate vicinity of where the lodge is to be located, then it will have to be towed, either by tractor or 4-wheel drive vehicle. Terrain conditions are important. In extremes, a crane can be involved… now less of a cost and challenge than in years gone by.

WHAT WORK IS REQUIRED ON SITE AFTER THE PRODUCT HAS BEEN DELIVERED?

With the Cedarlodge, the product comes pretty well finished. Additional work involves the fixing of the broad overhang eaves (which have to be retrofitted because of the road width restrictions), and the fitting of any optional side terrace, if required.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE WAY OF SERVICE CONNECTION?

Depending on services available, there can be a need for connection to 1) water, 2) sewerage, 3) electricity, 4) cable TV. This connection is the responsibility of the customer, but we are always pleased to advise on what is involved.

 

ARE THERE ANY DEPTHS TO WHICH THE SERVICES SHOULD BE SUNK BENEATH GROUND BEFORE BEING COVERED UP?

Yes, 600mm, lf less than that, then electrical warning tape should be in evidence.

WHAT IF MY SITE IS ON A SLOPE?

This would involve “cut and fill” to end up with a solid and level foundation.

HOW CLOSE DO YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO GET TO THE ULTIMATE SITE POSITION?

Cedarlodge

As explained before, the Cedarlodge is narrower and can be delivered to site on a trailer pulled by a 4 x 4. All access ways, lanes and road, must be wide enough (which they usually are!) to allow a width of at least 3 metres. Gateways need to be 9’0 (2.7 metres) wide.

Cedarlodge

These sometimes represent more of a challenge. A typical transporter has a chassis length of 40 feet, plus the cab/drive unit at the front. The width of the cabin on top of the transporter is 3.3 metres plus. The height is not usually a consideration, but if there are low bridges which we might have to negotiate, and particularly is there are any overhead cables, it is important to know well in advance. Also if there are likely to be any difficulties in turning into a narrow gateway.

Once unloaded, a smaller vehicle can usually drag the cabin to its final position.

ONCE POSITIONED, CAN THE CEDARHUT OR CEDARCABIN BE RELOCATED AT SOME FUTURE DATE?

Cedarlodge

Easily, it is provided as standard with a tow bar and a tow hook, which can be attached to most tow ball systems, either on a 4 x 4 vehicle or on a tractor. As a result, it can be pulled over most terrain over short distances. It cannot be taken on a road. If the ground is firm and level, it can often be manhandled into another location.

Cedarlodge

These are a different proposition. At least one, or preferably two axels and wheels need to be fixed to the underside of the engineered beams once they have been jacked up. The cabin can then be moved/pulled up by a 4 x 4 or a tractor over short distances. Alternatively if it needs fundamental relocation, it has to be winched onto a transporter and the original process reversed.

SECTION G - COMMERCIAL LETTING CONSIDERATIONS

WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF VAT PAYABLE ON CEDARLODGES?

Back again to the question of the VAT interpretation of a caravan. In essence, they apply the same criteria as the Caravan Act referred to above. We have sought advice from VAT experts and are happy to share our findings with any interested parties. Suffice it to say, that where either Cedarlodges is not used for accommodation as is a caravan, then the normal rate of 20% applies. Therefore 20% would be applicable to the standard use of a shepherd’s hut, a summer house, a home office etc.

This product is our “Classic” Version.

On the other hand, where a Cedarlodge is used with the benefit of full “living” facilities, then it carries the favourable rate of 5% only. For this, it has to have the facilities for sleeping, food preparation, showers/toilets etc. Only in the case of smaller removable items e.g. mattresses, is the VAT chargeable at 20%, but these usually represent a very small proportion of the total.

WHAT ARE OUR PAYMENT TERMS?

40% deposit, balance on installation

ARE THERE VOLUME DISCOUNTS?

We have a standard price, and then a lower price for orders of 3 or more.

ARE THERE ANY PERCEIVED TRENDS IN SOCIETY & TOURISM THAT ARE RELEVANT TO THE CEDARLODGE DEVELOPMENT?

Again, a big subject, but a few factors underline the importance of what seems to be a growing market.

Firstly, the average age of couples getting married is now in the early 30s. The average age of the first time mother, likewise. As a result, there are many more couples in full time work and with limited holiday time available. Many of us typically take one overseas holiday, but increasingly, couples are wanting to have short breaks in quality accommodation, usually within no more than 2-3 hours drive from major conurbations. They are looking for the “get away” factor.

And then we have the “grey” market with an increasing number of fully mobile and agile folks in the 50 plus age group, enjoying evermore “staycations” in the UK.

This trend has been accelerated in recent years because of increasing concerns about terrorism in certain parts of the world. Also concerns about the decline of the value of the pound against other currencies, with a dramatic effect on the cost of overseas holidays.

These and many other factors are contributing to what is obviously an ever-stronger demand for this small lodge type accommodation.

OVER HOW MANY YEARS WOULD A CAUTIOUS ACCOUNTANT DEPRECIATE/WRITE OFF THE UNIT?

Realistically 20 or 30 yrs

DO CEDATREE OFFER ANY INSIGHT INTO TYPICAL LETTING CHARGES AND COSTS AND RESULTANT REVENUE? 

We have made it our duty to find out about the viability of the Cedarlodge as a letting proposition. We have looked at what is going on in the UK in terms of short and long term holidays in shepherds huts and the like, in lodges, in caravans etc etc.

The ROI (return on investment) will obviously be a factor of the initial investment (let us say typically £25,000 plus installation and service supply costs). Then the occupancy level throughout the year, say 150 nights. And then the charge per night… say £100 per night.

And from that gross revenue, considerations of any commission charges to marketing agencies, any VAT effects that there may be, cleaning and maintenance costs, other marketing costs, energy supply costs etc etc.

But the “biggie” is the occupancy level and likely revenue per night.

We have been absolutely amazed as to the variations, some highly successful operations are getting as high as 230 nights per year = approximately 63% occupancy.  And at a very high charge per night in excess of £100. Others… with apparently very similar letting units are achieving a significantly lower occupancy and a far lower price.

To us as casual observers, it appears that the main factors are:

  • Location
  • Quality of accommodation
  • Marketing

This is a broad subject, about which we enthuse! We have developed a fairly comprehensive pool or information on leading letting agencies, and observation on successful operators and our views on the reasons for their perceived success.

A big subject, but if a potential buyer is looking to get into this business “from a cold start”, this research will be the make or break of the venture.

 

CAN THE LODGE BE FINANCED?

Most emphatically yes. We ourselves are not in any way involved with financing, but can give some very good “broad spectrum guidelines”.

The fact that it is moveable/mobile means that it lends itself well to being financed as a “stand alone” asset.

Everyone has their own views and their own ways of financing a venture like this but very broadly speaking, we analyse the 3 or 4 main possibilities as follows:

Outright investment

A developer, or an entrepreneur, or a businessman, or a landowner, or a pension fund beneficiary may have cash to invest. ln times of very low interest rates, the business of obtaining an attractive rate of return is challenging, to put it mildly. One is looking for the maximum return with the minimum risk.

We have prepared our own spreadsheet setting out the net return on varying levels of investment, and on 2 or 3 different types of Cedarhuts and Cedarcabins and with the “”variables” of the price charged per night and the likely occupancy. These are very basic but we would be only too pleased to share with you or thought and aspirations.

Bank Borrowing

This is probably the “cleanest” method of financing on an overdraft or a term loan.

Again, we can share with you our research on likely returns, but again, these will vary depending on the term of the loan and the interest and the capital payment programme.

Asset Finance

Where, for a variety of reasons, a developer planning to use our lodges within the programme, decides against using either existing cash reserves or existing bank facilities, then the fast-growing business of asset finance is very suitable. This form of finance lends itself particularly to the Cedartree “asset” which can be “lease financed” over a period of typically 2, 3, or 5 years. There are many advantages of this form of finance, and we would be pleased to pass on names of suitable finance houses that would be only too pleased to offer their services.  Because our units are “independent” and an asset in their own right, the finance industry seems to be evermore relaxed about considering them as good security for funding, and increasingly applying many of the lending criteria that apply to the financing of caravans, boats etc.

Disclaimer

ln our various spreadsheets and analyses, we stress that we are not financial experts, and in no way qualified to offer advice, but we do hope that our assessments can be regarded as an attempt at practical help by non-professionals and with no liability!

FROM WHERE CAN LODGE OPERATORS GET HELP ON MARKETING? 

There are a great many booking agencies, who use either guide books or online facilities, and some innovative forms of booking, most of which are internet driven. Site operators tend to have their own systems, but we would be only too please to offer any help that may be relevant, by way of knowledge of the strengths and idiosyncrasies of various booking agencies and their suitability.

SECTION H - CEDARLODGES

Is Planning Permission Needed for Cedarlodges?

Cedarlodge Buildings Used for Summerhouses etc 

A specific grant of planning permission is often not needed for garden buildings which are to be used in connection with your personal enjoyment of your house, because they are allowed as ‘permitted development’. This includes many gazebos, garden rooms, home gym or pool buildings, garden storage, garaging and home offices which are sited within the curtilage (garden) of your home.  

As a guide such an outbuilding would be permitted development provided that: 

  • The building is not sited forward of the main elevation of your house 
  • The building is single storey only, with an eaves height not greater than 2.5 metres 
  • If you are installing a building which has a dual pitched roof and its height is not taller than 4 metres. For other roof designs (such as flat or monopitch roofs) the height limit is 3 metres. These maximum heights apply unless the building would be within 2 metres of the boundary, where the maximum height allowable is 2.5 metres. 
  • The total area of ground covered by buildings and extensions is not greater than half of the curtilage (garden). 
  • It does not include any raised platform, balcony or verandah which is more than 30cm high. 

If your property lies within a Conservation Area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, World Heritage Site or National Park, there are two further criteria: 

  • Buildings will generally need to be within 20 metres of the dwellinghouse (up to 10 square metres may be allowed beyond this area), and
  • The building should not be located in the area between the side elevation of the dwelling and the side boundary. 

You should also note that some properties do not benefit from these permitted development rights. These include listed buildings, flats and maisonettes, any dwellings created from buildings previously in other uses via other permitted development rights, and any buildings on land which is not in lawful domestic/garden use.  Planning permission will be required for buildings in all of these instances. 

Permitted development rights for garden buildings can also be removed by planning condition, or through an ‘Article 4 Direction’ served by your Council. Garden buildings in these instances will require planning permission. 

Please note that this is a guide only.  A link to the primary legislation is provided below and the relevant section can be found at Schedule 2, Part 1, Class E.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/596/pdfs/uksi_20150596_en.pdf

It is always advised that you check the planning position with your local Council before installing any new development. Most councils offer a ‘do I need planning permission’ service where they can confirm whether your proposal is ‘permitted development’. 

It is important to note that, even if your proposed building does not meet the above criteria that is not necessarily a problem, it just means that you need to apply for planning permission and the process to obtaining consent can often very straightforward.

Cedarlodge Buildings used for Guest Accommodation 

You will not likely require a specific grant of planning permission to install a Cedarlodge to be used for purposes ‘ancillary’ to the main house. This can include use as accommodation for a housekeeper or carer, or a younger family member or as extra accommodation for visiting relatives, friends or senior parents. Please note that use commercially as a wholly separate dwelling or as self-contained holiday let accommodation would require planning permission. 

For such units to be allowed without planning permission; 

  • The siting of the Cedarlodge must be contained within your garden. 
  • The Cedarlodge must meet the legal definition of being a ‘caravan’. The lodges supplied by Cedartree UK meet the tests of being a caravan. 

Incredible as it may seem the Cedarlodge conforms with the definition of a caravan under the Caravan Sites Act 1968.  To do this the lodge must not exceed; 20 metres in length, 6.8 metres in width and have an overall height internally of more than 3.05 metres.  The lodge must also be fit for human habitation and capable of being moved from place to place.  It is an important point out that the lodge does not actually have to be moved and there is no need to demonstrate it is capable of being moved.  It is instead a hypothetical test of mobility and that mobility can just be a few metres within the site and does not have to be movement away from the site.  In addition there is no requirement for the lodge to have wheels. 

However, whilst the siting of the Cedarlodge which meets the definition of a caravan and using it for uses ancillary to the main house, shouldn’t require planning permission the issues involved are ‘matters of fact and degree’ and are legally complicated.  Our advice on such matters would be always to obtain a formal confirmation from the Council that planning permission is not required, by making an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness. Once a Certificate of Lawfulness is issued by the Council, this is definitive and you would have the comfort to purchase and install the timber Cedarlodge.  We can provide further professional planning advice and make an application on your behalf.

Many customers have access problems preventing the Cedarlodge being delivered to site in its completed state.  That is not a problem as the lodge can be supplied in sections and assembled on site without affecting the favourable planning considerations explained above.

Buildings for other purposes including as dwellings, for holiday lets, or in connection with a commercial use such as in connection with a wedding venue, glamping, golf club or in association with equestrian use. 

Such buildings will nearly always require planning permission. Planning applications will be determined on the basis of the local and national planning policies which apply in the particular location. We recommend that professional planning advice is sought in each of these instances, and we can obtain initial professional advice and arrange the submission of a planning application on your behalf.

We would be happy to address any areas in which we may be able to help, but if you would care to approach our planning advisors, that would be the best course

How Are They Insulated?

Please refer to the later comments on specification… A very high degree of insulation is incorporated into floor, walls and particularly the roof. As well as double glazing in all doors and windows. The resultant heat loss is minimal. And therefore the cost of keeping the lodge warm and cosy in all seasons is equally minimal.

What Forms of Power/Energy are Needed?

Ideally mains electricity, mains gas, mains water and drainage, but in many instances, all four are easier said than done. There are a great many “half way solutions”, particularly in relation to bottled and/or piped LPG gas, as well as cassette-type toilets, as well as solar and battery power… many ways… the ultimate of which enables living completely off grid, where we can depend on rain water, solar power, wind power and firewood!

What About Maintenance?

Cedar is one of the rare timber species which have their own built in preservatives… Called thujaplicins to be precise! As such, there is no need for chemical preservative treatment or the like… the wood takes care of itself. Direct sunlight on exposed cedar surfaces tends, over a longer period, to turn the colour from a cedar brown to a mature silver colour, a feature preferred by many architects.

We can advise however on treatments to preserve the original colour an as long as is practical, but fundamentally the stability of the timber remains intact thanks to Mother Nature.

How Long Will a Lodge Last and What Sort of Return on Investment Could One Hope For?

The lodges should last at least 30 years. Occupancy levels of 50% and above are commonplace. Because of their unique “character” and their cosy appeal, revenues similar to that of a hotel room can be expected, depending on location, marketing and “environs”.
We have it from our customers that full payback periods of 2-3 years are quite likely.

Can the Lodges be Financed?

Emphatically yes! Lodges and the like took a while to receive universal recognition, but now the business of financing our type of lodge is well advanced and there are many finance houses very keen to help.

Where are Cedarlodges Made?

By us, in the UK! More specifically at Stokenchurch, just off junction 5 on the M40. Proud to be a British manufacturer!

Why the References to American/Canadian Names?

Although most usually in a UK “scenario”, the lodges evoke thoughts of wide open “get away from it all” spaces. So much appreciated, particularly by our city dwellers.

Where Does the Cedar Come From?

We buy in containers direct from our sawmill suppliers in British Columbia, Canada. They are amongst the world’s largest cedar suppliers. The cedar comes from very carefully managed cedar plantations of both primary and secondary growth.

What is the Construction Detail of Cedarlodges?

The floors are made from substantial 315mm x 90mm glulam engineered beams. They support floor joists interfilled with substantial 50mm top grade insulation materials. All covered in exterior grade chipboard, and in turn “floored out” with oak tongue and groove panel flooring. The walls are made from high grade studding, allowing substantial 50mm insulation.

Internal OSB panelling with “ribbed effect” where applicable. Exterior walls clad in top grade cedar “bevel” boarding. Windows and doors double glazed. Highest quality door and window furniture throughout. Top brand suppliers of kitchen and bath/shower room equipment. Ceiling underdrawing in cedar, above which is 70mm insulation and genuine western red cedar shingles on the roof.
We can advise on suitable foundations.

How Are They Delivered?

Cranage and delivery systems are featured in many of our photographs. After manufacture, they are “hiab” loaded onto specialist transporters and delivered as close to site as possible. Increasingly we are asked as to whether they can be located in places where access is extremely difficult, and increasingly we are finding the answer in tremendous growth in long reach cranes,
capable of lifting our 4-7 tonne lodges over long distances and over great heights.

A challenge, but there are ways! Please ask us also about our scheme for factory component manufacture and assembly on site.

How Does VAT Apply?

Where the lodges are used for “living”, then they conform to the definition of a caravan and benefit from the reduced rate of 5% VAT (for the basic non-living unit however, the 20% VAT will apply). This is shown in the footnotes of our pricing schedule, but if you need further explanation, please ask.