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A modular build is a big project, whether you’re planning a spare classroom, office space or residential garden room. The following checklist will help you draw up a specification for your new modular building, to ensure that the end result is exactly what you were hoping for.

First and foremost, it’s vital to work out exactly how much space you will need. You’ll need to consider your storage needs, as well as the space required for living or working. Be realistic in the planning stage, even if you’re not sure you have a big enough site. There are many space saving tricks that can be employed by canny designers, such as clever storage ideas and flexible, interconnecting doors that can be used to separate your interior and folded back when you require a bigger room.

Things to consider:

  • Maximum number of people (staff, pupils, residents) who will occupy the room at any one time
  • Separate kitchen and/or bathroom spaces required
  • Space needed for desks and other office furniture
  • Large peripherals like printers
  • Your storage needs. Do you need room to accommodate awkward objects like bicycles, or delicate things like pottery?
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What will your modular building be made of? This is important for a number of reasons. You’ll want to know whether it is easy to clean and maintain or if you’ll need to factor in any maintenance costs when planning the project. Another very important question to consider is whether there is a guarantee and for how long this lasts. Finally, it’s good to know whether the building materials are eco-friendly and well insulated. This could make a big difference to your wallet, as well as the environment.

Things to consider:

  • Maintenance – will the building be maintenance-free? Is it susceptible to rotting or other age-related decay? Is it easy to clean?
  • Guarantee – how long is the building expected to last? How long is it guaranteed for?
  • Insulation – will the modular building be well insulated? Will it cost a lot to heat in winter?
  • Environment – will the building be made of sustainably sourced materials?


Modular buildings can be extremely comfortable and cosy, with all mod cons including plumbing, heating, electricity and internet. But when drawing up your specification, you’ll need to consider what you are willing to include in your budget, and what would be “nice to have” but is perhaps not essential.

Things to consider:

  • Do you need a sink, bath, shower or toilet plumbed in? These are very convenient but will add considerably to your project costs.
  • Do you need a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection for a well connected office space?
  • How would you like to heat your building? If you need it to be warm from the moment you step inside, you could invest in a remote controlled system that can get things going before you arrive.


Many people are understandably worried about the security of their modular buildings, especially if they contain expensive office equipment. Being separate from your main premises, they can be attractive to intruders if not properly secured.

Things to consider:

  • Windows and doors – if you’re going to invest in anything, high quality windows and doors with robust locks should be high on your list.
  • Alarm system – consider installing a security alarm if you want a visible and effective deterrent to intruders.
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  • Storage for valuables – can you design your room so that valuable items are hidden out of sight when nobody is using them?
  • Intercom – think about putting in an intercom system so that you can buzz people in and out.