Log burner or electric heating for garden office

Hi all, 
         I've just had a garden office built. All fully insulated with a flat rubber roof. Too far from the main house to be connected to the central heating.
Its 10ft by 24ft so i think it needs a 2kw heater.  When i originally ordered the building i was going to heat it with an electric radiator or electric fire which are of course inexpensive (£50?) but expensive to run. my estimate is that it will use 12kw a day to heat, so if electric hits 50p/kwh in October thats £6 a day...ouch

Other option is a log burner as i do use logs for the main house. 20% of our logs are free from a bit of land i have, but the majority i buy in bulk. Id estimate 10p/kwh cost for wood
However you are talking approx £2.5k to supply and install a log burner. Assuming i use the heating for 100 days in winter that gives me a payback period of 6 years which seems too high to justify the spend, plus electric heaters have thermostats.

Anyone else investigated a similar scenario? do my figures stack up?  I do love a log stove








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  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 4,987
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    edited 28 June 2022 at 8:56AM
    Don't fork out £2.5K on a log burner. You only need something small such as one of these for £50 on ebay:


    Image 1 - gas bottle wood burner log
  • nande2000
    nande2000 Posts: 217
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    Good point, that removes about £800 of cost; might be hard to find someone to install a non defra approved model tho
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,620
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    We are having our office redone at the moment.  All walls and floor, roof being insulated to modern standards and a small extension with modern insulation. The builder has said that we won't need much heating because of the level of insulation.    We have gone for a hot & cold aircon and a wood burner.   

    So, if yours is also well insulated, you may not find the heating is much of an issue.    We went for a woodburner for ambience as well as the fact over half our wood supply is from our own trees.    Even if we had to buy 100% of the wood, I still would have the burner as it is in keeping with the age of the building and style and I really like having the burner going.    So, the cost is not a driver on my side but a lifestyle choice.

    I am hoping the heat side of the aircon won't get much use due to the insulation.  Maybe a short burst in the morning whilst the burner builds up.


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  • nande2000
    nande2000 Posts: 217
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    dunstonh said:
    We are having our office redone at the moment.  All walls and floor, roof being insulated to modern standards and a small extension with modern insulation. The builder has said that we won't need much heating because of the level of insulation.    We have gone for a hot & cold aircon and a wood burner.   

    So, if yours is also well insulated, you may not find the heating is much of an issue.    We went for a woodburner for ambience as well as the fact over half our wood supply is from our own trees.    Even if we had to buy 100% of the wood, I still would have the burner as it is in keeping with the age of the building and style and I really like having the burner going.    So, the cost is not a driver on my side but a lifestyle choice.

    I am hoping the heat side of the aircon won't get much use due to the insulation.  Maybe a short burst in the morning whilst the burner builds up.


    I've just got a fan for cooling and so far works fine. i know what you mean though, its not just the heat from the log burner, its the smell and type of heat that you get from it that creates an ambiance you dont get with an oil fired rad. 

    No cavity in my building just 100mm celotex insulation boards all round behind 40mm loglap cladding



  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 4,987
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    nande2000 said:
    Good point, that removes about £800 of cost; might be hard to find someone to install a non defra approved model tho
    It's not part of your house so no regs to worry bout.
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,228
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    Swipe said:
    nande2000 said:
    Good point, that removes about £800 of cost; might be hard to find someone to install a non defra approved model tho
    It's not part of your house so no regs to worry bout.

    Building Regulations still apply to outbuildings. What is not of concern most of the time is Planning, as sheds generally fall within permitted development. So installing a log burner needs to comply with building regs regardless of where it is located.
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  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,624
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    nande2000 said:
    Anyone else investigated a similar scenario? do my figures stack up?  I do love a log stove
    Even fully-fitted it should cost a lot less than the £2.5k you're suggesting a wood burner would cost, plus you keep decent air quality in & around your office. With a COP of 3 your £6/day would become £2/day.
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  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 4,987
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    FreeBear said:
    Swipe said:
    nande2000 said:
    Good point, that removes about £800 of cost; might be hard to find someone to install a non defra approved model tho
    It's not part of your house so no regs to worry bout.

    Building Regulations still apply to outbuildings. What is not of concern most of the time is Planning, as sheds generally fall within permitted development. So installing a log burner needs to comply with building regs regardless of where it is located.
    Not something I would ever concern myself with for a shed.
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,568
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    I'd be inclined to consider an air-to-air heat pump, most of which can be used for cooling in the summer as well. They've usually got a better COP than an air-to-water and can be reasonably cheap to install - have a look at this  - https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/heat-pump/air-to-air-heat-pump
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  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    I would agree with the heat pump as the best solution.

    However a really cheap option would be a couple of Infra Red heaters. If you are sitting at a desk most of the time these can 'beam' heat at a specific area rather like a desk lamp can illuminate a small area.

    They are really cheap to buy and run, but of course the rest of the office will remain cold. They used to be widely used in unheated garages when someone was working at a bench; might still be used that way.
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