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Luxury Garden Rooms

Many people, when asked to describe a luxury garden room, would think of a magnificent and sumptuous abode set in large grounds, overlooking the sea or next to a lake, or perhaps amongst rolling hills with mountains in the distance. It seems that location is an important aspect where luxury garden rooms are concerned, with that all important view, privacy and peace and quiet being the main requirements. Today we will be taking a look at some of the jaw droppingly gorgeous garden rooms that might be found on millionaire mile, or is it millionaire row? Nowadays it’s even likely to be billionaire!

What defines luxury?

The Oxford English Dictionary describes luxury as “a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense”, if you are fortunate enough to live in the lap of luxury, where money is no object and you can have whatever your heart desires then your garden room can be as grand and as opulent as you wish. Of course personal style will mean that one person’s idea of luxury will differ from the next, a grand gothic style garden room with ornate plasterwork and gilded ceilings may make some of us positively drool whereas it may make others absolutely shudder! The other end of the style scale is the minimalistic garden room, open plan with vast expanses of glass, this will really appeal to many of us but others will find it to be cold and lacking in character. It is all quite simply a matter of taste.

This muted palette and the natural materials combine to give an atmosphere of understated luxury, with the focus instead upon the stunning view, which is the obvious reason why the owners decided to build here. This fabulous room feels as if it is actually sitting on the lake, fold back the glass panels to catch the breeze and it would be easy to imagine you were about to float away!

The purpose of a luxury garden room

Garden rooms are usually constructed with a purpose in mind and there are many reasons why a homeowner would wish to build one, a studio for art or for yoga, an office or even just a multipurpose room for the whole family to enjoy. A luxury garden room, however, built in the grounds of a very well to do homeowner is likely to be used for different purposes, these may include a pool house, function room, art gallery, VIP accommodation, recording studio, spa or sauna room, climate controlled room for luxury or vintage car collection or even a sprawling beach house if their land includes a private beach.

The doors of this lovely room open straight onto the deck which overlooks the sea, what an amazing view! Steps lead down to the beach so you can take a refreshing dip when the sun becomes a little too warm; you are so close to the beach that it will be no problem to pop back if you’ve forgotten your towel or your sunglasses.

The bigger the better

Size matters where luxury garden rooms are concerned, only a truly spacious and substantial building is likely to be acceptable to the super-affluent home owner, so can this really be considered to be a garden room? If the room or rooms sit within your garden or your land, even if you have acres rather than metres, it can still be regarded as a garden room. As we are exploring luxury garden rooms situated in the UK we can assume that we may expect inclement weather for a good part of the year, this should not deter any owner of a luxury garden room that is being used as a pool house as they will probably have an outside pool for when the weather is warm and sunny and an indoor, heated pool for those all too common gale force winds and driving rain.

The crystal clear water of this exquisite pool reflects a mirror image of the tree standing at its edge, how wonderful that the decision was taken to retain the tree when the pool was built, although it must be a labour of love to keep the pool clear of leaves when they begin to fall during the autumn months. Complete privacy has been achieved by placing the pool between buildings and behind a very tall and solidly built door.

Only the very best

For the most discerning of multi-millionaires (or billionaires) only the most superior of materials will suffice; depending upon taste the highest quality Italian marble or solid wood flooring could be used throughout the entire luxury garden room, this will link the rooms seamlessly and create a refined and harmonious atmosphere.

Italian leather for the large and comfortable handmade, custom designed sofas, Boca do Lobo or Fendi Casa furniture perhaps, with soft furnishings made of cashmere, silk velvet and Merino or Vicuna wool. Egyptian cotton or Mulberry silk bedding will be certain to give your VIP guests a pleasant night’s sleep in their Baldacchino Supreme bed, whilst the en suite will wow them with the crème de la crème of bathtubs – a Simon Krapf Le Grand Queen. We suggest the timeless Baccarat crystal for your chandeliers and pendant lighting, whilst for a truly elegant table, Baccarat crystal champagne flutes, wine glasses and decanters would be the perfect choice.

We just could not discuss luxury garden rooms and luxurious interiors without including Pietra Firma Luxtouch tiles; each square metre is priced at $1,000,000 and is inlaid with over 1,000 diamonds, 2,400 pieces of mother of pearl, 500 pieces of black onyx and 400 pieces of abalone shell. Pietra Firma has limited the use of these tiles to only five projects worldwide, this will ensure their rarity and their value.

We hope you have enjoyed our little jaunt through the world of luxury garden rooms for the mega-wealthy, they say money doesn’t bring happiness – it certainly buys a whole lot of garden room!

Garden Rooms Attached to House

Most people consider a garden room to be a completely separate building from the main house, it may only be situated a few feet away but they feel it should still stand apart to be a true garden room. Garden rooms attached to the house have actually been very popular with home owners for many years; it is often a room that links the home and the garden, often with double or patio doors to allow the fresh air in, although garden room owners tend to favour bi-folding doors these days. This article will show that a garden room joined to your house can be an extra space that your family and friends will find just as useful as a detached version.

Garden Room attached to house

Is it a garden room or an extension?

Actually, it could be either as both are joined to the main house. An extension is usually constructed in the same style as the building it is attached to, for example, the material used for the external walls, the pitch of the roof, the type of roof covering and the design and size of the windows. The reason for this is that the extension will eventually “weather in” and match the rest of the house, when this is done well it is often almost impossible to tell if a home has been extended. A garden room attached to a house is likely to have large windows and double doors, patio doors or bi-folding doors; it could have a roof that matches the main house or one of a completely different style and it could have skylights or even a lantern roof.

garden room lighting

The owner of this beautiful garden room has opted for a pair of large skylights instead of a single central one, the result is a wonderfully bright and airy room, even on the most overcast of days, it also allows for a much greater circulation of fresh air when the skylights are opened.

Garden rooms that are attached to the main house are generally built of stone or brick in order to blend in, however, this is not always the case as wooden garden rooms are also a popular choice. Glass garden rooms have become very “in vogue” in recent years, also known as winter gardens, these glass rooms can be framed with either wood, metal or UPVC and they are generally quite “boxy” in shape, although they are also available with a pitched roof. The latest winter gardens have frameless walls allowing for completely uninterrupted views of the garden. Less expensive versions of these winter gardens are constructed of an aluminium frame with clear acrylic walls and a polycarbonate roof. Although they are referred to as winter gardens it is difficult to see how this type of garden room would be usable during the coldest winter months without heating, conversely this type of garden room is going to become very hot during the summer months without some form of shading from the heat of the sun, tinted glass walls would help cut down on the solar gain.

Special thanks masson-wintergarten for providing the image

Whether you have opted for a completely glass garden room to attach to your home or a stone built version with large windows and skylights, you will probably want to investigate your options for keeping the room cool during the summer and less icy in winter. Blinds are a great way to cut down on the glare of the midsummer sun and they will also help to prevent cold air or draughts during more inclement weather; vertical, Venetian, roman and roller blinds are all popular window treatments in the UK and they can all be operated either manually or remotely. Shutters are very “on trend” right now; these can be fixed to the window with the louvres operated either remotely, by moving a blade or by winding a handle, or they can be the type that folds open and closed – this type of blind is usually found in period properties. External window shutters are often non working and only fitted for aesthetic purposes but those that actually open and close are a great way of enhancing the improvements gained from your internal window coverings. Many blinds can be operated automatically, with a timer set to control when they open or close, smart blinds operate via an app which can control some or all of the blinds in your home, even when you are away, this is a very effective security device.

Many garden rooms that are joined to the main house have double, patio or bi-folding doors leading straight onto the garden, this is a wonderful way of blurring the line between inside and out and helping to cool the garden room on hot sunny days. Consideration needs to be given to the flooring in your garden room as during the colder and wetter months you may find mud or wet grass being tracked in, or puddles of water from wellies or umbrellas, this is particularly so if you have young children or pets. Carpet is not generally recommended for a room that can open up into the garden, a hard wearing floor that can be mopped as often as needed without ruining it is the best choice, perhaps add a rug or two for the best of both worlds. Flooring types suitable for a garden room include stone, vinyl, wood, ceramic and heavy duty laminate; these are available in a huge range of colours and styles and should withstand the rigours of people and pets constantly going in and out of the garden in all weathers.

Rustic Garden Room

Rustic generally means simple, natural, unsophisticated or relating to the countryside, to many of us it is associated with nature and this makes it a very popular style for both the interior and exterior areas of our homes. This article will explore the rustic garden room, inside and out.

Special thanks Wei-Feng Xue for providing the image

We have all heard the phrase “rustic charm” and it often conjures up images of a rural setting, perhaps with a log cabin amongst the trees, a veranda and shutters on the windows, a rustic garden room can have all of this and more. Being rustic it is likely that your garden room will be built of wood, although natural stone can also be considered as rustic, both have a rough, organic beauty that is sought after by those seeking a simple and unpretentious style. We will concentrate upon the rustic garden room made of wood today.

The exterior of a wooden rustic garden room should be either stained or painted in natural and neutral shades, any of those colours that are found in nature, such as greens, browns, creams and greys will be a perfect choice. Window and door frames can be painted in a contrasting shade; white is always an excellent accent colour for this purpose as it provides a calm and peaceful atmosphere.

Special thanks Pexels for providing the image

Rustic does not mean tumbledown or tatty, it may mean shabby chic perhaps, or even vintage as the style can often take you back to days gone by. Consider adding working shutters to the windows of your rustic garden room, they are not just an attractive and stylish addition as they can help to prevent the cold and draughts from getting in on windy days; of course internal and external shutters will give double the protection. A stable door is the ultimate country farmhouse style of door, you quite simply couldn’t get any more rural as far as doors go, hang a horseshoe on it for luck and it will add a certain panache to your rustic garden room whilst allowing the fresh air in on warm summer days. A flag stone, plain paving, stepping stones or gravel foot path will stop you tracking mud or wet grass into your rustic garden room, whilst solar lighting in a rustic style will light your way on dark evenings.

Special thanks Sheila Dean for providing the image

A small area of decking in front of, or wrapped around, your rustic garden room will be the perfect spot to place a couple of chairs or perhaps even a rocking chair; even better if you are lucky enough to have a veranda or a pergola. Hanging lanterns will give a warm glow during the evenings and they will also deter biting insects, window boxes are a great way to add a splash of colour to the exterior of your rustic garden room, just make sure you take into account the height needed for the plants and leave enough room to open and close your shutters. A trellis or two placed on the walls of your rustic garden room will allow you to grow climbing plants, such as clematis, passion flower or honeysuckle, these will be beneficial to the wildlife in your garden and the honeysuckle in particular will surround you for months with its wonderful scent. Position shrubs or flowering plants in planters around your garden room, plant dwarf trees – or large trees if your garden is large enough! Nature is phenomenal and the rustic look embraces the beauty of the natural world.

The roof of your rustic garden room should be given careful consideration, a natural material is going to be a much better choice than something like roofing felt or bitumen and it will also complement your other rustic enhancements. Slate tiles, cedar shingles, thatch or even a living sedum roof are all popular roofing materials that are suitable for a rustic garden room. If roofing felt or bitumen is your only option then consider growing a non invasive climbing plant over it, which will certainly add a rustic element.

The interior of your rustic garden room should be an oasis of calm, with a simple and neutral colour palette inspired by the colours of nature, keeping the colour theme throughout your garden room will achieve a consistent, tasteful atmosphere and make the space feel larger. Walls of grey, green, beige, pale blue or cream with white woodwork and ceilings will give a light and airy feel to your rustic garden room, your woodwork can also be kept in its natural form or simply varnished, this will be truly rustic. Flooring should be plain, natural materials would be preferable, such as stone, slate tiles or wood but laminate or carpet in neutral colours will also be acceptable, rugs to soften hard flooring should also be in neutral colours and either plain or simple patterns.  Soft furnishings should blend with the natural colours used to decorate your rustic garden room; textiles should be soft and comforting with woven or knitted throws, fleeces and soft cotton cushions. Checked patterns (also known as plaid) are very rustic but, once again, they should be in soft, neutral tones. Leather, suede (genuine or faux), cotton and wool are all great for rustic furniture upholstery; this can be combined with basket ware, wood, wicker, rattan, cane or any other natural material that blends in well. whilst Warm spring and summer breezes waft through double doors that open into your garden, whilst lamps on side tables will cast warm and welcoming pools of light around your rustic garden room during the cooler autumn and winter evenings.

Special thanks David Hale for providing the image

The distressed look is very popular with fans of the rustic style but this is not crucial, a well painted dresser in either satin or matt will look just as beautiful as its distressed counterpart, the beauty of “going rustic” is that you can choose to go as worn looking or shabby chic as you wish, it can be your own very individual and unique look or you can follow the advice of decor magazines, provided you don’t go ultra modern or futuristic there is no right or wrong.

Building a Sunken Garden Room

So, you have this space in your garden, and even though is an important part of your property you feel it’s kind of dull. Yes, it’s been said again and again that a garden is a collection of possibilities, but how do you realize those possibilities? What can you do to reach the full potential of all the space? How can you give your uninteresting garden an unforgettable wow factor?

Well, a sunken garden room might be the answer you are looking for, as the many highlights they possess would carve a slice of that potential into your own private sanctum for family and friends.

What is a sunken garden room?

A sunken garden room is a broad term that can be used in several ways, but more often than not would refer to an area in your garden where an “entertainment space” has been designed at least a foot bellow the main ground level. Definitively a feat of design, engineering and gardening, this “entertainment space” can have a roof or not, usually has a seating area, its features could range from a fire pit to a small fountain, and the floor can be covered by anything, from cobblestones to planks of wood.

Although it can have access to electricity, Wi-Fi and anything you want, a sunken garden room can also be a small bucolic paradise within the boundaries of whatever urban cityscape that surrounds you.

Design: an extension of your personality.

Rough cobblestones, smooth concrete, rustic style wood are not only materials, but means to convey a message: how much of your personality defines your surroundings?

There are near infinite possible configurations for what a sunken garden room can be, but it has to accommodate your wants and needs. Floor space, seating area, angular and geometrical shapes or a more circular flow of the space are things to take into consideration.

Engineering: where the experts come from.

After you have considered a range of possibilities and have a clear vision on your mind’s eye of what you want in your garden room, it’s time for consultation and budgeting. There will be landscaping, uprooting and foundations to be laid. In addition to those basics, any extra features you’ve considered that require power and electricity, and the strategic location of a Wi-Fi signal booster if your sunken garden is located far away from your internet router. Drainage will be key, as lower ground would gather more water, so be sure that those are properly placed.

Consult with your local authorities if there’s any need for planning permission and don’t forget to be a good neighbour: give them a heads up that things might get noisy for a bit. They’ll appreciate that you are being considerate, but they will also be aware if you don’t invite them to future barbecues.

Gardening:

Even if you manage to somehow an outdoor home cinema in your sunken garden room, bear in mind that it’s still a garden. Harmony and contrast are vital points of beauty, and which plant life you place where will dramatically change the experience for anyone visiting your self-realized oasis. Succulents are all year persisting plants; floral greenery will provide an explosion of joy in every long awaited spring; and small birches can have the feeling of a small forest and yield those lovely autumn colours that grant unshakable memories. Imagine a measured combination of those styles and you’ll get seasonal highlights all year.

Think of day, think of night.

Lightning is not something that a person would pay much attention when it comes to the external area of the property. Maybe some lights in the porch and driveway, but when you are making the investment to have a sunken garden room in your garden, you don’t want such a feature of your property to fade with nightfall. Anyone should be able to take advantage of that space at any time of the day. A sunken garden room not only need to be a place to be enjoyed while sunlight lasts, but even some discrete illumination is required if you are having late drinks with friends or when you want to have your own ritual of solace, with a book and a cuppa during sunset.

And think of the beautiful night photography an estate agent would get if you decide to get your property on the market!

Look up in the sky…

Even if your beautifully designed, perfectly engineered sunken garden room is the jewel of the crown that is your garden, the weather cannot be controlled and you’ll be at the mercy of nature. A way to have your cake and eat it too is to have a gazebo installed. A palace within your palace to let you and yours enjoy fresh air; or even a series of pergolas, with vines intertwined and a transparent ceiling to protect you from the elements is another creative way to have nature and home just a few steps away.

In for a penny in for a pound.

As you are planning and budgeting how to best use all the free space in your property, the cost would start to compound and second thoughts would appear. Should I go for an extension? Should I invest in a home office? Should I build an annex house instead? Sometimes the answer is all of the above. A quick internet search will lead you to some innovative examples of roofed garden rooms that themselves have a garden on the roof. This are more expensive builds that require solid, load bearing columns, but lead to astonishing results. You cross the boundaries from a sunken garden to an elevated one! Underneath there could be a home office, personal gym, entertainment room, etc., and above it a rooftop garden that would make you fall in love again and again with your own home. 

Conclusion:

Have a vision of how do you want your sunken garden room to look like, have a clear budget, be sure you find someone trustworthy that uses quality materials to realise your project. 

Special thanks lammoreaux for providing the image

Does a garden room increase the value of your property?

There are several reasons why a garden room would not only be a great addition to your property but also increase its market value. If you are looking for a short answer, then yes. A garden room would pay for itself when sold, covering the installation cost and it’s cheaper and faster than building an extension. So, go forth, design, build and enjoy your garden room!

But if you are looking for the “how’s” and “why’s”, then stick around.

What is a big garden, but big possibilities?

Big gardens themselves are always a plus when it comes to property ownership: a place to relax and sunbathe in those long British summers… but gardens are more than that. They are a spark of possibility of what can be constructed there. A green canvas if you will. An extension could come to mind as your first option, but planning permission and months of life disrupting, sledge hammering inside your own house would make the project less appealing.

What is effective floor space and why does it matter?

Now, without getting too technical, there’s a difference between the “net floor space” and the “effective floor space” of your property. For example, the stairs that lead from your ground floor to the first floor are without any doubt part of the property, but they are not “usable space”. Your big garden is part of the property but is not “effective floor space”. A garden room would take part of that external area of your property and transform it into usable floor space, without all the hassle of an extension.

A garden room increases the floor space of your property in an easy and considerably inexpensive way.

How an estate agent will market your property?

When you look at your property you might see the dream of being a homeowner come true, life memories or simply just a monetary investment, but when an estate agent looks at a property he/she is looking for a product to sell. The way they understand a property is through features and floor space. A beautiful bay window, lovely chimney, granite countertops, a garden room… those are just a few features an estate agent will instantly notice, and make a mental note to add to your home brochure and specifically tell the property photographer to shoot. The more features your home has, the more an estate agent will love your property.

The more an estate agent loves your property, the more effort they will put on marketing.

Why is a garden room a prized feature?

The post pandemic era has introduced the world to a whole new set of challenges to the so called “work-life balance”. Routines have been disrupted and suddenly your house has become an office flooded with paperwork and an infinite number of zoom calls. Your “office” is now invaded with interruptions, like kids running around and the intermittent “do you want another cuppa?” of your significant other. All this can be mitigated with the addition of a garden room. Therefore, a property with a garden room already built creates more appeal to people looking to buy.

All work no play…

A garden room would not only appeal to potential buyers that work from home. Enter the debate between specialised vs general garden rooms. If you are thinking about building a garden room and then selling your property, ensure your garden room can be repurposed with little to no effort. Someone who wants a home gym would prefer an open space and maybe a big wall to set up a mirror, a photographer would want various light sources, a videographer or sound engineer would need several power sockets.

These features are not mutually exclusive, but just a drop in the ocean of possibilities of what a garden room can be and why someone would want one.

How to make a small investment and have a quick return?

The allure of having your property extended would be your first thought because value is calculated by square metres (or square feet), therefore a bigger property would as a fact be more expensive. But thinking outside of the box is profitable – most of the time. Because all the compounded benefits attached to having a garden room that we have mentioned would make your property value increase more than the cost of installing one.

Features upon features?

As mentioned before, a garden room is an enticing feature that would attract potential buyers to explore your property, and in turn think of it as an investment for themselves. The better the garden room is, the more important it becomes as a main selling point of your property. Think about insulation, floor heating, light sources, ranging from big windows to skylights, and power outlets. Those are just a few examples of add-ons that would make a regular garden room stand out and make it unique.

If you think about your property as a product to sell, the more appealing it is, the more customers will be interested on it.

Is installing a garden room a safe bet?

As soon as the pandemic began it was predicted that the housing market was going to lead the world’s economic recovery. People migrated from big unaffordable metropolis to smaller cities and towns where they could “start a new life”. People weigh up their options between a fixer upper, a work in progress or a property with fully realised potential, based on the impossible intersection in the Venn diagram of “what can I afford?”, “what do I need?” and “what do I want?”.

Yes, at the time of writing the housing market is booming, prices are rocketing and working from home is here to stay.

Quick recap: A garden room is not only a good return on investment, but also an effective way to add floor space to a part of your property that otherwise might not be fully taken advantage of. This would be more than just a home office, but a full home improvement that with some key add-ons would be a sure bet, raising market value.

And remember, the value of a product is increased by the amount of people interested in buying it. So a unique and functional garden room will appeal to the majority of potential buyers and you could have a bidding war on your hands!

Grey Garden Room

Garden rooms come in all shapes and sizes, from the humble upgraded garden shed to the luxurious, multi-roomed, purpose built annexe. Garden rooms also come in a large range of colours, gone are the days when any garden building was constructed of brown coloured materials or was painted or stained in a brown shade. It is now perfectly acceptable, even trendy, to use bright colours on garden sheds, summer houses and fences, it is generally now felt that wood does not always have to be painted brown and bright blues or pinks, even multi-colours, are all very acceptable and fashionable. This article will explore the notion of using a variety of shades of grey (no pun intended) for your garden room; we will consider the realms of possibilities of using the colour grey for both the interior and exterior of your garden room.

It does not really matter what your garden room is used for, the colour grey is a modern and classy hue that will suit any purpose, from yoga studio to man cave, it is certain to please. For a start, grey goes with anything! It is one of the most versatile colours you can use and has a great range of shades, from the palest grey, which is almost white, to the darkest grey, which could be mistaken for black. From this sophisticated palette you can be confident that you will find at least one shade of grey that you will be partial to and then it is all a matter of finding other suitable grey tones with which to blend or contrast.

Most gardens have some greenery, a lawn, some shrubs, perhaps even some trees if you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, you will find that any of the many shades of grey will blend in very well with the green hues of your garden plant life. The exterior of your grey garden room could be just one overall shade of grey but with a contrasting colour for the door and the window frames, a mid to pale grey building accentuated with a bright white door and windows will bring a calm and restful atmosphere to your garden, whereas a very pale grey garden room with a black or dark grey door and window frames will be extremely in vogue. A very popular colour right now for garden rooms, summer houses, conservatories, etc. is French grey; this is more of a green grey, which means it blends perfectly with the natural colours found in a garden; it is also a much favoured colour to use when decorating the interior of a home.  External cladding comes in many forms and can often be purchased in the colour of your choice, this includes stone, vinyl, brick, ceramic, fibre cement and external foam cladding, this type of exterior is highly sought after by garden room owners as it saves having to regularly maintain any paintwork. Click here for more information on external cladding.

If you have an ample budget then consideration could be given to the glass used in your grey garden room; the glass in your door, windows, skylight and bi-folding doors could all be replaced with glass that has been tinted in a grey tone, this would not only be very stylish, it would also help to keep your garden room cool during the hot summer months and it would certainly cut down on the glare from the sun. Tinted glass is also known to help prevent birds from accidentally flying into large expanses of glass, such as picture windows or bi-folding doors.

A grey garden room interior will not only be elegantly chic, it will also contribute to a cooling and softening ambience, this means it will be perfect for a garden room gym or yoga studio. Grey is a very smart colour, which is why it is the colour of choice for so many types of uniform, this also makes it a highly suitable colour for a garden room office. Grey is a very modern and trendy option for interior designers, it has become so fashionable that you can now buy any type of furniture in this colour, so you should not have any problems with furnishing your grey garden room, this also applies to soft furnishings. When decorating the interior it would be a good idea to avoid painting or wallpapering all the walls in the same shade, having one wall in a contrasting or accent colour will add interest to the room and make it feel larger, consider having three painted walls and one with wallpaper, this is a great way to make a feature wall. You could then place artwork in frames to match your accent wall and hang them on the non accent walls. Another excellent design idea is to add accessories in the same shade of grey as your contrasting wall, such as vases, cushion covers, throws, lampshades, rugs, etc. this will enhance the accent shade and help to unify the room. Carpet, laminate and slate, ceramic, vinyl or carpet tiles are all popular types of flooring available in a variety of grey colours, whatever kind of flooring you opt for it is generally best to use the same colour throughout as this will make your grey garden room feel larger, a matching shade of floor tile could then be used for the en suite. Remember to place a door mat inside your entrance door if you have decided to use hard flooring as it can become very slippery when wet, the same applies to the floor in your en suite.

Your grey garden room will be beautifully completed with the addition of decorative planters in either a contrasting shade of grey, black or white; these could contain flowers or shrubs and can be placed at various points around the exterior of the building, another option would be the fitting of window boxes. The path leading to your garden room should consist of grey paving slabs or stepping stones, although a grey gravel footpath would make an acceptable alternative. Finally, don’t forget to place a grey welcome mat at the door for the finishing flourish.

Garden Room Under Floor Heating

The heating of your garden room is an important decision to make; obviously it is a decision that would be best made before construction has even begun, as this would allow you to research all the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of heating systems available before making a commitment.

This article will examine the pros and cons of garden room under floor heating; we will look at the different systems available, what is involved with their installation and how this may affect you and your family.

Under floor heating provides radiant heat from the floor up for consistent warmth at a comfortable temperature, it is particularly efficient under hard floors but it can also be used under carpet that is not too thick, this includes any underlay, a tog rating below 2.5 is generally recommended. Under floor heating can save you money on your heating costs as it operates more efficiently than traditional radiators and does not need to run at such a high temperature, because of this it takes much longer to warm up than radiators, at least 2 to 3 hours to become noticeable, depending upon the type of system and your flooring. Many home owners keep their under floor heating switched on all day during the winter months. Under floor heating is popular because it leaves walls free of radiators, meaning young children are not at risk of touching hot surfaces and giving you more options for design and furniture placement.

Water based under floor heating is known as a wet system and it works in the same way as your central heating radiators, only instead of heat radiating from a radiator hanging on a wall it is provided by a network of pipes installed under your floor. As with a radiator this network of pipes is connected to your central heating boiler which heats the water contained within the system.

Electric under floor heating is known as a dry system, this consists of a network of thin wires that are either laid loose or as part of roll out matting, this network of wires is connected to your mains electricity supply and they heat up when switched on.

Your choice of whether to opt for an electric or a water based under floor heating system will probably be decided by the distance that your garden room is positioned from your main house, as generally the further away it is, the more expensive and disruptive it will be to install. The easiest and most cost effective way to install garden room under floor heating is during the build, it is simply more efficient to factor in the under floor heating at this time, it is entirely possible to retrofit garden room under floor heating but this will entail lifting the floor covering, you may also find that it will affect the floor height. Water based under floor heating systems usually take longer to install and are generally more expensive to install than electric systems, however, water based systems are much cheaper to run, for this reason electric under floor heating is often used for single rooms and smaller or difficult to work areas. A garden room under floor heating system can be installed by a competent DIYer and there are a variety of kits available for this purpose, although you will still need the expertise of a fully qualified professional to connect to your mains electricity supply.

Special thanks UFH Supply for providing the image

Both wet and dry under flooring heating systems will be installed on top of the concrete base of your garden room, this will often have insulation in the form of a waterproof membrane and this membrane will have a layer of thermal insulation over it. The wet system pipes or the dry system wires are then laid and a layer of screed is applied – it is imperative that both wet and dry under floor heating systems are installed within the screed layer and not concrete as this can cause damage. Once the screed has cured and the system has been slowly warmed up and allowed to cool again, your floor covering can be fitted.

The best types of flooring to use with under floor heating are those that are natural heat conductors, stone, slate and ceramic tiles are all good examples, whilst vinyl and laminate flooring will also work well. Engineered wood is probably a better choice than real wood because the heat can cause warping or shrinkage, proceed with caution if you cannot bear the idea of anything but genuine wood on your floors. As previously mentioned, it is possible to use carpet provided it is not too thick.

Special thanks Robinson Flooring for providing the image

Garden room under floor heating has many benefits; including that it provides consistent and comfortable heat throughout the building, it works at a lower temperature than traditional radiators so it could reduce your heating costs, it is safer for young children as there are no hot radiator surfaces to touch, no radiators means clear wall areas so more options for furniture placement and finally, lovely warm feet!

There are some disadvantages of garden room under floor heating; this includes the cost of installation, the time it takes to warm up, retrofitting can be messy and disruptive and there are potential issues with floor heights.

Planning permission is not generally required for an under floor heating system, although you will probably need building regulations approval. As always, we recommend that you contact your local planning authority for advice before starting work as some areas of the UK may have different rules, regulations and restrictions than others. If you live in a listed property you will need to apply for the appropriate permissions before commencing.

Under floor heating is a great choice for heating a garden room, particularly if you are able to install the system as part of its construction. Garden room owners generally opt for the electric, or dry, system and run it as a low to medium background heat with perhaps one or two wall hung electric heaters as a backup for the coldest winter days. Whatever system you choose we are sure you will enjoy the comfortable warmth – and having cosy toes!

Garden Guest Room For Family & Friends

Garden rooms are probably the most popular way of gaining more living space in recent years, cheaper than a traditional extension and faster to construct – some suppliers boast a start to finish build time of five to seven days – a garden room is certain to be valued by the whole family.

A perfect way to make family and friends feel welcome is to invite them to stay overnight but not every home owner has a spare room available for guests, or even room for a small sofa bed, this is where a guest room will prove to be invaluable. Garden rooms are used for many purposes, including offices, gyms, studios and so on, an increasingly sought after function for a garden room is that of the garden guest room.

A garden guest room does not have to be used solely for that purpose; in fact the multipurpose garden room is the most popular and most functional way of using a room built in the garden. Placing a small sofa bed or a couple of fold up chair beds in a multipurpose garden room should not affect its general use at all, if you don’t have the space available for this then an inflatable mattress could be the answer, modern versions of these mattresses look very similar to a proper bed when inflated and they are also extremely comfortable, just right for the occasional overnight stay or sleepover.

If the idea of a sofa bed or inflatable mattress does not appeal to you then perhaps a purpose built garden guest room would be more suitable for your needs, maybe you will have overnight guests on a more regular basis than just the occasional sleepover, or you would just prefer to offer family and friends somewhere more luxurious to stay.

A garden guest room can relieve you of a lot of the hassle of having guests staying overnight or for a few days, or even weeks! Let’s face it, it can be hard work keeping that fixed smile in place when you’re all living on top of each other in the same house, probably not too much fun for your guests either. A self contained guest room in your garden will allow your visitors some personal space and privacy, they will still be your guests but they will also have their independence and will be able to keep to their own routines, also (and equally as important) your own family routines will not be adversely affected.

Garden Guest Rooms and Planning Permission

A garden room will generally fall within the rules of permitted development, this means that planning permission may not be required, however, it is likely that you will be required to make a planning application for a garden guest room with sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities, or if you intend to have regular overnight guests. You will certainly be required to comply with Building Regulations so you should confirm this with your supplier. Click here to view useful government “guidance on householder permitted development rights, which allow improvement and extension of homes without the need to make a planning application.” Not all areas of the UK have the same rules, regulations and limitations so we strongly recommend that you seek advice from your local planning authority before making any commitments. Click here for further information on planning.

Fixtures and Fittings for a Garden Guest Room

A garden guest room could actually be just one room with a bed, after all that is all you might expect in many of the lower priced bed and breakfast establishments across the UK. Of course this would mean your guests would be popping across the lawn on a regular basis to use your toilet facilities, not to mention joining the queue every morning for the shower, not terribly convenient and possibly rather an awkward situation for your visitors. Your garden guest room could include an en suite with a toilet and shower, a double bed or twin single beds, an electric heater, a television, an internet connection and a side table with coffee/tea making facilities. A garden guest room with these features would make life much more convenient for your guests; they would have privacy within their own space and could choose to eat with you or at a local restaurant. To be truly self contained your garden guest room will also need cooking facilities, they do not need to be extensive, just a small kitchenette will be ample for the needs of any visitors staying for a few days. The kitchenette should include a sink with hot running water, a microwave, kettle and toaster; if your garden guest room is large enough you may even have room for a small oven and hob, maybe even a tiny fridge. Your guests may only stay overnight, or even for a few days, however long they stay this fully equipped garden guest room will allow them to have complete independence; they will need nothing from you, apart from the pleasure of your company, visitors outstaying their welcome will be a thing of the past, every visit should now be a stress free and pleasant experience for all.

Your Neighbours

It is important to consider your neighbours before you even commit to building a garden guest room, it is simply good manners to explain your plans and ask if they have any objections, they could complain once planning notices were posted in your street anyway but a neighbourly chat could prevent this. Once your garden guest room has been built your guests should be reminded that you have neighbours and that any noise should be kept to a minimum, parking could cause issues so it is important that you provide a space for your visitors to park if there is no on street parking available, your neighbours should never be affected by visiting vehicles.

Letting a Garden Guest Room

Some owners of garden guest rooms intend to offer short term lets to holiday makers, if this is something you are considering we strongly recommend that you contact your local planning authority for advice as some parts of the UK have different rules, regulations and restrictions than others and you may have to apply for planning permission to be able to offer your garden guest room as a holiday let.

Garden Room Veranda

A veranda, also known as a verandah, wrap-around porch or covered terrace, is a structure that is attached to the exterior wall of a building, usually a house or a garden room. It has a supported roof (or canopy) but is generally open to the elements, usually having only railings or screens.

Special thanks Amalia Liogas for providing the image

Veranda or verandah?

Veranda is spelt without the letter “h” in the US, verandah is the British spelling but this is rapidly becoming obsolete as veranda is more commonly used these days, for this article we will use the version without the letter “h”. The origin of veranda is from the Portuguese word varanda.

Verandas are great for providing protection against the heat of the sun, torrential rain, snowfall and fallen leaves in the autumn. A front stoop (set of steps) leading to a wrap-around veranda with a swing seat or pair of rocking chairs near the front door will probably conjure up an image of a typical US homestead for most British people, the front stoop is not an expression used in the UK, we just call them front steps and they are not a prerequisite for most verandas.

Can I have a garden room with a veranda?

Yes, it is possible to have a garden room with a veranda but you may need to apply for planning permission and/or seek building regulations approval. The internet is full of conflicting advice where permitted development and planning permission for verandas is concerned so we strongly recommend that you contact your local planning authority before starting work, it is imperative that you make sure you are completely clear regarding the rules, regulations, restrictions and limitations covering your location as some areas of the UK may differ to others. The Government has published useful technical guidance on permitted development rights for householders, click here to view.

Our understanding is that verandas, balconies or raised platforms are not considered to be permitted development and will require planning permission, further details are listed below.

The UK planning portal states that:

“Outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
  • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
  • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must not exceed 0.3 metres in height)
  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from the house to be limited to 10 square metres.
  • On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
  • Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

*The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

*Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.”

A veranda is usually positioned at the front of your garden room or at the front and sides, although there is no reason why (with the necessary permissions) it couldn’t also be at the back of your garden room or on all four sides – a true wrap-around veranda!

The actual floor or walkway of a garden room veranda can be made of whatever material you have a preference for, including wood, concrete or paving slabs. If it is to be raised then you may want to keep it lower than 300mm as this is the height allowed for permitted developments.

You will need sturdy posts to support the roof of your garden room veranda, these can be made of wood or metal, Victorian lamp post style supports are very popular, even with owners of modern properties. Railings are often placed in between the supports and balustrades are another attractive addition, these are available in a range of materials so you can mix or match according to taste. Veranda screens are useful for privacy and to keep out the worst of wet and windy weather, they can be operated manually or by remote control, other forms of screening are louvres or trellis work. Some home owners decide to completely enclose their verandas; this is usually done with glass to prevent any loss of light in the garden room. It helps to cut down on draughts within the building and also adds a useful extra area of indoor/outdoor space to the garden room.

Garden room veranda roofs are generally constructed of wood or metal with a variety of roof coverings. Slate tiles and tiles to match those of the main roof are both popular choices, although many find that they make the interior too dark so they opt for polycarbonate or glass roofs instead.

A veranda is a great addition to a garden room and it can be enhanced by hanging baskets full of flowering plants from the roof, placing flower filled troughs along the railings and placing attractive planters at each corner. For added interest wind chimes (love them or hate them) and spinners can be hung where the wind will catch them.

Special thanks Hank Bickel for providing the image

Garden Room Toilet

Whatever your garden room is used for, an office, studio, family room or multipurpose room, the addition of a toilet and wash basin will mean no more running up and down the garden path to use the loo. This will be so much more convenient, particularly during the autumn and winter months!

Since the lockdowns caused by the pandemic many of us now work from home on either a part time or full time basis, some of us love it and some of us hate it but it seems that working from home in some form or other is here to stay. Many companies across the UK are giving their workers the option of returning to the office, continuing to work from home or a flexible mix of the two, some firms have even decided to give up their offices spaces permanently. This is the main drive behind the popularity of garden rooms in the UK; it is also why so many people are investigating the possibility of installing a toilet in their garden room.

Can I put a toilet in my garden room?

Yes, generally you can install a toilet in your garden room but you will need to apply for Building Regulation approval, planning permission is not usually required, although we recommend that you seek advice from your local authority as some areas can have different rules and restrictions. Some authorities require a full planning application if connection to the mains water supply is part of the design.

The addition of a toilet in your garden room will involve connection to the mains water supply for flushing and hand washing, the sewage system for removal of waste water and electricity for heating water, lighting and ventilation, of course your garden room may already be connected to the mains electricity so this should save time and expense. Connecting to these mains services should generally be quicker, easier and cheaper if your garden room is located near to your main house, however, if your garden is extensive and you have positioned your garden room a significant distance from the main house then you will find that connecting to the necessary utilities will likely be an expensive and time consuming process.

The best method for the removal of waste water is to use a suitable connection to the sewage system, either by a gravity fed system or a macerator system, the latter involves an electrically operated water pump and macerator moving waste through a small bore pipe to connect to the mains sewage system. Please be aware that waste water should ALWAYS be removed via sewage pipes and NOT rainwater pipes.

If connection to the sewage system is not possible then a chemical toilet or an eco toilet (also known as a composting, waterless or dry toilet) may be the only options available to you. You should note that the term “eco toilet” does not solely refer to a toilet that does not use water as some low flush, water saving toilets are also often referred to as being eco toilets.  Modern waterless toilets are nothing like the old, smelly versions where you had a box or bucket of sawdust ready for sprinkling after use, in fact the eco loo of today looks rather like an ordinary toilet. An electrically operated flush works by simply pressing a button, any smells are eliminated by the use of vents and fans and a screen prevents you from seeing anything below, it is not surprising that composting toilets are rapidly growing in popularity across the UK. The waste is dealt with by separating the urine and faeces, the urine is filtered until it is odourless, at which point it can then be used as fertiliser if desired and the faeces is turned into compost. Chemical toilets are portable loos often found in camper vans, they are also found in motor homes as a fixed toilet with a removable cassette. As the name suggests, this type of toilet relies upon chemicals to break down waste and destroy germs. The toilet has a waste tank and a tank for holding chemicals, when flushed the chemicals wash the waste into the waste tank. Chemical toilets require frequent emptying and we recommend that you take advice from your supplier as some toilet chemicals cannot be flushed down the toilet of your main house, although biodegradable, non hazardous toilet fluid is now widely available and it works just as well as it chemical counterpart, much better for the environment!

Special thanks joandneil for providing the image

Hot running water for hand washing is very important; this can be provided by the installation of a small water heater either above or below the wash basin, this type of heater is available in a range of sizes and prices and should only be installed by a fully qualified plumber.

Special thanks Jennifer C. for providing the image

Ventilation is essential in a garden room toilet and this is particularly important if you are using chemicals. Ventilation can be achieved by the use of vents and extractor fans, or by simply keeping a window or two open. Extractor fans are available as mains electric or battery operated, mains electric extractor fans should only be installed by a fully qualified electrician.

Yes, it is indeed possible to have a toilet installed in your garden room but, as with any project of this nature, it is important that you do your research first. Contact all the relevant authorities for advice regarding rules, regulations and restrictions, they are there to help you and should be happy to guide you through the process.

Never personally attempt to carry out installations, repairs or any other kind of work involving utilities, always use fully qualified and reputable tradesmen, either those already known to you or who have been recommended by family or friends. If you are unable to source a suitable tradesman a useful government website in which to find businesses that “have been vetted and approved by Trading Standards to ensure that they operate in a legal, honest and fair way” can be found here.

Garden Room on a Budget

It really is not surprising that garden rooms have become the “in thing”, the “must have” additional space to the main house; it makes sense that a multipurpose room, a space that the whole family can use all year round, will become a true asset, almost certainly adding value to your property.

Not everyone will be able to afford to splash out on a purpose built garden room so here we will explore some of the ways that those with limited resources can achieve their very own place of peace and quiet, a haven away from the distraction of everyday family life, a garden room on a budget.

Shed Garden Room Conversion

Many of us have a garden shed, either a shabby old thing that’s seen better days, a smart, modern version painted in the latest trendy shade or something somewhere in between. Whatever it looks like it is almost certainly only used for storage but with a little time and effort it could become your multipurpose garden room. Using an existing structure is the most budget friendly way possible to owning a garden room, you will not have to clear the area or build a foundation and you may even have a path from your house to the shed, all of which will save you time and money. A garden shed is generally not built to keep people warm and cosy during the autumn and winter months so upgrading will be essential, we recommend that you start your conversion in late spring or summer so you are less likely to be working in inclement weather.

Special Thanks YuppieDecor for providing the image

Your first task should be to check the condition of the exterior of your garden shed, repair any damaged areas and fill all gaps and holes, inspect the roof covering and replace or repair as necessary. Replace any broken windows. Insulation is a crucial part of converting a shed to a garden room, as without it the garden room would not be usable all year round. The walls and roof should certainly be insulated and if it is possible to insulate the floor without losing too much headroom then this should also be done. Your door will also need insulating to prevent draughts coming through the joints and to add another layer of protection against cold weather. There are many types of insulation available, some come in the form of soft sheets or rolls and others are rigid boards, they come in a variety of thicknesses so it is advisable to investigate fully before making your purchase. For more information on insulation click here. Your garden room on a budget will already feel much cosier once you have finished insulating, it should also be much more soundproof, a bonus if you live in a noisy neighbourhood.

The next upgrade should involve your windows and doors, repair any holes or gaps and fit draught excluder all around the inside of each frame. If your window frames are not strong enough to hold a double glazed unit or your budget does not allow it, then a sheet of clear acrylic screwed over the window on the inside should make an acceptable substitute. It will allow light in and help to keep the cold out, a line of clear silicon or draught excluder around the edge will prevent draughts. Getting power to your garden room can be achieved in two ways, the first is to have electric cabling run from your house by a professional, this will be the most convenient option but also the most expensive. The second is to run an outdoor extension lead from your house, however, this should be disconnected and stored inside after every use as they are not designed to be kept outside for more than a day or two. You will be risking a potentially lethal electric shock or fire if you keep an outdoor extension lead connected outside for more than a day or two at the most. Never use an indoor extension lead outside. Once you have connected electricity to your garden room on a budget you can install heating, an electric convector heater or an oil filled electric radiator are two very efficient and inexpensive forms of electric heaters, both are simple plug in units and are thermostatically controlled. The convector heater heats up immediately but loses heat as soon as it is switched off whilst the oil filled radiator takes longer to heat but stays warm for a long time after being turned off. To learn more about garden room heating click here. Add a nice rug to keep your toes warm and brighten up the place and you are set to go!

Garage Garden Room Conversion

Before starting any work on your conversion it is important to check that your garage structure contains no asbestos, this was once a popular material for garage construction of the walls but most commonly the roof. Asbestos is highly dangerous! If you find that your garage was built using asbestos in any way at all then it is important to contact a professional company to remove and dispose of it correctly. Click here to find contact details for your local authority for advice regarding asbestos.

Converting a garage into a garden room on a budget will be much the same as converting a garden shed, the main difference being that you will have to decide what to do about the large door at the front end. Many people decide to retain the garage door in case they decide to return the room to its intended use, in this case they simply build a frame around it and line with plaster board on the inside, a layer of insulation and a form of cladding on the exterior. Of course this will only work if there is a separate personnel door, if not then you will have to either cut one into the side wall of the garage or remove the garage door completely and build a new front wall with a door.

Special thanks Steve Lee for providing the image

One benefit of converting a garage into a garden room is that it is likely to be larger than a shed, although of course this will also mean that you will have more outlay for materials. As a garage is generally more robustly built than the average garden shed it is likely to have strong enough window frames to support double glazed units and the same applies for the door. Second hand double glazed windows and doors can be readily found in your local classified ads websites, they are often even free to collect! Other useful sources are online auction sites, recycling sites and even shop window adverts. Another benefit of a garage conversion is that it probably already has mains electricity connected, another cost that you will not have to worry about. In fact, once you have insulated, changed the windows and doors and fully upgraded your garage, we can see no downside at all to converting it into your garden room on a budget – apart from the risk of your car not starting in the winter, surely that’s a risk worth taking?!

Converting a garden shed or a garage into a garden room on a budget can result in an attractive and useful extra space for the whole family to enjoy, provided it is done properly and safely. We recommend that you contact your local authority as planning permission or building regulations approval may be required.

Black Garden Rooms

If you’re looking into having a garden room installed, you’re likely to be faced with plenty of decisions to be made regarding how it’s all going to look! There’s no shortage to the customisations available when it comes to the layout, materials, colours, etc., of your new garden room.

Whilst doing your research and looking for some inspiration, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that the majority of garden rooms tend to be clad with wood, such as oak or cedar – or they are at least wood-effect. However, there’s a new style to look out for!

These days, black garden rooms are becoming increasingly popular.

Across the country, black-clad garden rooms are appearing more and more. Like any aspect of interior (or, in this case, exterior) design, garden rooms have their own trending looks that come and go over time. At the moment, black garden rooms are very much the popular option.

So, why is this?

Well, the obvious reason is that black garden rooms simply look great! Black has always been a staple, on-trend colour – it’s like they say, ‘Black goes with everything’. Black garden rooms are no different. Black-cladding provides a sleek, stylish finish to any bespoke garden room, giving the structure a contemporary, modern look overall.

These days, garden rooms aren’t just a space for storage like the sheds and free-standing garages of years gone by. Garden rooms in 2021 can take shape as almost anything, from a home gym, to a garden office, a cinema room, a garden bar hangout – even as an extra living or sleeping space. With so much creativity and attention-to-detail being put into place on the interior of a bespoke garden room, it makes perfect sense that your garden room should look just as polished on the outside, too – that’s why black garden rooms are such a great option.

Of course, when installing a brand new garden room, you want to ensure it looks great for years to come. This is yet another reason for the growing popularity of black cladding on garden rooms – not only is black a timeless colour and one which quite literally never goes out of fashion, but black cladding will maintain its appearance for a long, long time.

This brings us to our next point. Black cladding doesn’t just look good – it’s incredibly durable, too.

Whilst the long-lasting cedar panels that are currently the most commonly used on garden rooms are naturally resistant to rot and fungus, this type of cladding is highly prone to colour fading over time – usually from a vibrant red-brown colour to a dull, greying shade. This can be prevented in some cases by applying a UV oil to the cladding as the garden room is installed, but this will need to then be reapplied every couple of years in order to prevent heavy aesthetic damage.

With black garden rooms, there are no such issues with longevity when it comes to the depth of their colour. Black garden cladding is generally constructed from materials such as redwood, Thermowood or Siberian Larch, before being painted using a long-lasting specialist barn paint. Barn paint is generally incredibly effective, as it looks excellent and will stand the test of time brilliantly, with little risk of cracking, flaking or blistering in the years following its application.

Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t some downsides to opting for a black garden room over the more traditional wooden-clad options.

Firstly, it’s a well-known fact that black is the colour that absorbs the most heat, which could lead to your garden room becoming rather hot in the summer months. If you’re using your garden room for more casual leisure purposes – for example, as a garden bar or extra living space – this may not be too much of a problem. However, it could prove troublesome if you are planning to use your garden room as an office, gym or extra bedroom, as it could become much too hot on a particularly warm day.

Another downside is that some people tend to find black structures to be a little unsightly in comparison to more natural, wooden options, so installing a black garden room could lead to complaints from neighbours. It may be best to clear your decision with the neighbours first or, if you do go for a black garden room, prepare to plant plenty of trees, greenery, etc., in order to mask the appearance of your garden room a little.

There could also be an added cost involved, depending on the materials you want to use for your garden room. Black and grey uPVC doors and window frames tend to be a little more expensive than those in white, so unless you’re planning to stick with white or are happy to paint wooden doors and frames black to match, you could find yourself with some extra charges on your final bill.

Finally, large expanses of darker colours do tend to make a space appear smaller or make the structures themselves appear larger. If you like the idea of having a black garden room but worry that it may leave your garden looking a little more cramped, it may be worth adding more – or just larger – windows, as well as installing mounted lights onto the exterior of the garden room.

So, how do you know that a black garden room is the right choice for you? It really all comes down to personal preference and to the overall look that you wish to create.

However, if ‘contemporary’, ‘stylish’ and ‘long-lasting colour’ are on your wish list of desired attributes for your new garden room, it’s safe to say that black garden rooms are most certainly an option worth putting some thought into.

Garden Room vs. Conservatory Which Is a Better Option?

Maybe, your family is growing. Perhaps, you are planning to work from home. A home extension is a brilliant idea. But with a variety of options to choose from, which is the best option? Garden rooms and conservatories are the top solutions among homeowners in the UK. Which is better? Don’t worry, as you are in the right place! 

What Are the Differences Between a Conservatory and a Garden Room? 

Many homeowners are a quite confused between a conservatory and a garden room. While they are both a home extensions, they are different. Let’s look at their roof design and uses. 

Roof Design

One of the simplest ways to identify the difference between a conservatory and a garage room is the roof design. 

A conservatory’s roof is usually glazed. It comes with colored glass, a range of eaves, turrets, and gables to let the natural light in the home extension. 

On the other hand, a garden room is available with a tiled roof to blend in a property’s entire roof system. Like conservatories, a garden room requires a glazed gable to maximize the natural light. 

Uses

Each extension type has a variety of uses. Conservatories, for example, are difficult to convert into a room like a kitchen because it is too warm or cold. A garden room, on the contrary, is easy to turn into a variety of rooms. Thanks to its design. Usually, a garden room can serve as a second living room and a hobby room. You can also transform it into a kitchen and office. There is no rule to follow. You can do everything you want with this home extension. With your creativity, you can make your dream garden room happen. 

Benefits of a Garden Room 

Aside from a multipurpose tool, a garden room provides other benefits highlighted below: 

Privacy

A conservatory and a garden room can both provide extra space. But a conservatory is not a private space. Whether you work from home, catch up with your close friends, perform your exercise routines, or start a new hobby, a garden room can boost your privacy. 

Modern

Conservatories have gained immense popularity in the 1980s. Although years had passed, most homeowners still follow the same style. Let’s be honest. Their design looks outdated. Garden rooms, on the contrary, provide a contemporary and modern style for most homeowners out there. They are available with a sleek structure that gives you the leeway to modify their interior according to your preferences. 

Easy to Build

Another advantage of a garden room is that it is fast to build. In most cases, it only takes a week or less to have a garden room. What’s more, the building process does not require heavy equipment, helping you acquire bigger savings in the long run. 

Cost-Effective

Who says a home extension like a garden room can cause you a fortune? The truth is that a garden room will not cost an arm or a leg. It is competitively priced and ideal for those who are on a tight budget. 

Available with Different Design Options

A garden room comes with multiple designs. You can choose a modern garden room pod, make a glass & stylish garden room, and pick a modular & jazzy garden office. But be sure to select the right contractor to make your goals happen in no time. 

Perfect for Different Properties

Most homeowners are afraid of renovating or extending their homes because they believe they will not fit in with their existing home design. But there is nothing to worry about. A garden room is a flexible choice, after all. 

No Planning Permission Required

Compared to a conservatory and other traditional home extensions, a garden room does not require a planning permission. So, no wonder this home extension can be completed within a short period without too many interruptions and troubles. 

Drawbacks

A garden room also has drawbacks. Some of them are written below: 

It Requires More Outdoor Space

Since a garden room is a freestanding structure, you’d feel like you are giving up more space in your garden. But that does not mean it is not a good choice. When done right, it can enhance your property’s aesthetic appeal and high resale value, which is a good thing. 

Benefits of a Conservatory

While a garden room is a go-to choice for most homeowners, do not underestimate a conservatory. Here are some reasons you should consider a conservatory: 

Stunning

Have you ever seen and experienced a conservatory before? Not yet? Usually, a conservatory is designed with green plants and comfortable pieces of furniture. If you step into a conservatory, you will be mesmerized by its ambiance. 

High Property’s Resale Value

A conservatory is an effective way to increase your home’s resale value. Experts said that a conservatory could boost a property’s value by approximately 5%.  

Drawbacks

Daunting and Time-Consuming to Build

A garden room is quick to build, requiring a week or less. A conservatory, however, takes a long time to develop and finish. It also involves a lot of patience and effort. But if you have extra time, a conservatory is an excellent idea. 

It Lets Overabundant Sunlight In

While extra light could be beneficial, there are situations where it is not comfortable and ideal. For example, too much sunlight can cause your furniture, photograph, and furnishing to warp, crack, and fade. 

Which is Better? 

Are you looking for a multipurpose home extension where you can work, play your hobby, or cook with your family? A garden room should be on top of your mind. 

Whether you are on a budget or want an attractive home extension, a garden room is worth your investment. It is easy to build and available with multiple design options, reaching your unique expectations and requirements. 

A conservatory is also a superb choice. Like a garden room, it can help increase the aesthetic and resale value of your home. However, it takes time to build, and you have to be patient throughout the process. What’s your choice? Identify your needs before anything else.

Special thanks L S for providing the image

Building a Garden Snooker Room

Snooker is a very popular pastime in the UK, it is actually also a sport, a cue sport – although there are some who argue that it is not a sport at all. Snooker can be played in snooker clubs, night clubs and pubs in all parts of the UK, even some hotels have a snooker table available for their guests to use. If the idea of playing snooker in clubs and pubs does not appeal to you then your only other option is to have your own snooker table at home.

Snooker tables are rather large; with a full size tournament specification table measuring 12ft x 6ft, so most homes do not have the space for a dedicated snooker room. This is why many home owners choose to build their own garden snooker room, it should be noted, however, that you will need a large garden snooker room if you are buying a full sized snooker table as you will need space around it for you to be able to play.

Garden rooms are generally considered to be permitted development which means that planning permission is not required; of course there are restrictions and limitations so it is always advisable to check with your local planning authority before making any decisions or purchases, particularly in this instance as a garden snooker room designed to house a large sized snooker table is going to take a lot of garden space, which could mean some authorities will not be prepared to grant planning permission. For information on planning click here.

As you are considering the construction of a garden snooker room we will presume that you are an avid snooker enthusiast and will concentrate upon what will be required to cater for the three most popular sizes of true snooker tables, 12 foot, 10 foot and 9 foot.

The first thing to consider for your future garden snooker room is where to position it within your garden, you will need electricity for heating and lighting so it is important to take into account that the nearer your garden room is to your main house the cheaper this will be to install. A full size snooker table is likely to weigh around one and a half tons so you will need a good strong foundation, you should also take into account when deciding where to site your garden snooker room that your snooker table will be delivered in sections and installed on site, so your supplier will need to be made aware of any steps or obstructions that may affect safe delivery.

For a full size snooker table (12ft x 6ft) using a 58” cue you will need a minimum room size of 22ft x 16ft. For a 52” cue you will need a minimum room size of 21ft x 15ft and for a 48” cue you will need a minimum room size of 20ft x 14ft.

For a 10ft x 5ft snooker table using a 58” cue you will need a minimum room size of 20ft x 15ft. For a 52” cue you will need a minimum room size of 19ft x 14ft and for a 48” cue you will need a minimum room size of 18ft x 13ft.

For a 9ft x 4½ snooker table using a 58” cue you will need a minimum room size of 19ft x 14½ft. For a 52” cue you will need a minimum room size of 18ft x 13½ft and for a 48” cue you will need a minimum room size of 17ft x 12½ft.

Having decided upon the size of your garden snooker room you will now need to think about the ceiling height because you will need to fit table lighting and this will be suspended from the ceiling, usually hanging at quite a low level over the table to light the playing area and eliminate shadows. Traditional snooker table lights hang in a row from a bar that is suspended over the table, they are usually available in rows of three four or six, to suit different size tables. A more modern version of snooker table lighting is canopy or luminaire lighting, they are lightweight and ultra bright, preventing cushion shadowing and reducing the shadowing from balls.

The type of flooring you use in your garden snooker room is important, it needs to be strong enough to bear the weight of a snooker table without bending, cracking or denting and it needs to be durable as replacing it may well also involve dismantling your snooker table. Wood block or parquet flooring, ceramic tiles, carpet or carpet tiles are all suitable types of flooring for a garden snooker room, however, you may want to consider buying extra ceramic tiles in case it becomes necessary to replace the odd one now and then due to damage caused by flying balls. Carpets and rugs should preferably be hard wearing and short piled, you may have to level your snooker table regularly as carpets tend to “give” under the weight of the table. Heavy duty carpet tiles are a perfect choice for garden snooker room flooring, they are hard wearing but still comfortable under foot and a single carpet tile is easily and quickly replaced if stained or damaged, we recommend that you buy an extra couple of boxes when you make your purchase so you will have the matching colour batch when a replacement is needed.

You will need to keep your garden snooker room warm during the colder months of the year, this is important to control the relative humidity as the slates will be affected by condensation which will make the snooker table cloth damp. It is important that your garden snooker room is well insulated with good quality insulation – this means floors, walls and roof – and that you use heating, oil filled radiators are recommended. Further information on insulation can be found here.

Special thanks Spring-Heeled Jack for providing the image

When buying a new or reconditioned snooker table from a reputable company you will generally find that they offer a delivery and installation service, although this is unlikely to be included in the list price, in fact many suppliers will insist that delivery and installation is part of the transaction due to the difficulties involved in moving such a large and heavy item and the complexities of its assembly. If they are unable to offer delivery and installation they will almost certainly be able to recommend someone to you. You should be aware that moving a snooker table can be a lengthy process, with some suppliers charging for a full day for delivery and installation.

Don’t forget that you will also need to purchase the accessories required for playing snooker in your garden snooker room, although many suppliers include these with the table, others will charge for each item.

You will need:

Full set of snooker ballsSnooker cuesTriangle
Cue rackCross restSpider rest
Long or half butt cueLong or half butt restBrass rest hooks
Butt hooksHand marking boardProtective table cover
ChalkSnooker table brushesSnooker table iron

Careful brushing, ironing and blocking your snooker table are all extremely important to its upkeep; we recommend that you ask your supplier for a demonstration in how to do this correctly to avoid inadvertently causing damage.

Your garden snooker room is sure to become a favourite haunt for family and friends, a place to hone your skills, an arena for competition but also somewhere to relax and unwind.

Special thanks Phil Ovens for providing the image

A Guide to Garden Room Roofs

Despite the easing of Covid-19 restrictions the popularity of garden rooms is showing no signs of slowing, in fact, as many companies have chosen to allow their employees the option of returning to work in the office or continuing to work from home, it is likely that garden rooms will become even more sought after.

Garden rooms are available in all kinds of styles and sizes, they can be bespoke or bought “off the shelf”, they can be ordered and installed on your behalf or you can order one for you construct on a DIY basis, or you can do the whole build yourself from start to finish. One of the most important components of any garden room is the roof; it is also one of the most difficult parts of the construction. The most common type of roof used in garden room construction is a flat roof, probably because garden rooms with flat roofs are generally 2.5 metres high so they fall under the rules of Permitted Development. Pitched roofs are next in popularity; this type of roof is more likely to blend with the style of the main house. It is recommended that you contact your local planning authority if you intend to build a garden room with pitched roof as you may need planning permission.

As with the variety of styles and sizes of garden room, the methods and coverings for a flat or pitched garden room roof are also available in a whole range of types and materials, here we will explore some of the roofing products on the market.

There are two types of insulated panels available for garden room roofs; the first is the steel insulated roof panel. This type of panel has been used in commercial construction for many years and is now commonly found in modular garden rooms. Steel insulated roof panels consist of two colour coated layers of steel with rigid insulation between them; the layers of steel form the exterior and the interior finishes so no further coatings are required. As the panels are structural and interlocking they do not need rafters to support them, this makes steel insulated roof panels a very quick method of installing a garden room roof.

The second type of insulated panel used in garden room roofs is the structural insulated panel (SIP’S), these are commonly used in house building and are becoming increasingly popular in the construction of garden rooms. Structural insulated panels consist of two layers of oriented strand board (OSB), also known as Sterling Board, with a layer of rigid insulation in between. Structural insulated panels can be used to construct the floor, walls and roofs of garden rooms, as they are structural they do not need rafters for support and like their steel counterparts they are a very quick way to construct a garden room roof.

Garden room flat roofs

Your garden room roof may indeed be flat but it will not be level, flat roofs are designed to have a fall to allow water to drain off, the shallow pitch on flat roofs will either run from front to back or side to side. It is important that water is not allowed to pool on the roof as this may shorten the lifespan of the roof.       

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a thick, synthetic rubber that is laid across flat roofs as a whole sheet; this means there are no joints, so no potential for leaks. It is one of the most popular types of covering for flat garden room roofs due to its durability and extremely long lifespan.

Torch on bitumen felt – also known as torch down. Another widely used form of roof covering, torch on bitumen consists of multi layers of modified bitumen felt heat-welded to the roof by the use of a large blow torch. This is a very strong and long lasting form of roof covering and can be used on both flat and pitched roofs. It is a job that should only be carried out by professionals due to the hazards involved with working with a blow torch.

Special thanks Commercial Roofing Contractor for providing the image

Fibreglass, also known as glass reinforced plastic (GRP) is an extremely versatile, lightweight and durable roof covering. This fully bonded roofing system is available in different colours and surface effects, including a tiled effect.  Most fibreglass roofs come with a 25-30 year guarantee, although small repairs can be quickly and easily carried out by the home owner if desired.

Living roofs are often referred to as green or eco roofs, a living roof is basically a roof covered with living plants. Most living roofs consist of a waterproof membrane at the bottom, secondly a layer to protect the waterproof membrane, followed by a growing medium and finally, the actual plants themselves.

Special thanks in.it.studios for providing the image

Living roofs are popular because they benefit the environment, help to insulate the garden room and reduce pollutants and dust particles. Living roofs can be created on both flat and pitched roofs and you can cover the entire roof area or just part of it. Most people choose a sedum roof because they are low maintenance and offer year round interest; sedum flowers have a variety of colours. Another popular version of a living roof is the grass roof, this roof uses ornamental types of grass that do not require regular mowing, a cutting back perhaps only once or twice a year. Herb roofs and flower roofs are also popular garden room roofs in the UK.

Garden room pitched roofs

Pitched roofs are popular because they help the whole garden room blend well with the main house, which is likely to have a pitched roof. This type of roof has more character and allows for more headroom within the garden room, there are also more types of roof covering available for a pitched roof.

Special thanks Tammy Jackson for providing the image

As you can see from the garden room flat roofs section, torch on bitumen felt and living roofs can both be used on a pitched roof, here are more types of pitched roof coverings.

Tiles are a very common form of pitched garden room roof covering in the UK, particularly as they will often blend with the roof covering of the main house, this will be very important if you live in a conservation area.

Roof slates are also a popular form of garden room roof covering for the same reason as tiles; artificial slates may be a better choice than natural slates as they are lightweight, easier to install and are often available at a fraction of the cost.

A thatched garden room roof will not only look charming, it will also provide a high degree of insulation, keeping your garden room cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A thatched roof will be expensive to install, it will also take longer to complete than other types of pitched roof covering.

Special thanks Lutz Koch for providing the image

There are an enormous variety of styles available for your garden room roof, along with many different types of roof covering materials. We recommend that you thoroughly research your favourite designs, visit as many suppliers as possible before making your decision and buy the best quality that your budget will allow.

A Guide to a Soundproof Garden Room

A garden room is more than just your office room or playroom; it is basically an extension of your home that needs to be properly secured. Most garden rooms are used as home offices, play rooms, gyms, studios, etc., any of which may be noisy enough to disturb your neighbours. Moreover, if you’re using it as a meeting room, you’ll need privacy, soundproofing your garden room is highly recommended to avoid possible disputes and to provide a good working environment.

What is Soundproofing and why do you need it?

Soundproofing is basically a means to reduce sound from any source inside or outside of the room. Soundproofing can be achieved using soundproofing materials or damping that absorbs the sound and prevents it from leaving your room. Many people choose to soundproof their garden room to prevent disputes with their neighbours and to give them more privacy while inside the garden room. You need to soundproof your garden room if the activity you do inside the room produces too much noise.

You can easily achieve soundproofing by using soundproof materials, such as damping materials inside your garden room walls. There are many options available on the market, which includes acoustic wall insulations. Acoustic wall insulation is a material that can reduce the amount of sound entering the room from outside, this type of insulation is currently the most popular soundproofing material available to reduce sound. Before building your garden room, make sure you plan early for soundproofing to avoid mess and wasting money for redoing projects.

Benefits of Soundproofing Your Garden Room

Many people choose to soundproof their garden room because of its benefits. A quiet and cosy room can indeed be the best place to relax and escape from a noisy environment, sound pollution is a big problem in many urban areas, but what can you do about it? You can consider soundproofing your garden room in order to escape from the clamour of the outside world.

Soundproofing your garden room can help change the quality of your life. Reducing sound in your room is the best way to give ease of mind and relaxation, but soundproofing isn’t just about reducing sounds, it also gives you better privacy. There are many soundproofing options available on the market and choosing the right one is important in order to gain the most benefit. The benefits include the following:

  • Provides you with better privacy – Soundproofing your garden room will give you better privacy than other garden rooms. If you’re using your garden room as your home office soundproofing is recommended to avoid sensitive information being overheard.
  • More relaxed environment – want to escape from noise pollution? Then soundproofing is the answer. Noise pollution can be a problem in urban areas, soundproofing a room can provide an ideal environment for rest and relaxation.
  • Can provide a better quality of life – soundproofing your garden room can provide an improved quality of life, because of this it can increase your productivity.
  • Reduce noise – the main function of soundproofing is to reduce the noise that leaves the room and prevent any outside noise from entering the room. There are many ways to reduce sound, find the best materials and methods so that you can get the most out of it.
  • Improves home office – If you want to use your garden room as a home office, it’s recommended that you upgrade to a soundproofed room. Many people opt to work from home, particularly since the COVID19 pandemic. A soundproofed room is the ideal home office that can boost your productivity because it cancels out the outside noise, meaning no distractions.

Disadvantages of Soundproofing

  • Incorrect installation of soundproofing materials means it will not be effective
  • Some soundproofing materials specially made out of rubber and foams are flammable.

Soundproofing Materials

There are many effective soundproofing materials you can use in your garden room. These materials are used in various applications. Each material has its uses and has unique soundproofing principles.

Let’s discuss the details and uses of each material listed below.

  • Acoustic Flooring – Acoustic flooring can reduce noise transmissions. This is used between the floor and subfloor of your garden room. A good example of acoustic flooring is a rubber-based crumb, felt, or cork.
  • Soundproof Windows – These windows are used to reduce the sound that enters or leaves the garden room. The window is typically made with thick glass panes and has a multi-layer with an air trap between the layers.
  • Soundproof Doors – Another excellent method of soundproofing. Typically, a soundproof door has increased mass and depth to reduce sound transmission, this type of door can be customised to suit your garden room requirements. Moreover, just like a soundproof window, it provides better privacy.
  • Soundproof wallpapers – typically, soundproof wallpapers are made from closed-cell polyethylene foam, effectively reducing sound, depending on their thickness. Soundproof wallpapers have good sound-absorbing properties; even one layer is enough to reduce sound.
  • Acoustic Foam – another good sound reducing material, Acoustic Foam is ideal for sound absorption, it is available in various styles, thickness and sizes.
  • Acoustic panels and ceilings – acoustic panels and ceilings can reduce the volume of sound entering and leaving your garden room, they can also be aesthetically pleasing.
  • Furniture – Furniture is another factor that can reduce or increase sound volume in a room. The positioning of the furniture inside your garden room can affect sound volume in varying degrees.
  • Rubber Door seals – The rubber door seal is a simple but effective method of reducing or cancelling out sound from entering or leaving your garden room. They are available in various types, sizes and styles to suit your requirements.

Best Methods For Garden Room Ventilation

Working in a garden room can be an extremely pleasant experience; the variety of plants, the interior design, and the view across your lawn can all be soothing and relaxing. 

During summer, however, your garden room could become hot and stuffy, which is certain to affect the quality of your output, your levels of productivity and your enjoyment in your work and surroundings.

This problem can be quickly, often easily, dealt with by ensuring that you have adequate ventilation in your garden room. Ventilation is extremely important in any building as poorly ventilated rooms can cause issues with damp and mould, both of which can pose a risk to health, condensation can also be a problem in rooms lacking proper ventilation. The ventilation in a garden room will not only keep the temperature at an acceptable level, it will also help to clear airborne pollutants and stale smells.

Install Roof Vents

Roof vents are a safe and secure way of achieving ventilation of your garden room and they can be fitted to both flat and pitched roofs. A roof vent will allow the hot air to escape, keeping your garden room cooler during the summer. Opening a window and a roof vent will allow air to flow throughout your garden room; this is a very effective way to ventilate. Roof vents also help to prevent condensation and bad smells. It is possible to install roof vents on a DIY basis.

Invest in a Skylight

Skylights are a very popular way of adding ventilation and natural light to a building, as with roof vents skylights can be fitted to both flat and pitched roofs. Flat roof skylights are available in a variety of shapes, including completely flat and flush with the roof, hatches, domes and lanterns. Pitched roof skylights are generally flat and flush to the roof and they are hinged at one point for opening. Both flat and pitched roof skylights can be opened electrically and via remote control if desired. Although it is a more complex operation compared with fitting a roof vent, it is also possible to install skylights on a DIY basis; however, due to the weight of skylights, it will take more than one person to carry out the installation.

Wall/Door Vents

A cheap and easy way to ventilate your garden room is to install vents in the walls and/or doors. This type of vent can be fitted on a DIY basis. Vents designed to be fitted to external walls and doors have a sliding cover so they can be closed if your garden room becomes too chilly, vents intended to be fitted to internal walls and doors generally have no cover to allow airflow between rooms, although external vents can be fitted instead if you would prefer a sliding cover on your internal walls or doors.

Air Conditioning

Although air conditioning units are best known for keeping rooms at a cool temperature, they are actually good at ventilating as well. Air conditioners constantly circulate the air by removing warm, stale air and replacing it with air cleaned by its filters. Keeping a window or vent open a little whilst your air conditioner is in operation will help to ensure that fresh air is circulated around your garden room.

Louvre Windows

The louvre window is an excellent form of ventilation, allowing stale air to escape and fresh air to flow in. Louvre windows became unfashionable because they were once considered to be a major security risk but modern louvres are said to be very secure, they are key lockable and security screens are an added option.

Electric Fan 

Electric fans are a very good way to keep the air circulating throughout your garden room; they are a quick and easy way in which to cool a hot room. Electric fans are available in a range of different sizes and performance ratings and they can even be solar powered to help reduce your carbon footprint. A half open window and a large electric fan in the corner of a garden room will help to ventilate the room very effectively, particularly if the fan is switched to oscillation mode. A smaller, desktop electric fan will help keep you cool during those hotter days but it will not do a lot to ventilate the whole room. A ceiling fan is a very effective way to ventilate a room and keep its occupants cool, although they are not as fashionable as they once were. A problem with electric fans when used in an office is that they tend to blow paperwork everywhere, so you may want to invest in a few paperweights.

Electric Extractor Fan

Electric extractor fans are different from standard electric fans in that they extract stale and humid air from inside a room and expel it outside. Circulation is achieved when fresh air then enters the room via a vent or window. Extractor fans are most commonly used in bathrooms, where they are often turned on automatically when the light cord is pulled; they are also used in kitchens where they are placed above the cooker and hob.

Open a Door or a Window

Of course the easiest way to achieve ventilation in a garden room is to open a door or a window, although you can only do this when your garden room is occupied or you will have an issue with security. You may also wish to avoid doing this when it is very cold or windy. Maximum ventilation will be achieved with this method if you open a door at one end of your garden room and a window at the other end, allowing air to flow through, another option is to open a window and a skylight or roof vent, this will have the same desired effect on airflow.

Ventilating a garden room need not be difficult or expensive and it can make an enormous difference to the air quality, the temperature and even your own wellbeing.

Popular and Recommended Types of Garden Room Bases

You want the best for your garden room; you want it to be aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and long-lasting of course, but where to start? There are multiple options to consider, including ground screws, concrete slabs, concrete strip foundations, paving slabs, plinth foundations and plastic base panels. You may wonder what the best choice is for your garden room and this guide will help you make that decision.

Ground Screws

Ground screws, also known as screw piles, are fast becoming one of the leading types of garden room base, giving a safe, stable and sturdy foundation for most sizes of garden room. This type of foundation is suitable for uneven or sloping ground, it is easy to install with usually no ground clearance carried out at all, making it perfect for those who have a busy schedule or have a deadline to meet. Another reason for the growing popularity of ground screw foundations is that they can be installed near mature trees, a particular boon to those living in conversation areas. It is a quick operation to fit ground screws, requiring only a few hours from start to finish, depending upon your contractor of course. The large screws are either driven into the ground with a specialist machine or by hand using a hand operated power tool. There is no waiting for the setting of concrete, making it a very attractive type of garden room base.

Ground Screws Can Be Installed All Year Round

A ground screw garden room base can be set up whenever you like, whether it is winter, spring, summer, or autumn, a good contractor can work in all kinds of weather so you can get the job done as quickly as possible. 

You Can Say goodbye to Mess

Garden room construction can often be a messy business, with materials and equipment stored everywhere and tradesmen in and out of your property. With a ground screw foundation there is much less hassle as the ground screws can often be installed with hand power tools, this is likely to save you on time and labour costs.

Concrete Slab

Another type of popular garden room base is a concrete slab. If you require the most solid and sturdy foundation available, you will not find anything more suitable than a concrete slab.

For the smaller types of foundation, such as for a garden room, a concrete base can work out to be quite an expensive choice but it is worth the investment. It can withstand the test of time without extensive and costly maintenance, so if you are willing to spend more, this garden room base will be your best bet.

Concrete Slabs Provide Extra Protection

Burrowing insects in a garden room can be a real problem, particularly for wooden framed garden rooms. A concrete slab is impervious to insect damage, saving you having to spend money protecting against potential infestation or the cost of repairs after any damage has been caused.

Less than a Week to Dry

A concrete slab does not require a week to dry. Within a few days, this garden room base is all set and ready for building upon. As a result, the construction can move along without too many interruptions or delays. If you are buying a modular style room then it is likely that after a week or less, your garden room can be completed and ready for you to move into.

A Concrete Slab Ensures an Effective Moisture Barrier

Too much moisture in a garden room can lead to the growth of mould, which is something nobody wants to happen. Aside from affecting your property’s aesthetic value, it can pose health risks, including asthma, allergies, and itchy eyes. The waterproof properties of concrete slabs can help to protect against this.

Concrete Strip Foundations

Recognised as an alternative to a full concrete slab, concrete strip foundations are less expensive, easier to install, and lighter. It is a great choice for those who are on a budget or have a hectic schedule. Concrete strip foundations do not involve hard labour, so you will save on costs here too. This type of foundation is suitable for garden rooms of any size and design, as long as your garden is not sloped.

Stable and Strong

A concrete strip foundation is long-lasting and doesn’t need constant replacement; it can withstand the test of time, making it a very cost effective choice.

Paving Slabs

Paving slabs are mostly used for driveways, patios and pathways, but another use for them is as a foundation for your garden room, conservatory or greenhouse.

Like the ground screw, concrete slab, and strip foundations, a paving slab is stable and strong, the perfect choice for a garden room base. Paving slabs are quick and easy to install and they are also generally lower in price than other types of foundation, this makes them a very popular choice for those building a garden room on a DIY basis.

Plinth Foundation

Another highly recommended garden room base is the plinth foundation. It is a durable and firm base for a garden room, summerhouse, shed and other forms of home extension. This type of foundation is basically a number of pedestals that are each built off their own concrete pad, these pedestals, or plinths, form a level surface for the garden room to be based upon. This is a great option for homeowners with a garden that is uneven or sloping.

Plastic Base Panels or Tiles

A fast way to achieve a strong and durable garden room base is to utilise interlocking plastic base panels, also known as base tiles. These panels are made from high grade recycled plastic so they are great for the more eco-conscious garden room builder. It is important to ensure that your ground is leveled before installation; you will also require a weed prevention membrane beneath the base panels and an infill of pea shingle on top. This type of foundation is probably more suitable for smaller sized garden rooms.

Before making your decision for the type of garden room foundation you will opt for, you should always take time to research and price your project, this is will help you to avoid any disappointment and costly errors.

Garden Rooms NI

Northern Ireland has some stunningly beautiful and diverse scenery, from the spectacular Causeway Coast where you can find the World Heritage Site known as the Giant’s Causeway, to the Sperrin Mountains (from the Irish word meaning “little pinnacle”), which is an Area of Natural Beauty with an unspoilt landscape of lakes and valleys.

The weather in Northern Ireland is often difficult to predict, with the climate being oceanic it experiences mild summers, often with light rain and cold winters with lots of wind and rain. For those who want to make the best of the warmth of the summer season but would rather not get caught in a rain shower, then perhaps a garden room could be the answer.

With abundant rainfall and the risk of high winds the location of a Northern Irish garden room may need more than a little forethought. Consideration will need to be given to just how exposed your garden is to strong winds or flooding, even whether you have mature trees nearby that could fall or lose branches.

Garden room in Northern Ireland

You may not need planning permission to build your Northern Irish garden room as this type of building generally falls under permitted development, however, there are restrictions and limitations and some areas differ from others. We strongly recommend that you contact your local council planning office for advice before commencing your build. If you live in an area of special interest – also known as a designated area, a conservation area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty then you will need to apply for planning permission, new build developments often have restrictions too so this is something to be aware of before you start work. For information on planning rules and regulations in Northern Ireland please click here

Planning offices in NI

Contact details for planning offices in Northern Ireland.

Once you have consulted with your local authority and are fully aware of any restrictions regarding your area and your property where planning permission is concerned, you should now carefully consider where you are going to build your Northern Irish garden room as there are many potential issues to take into account. You may have sewage pipes or other types of utility services running beneath your garden, it is important that you check with the relevant suppliers or your local authority as you may not be able to build over them. If you have a manhole cover within your garden then you will not be able to build over it, you should note that you will also be restricted as to how close you can build to it. Northern Ireland Water state that “It is an offence under Article 236 of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (as amended Water and Sewerage Services Act (Northern Ireland) 2016), to realign, build over or near water mains, sewers, pipes and associated works owned and maintained by Northern Ireland Water unless with the prior consent by NI Water”.

Having checked everything out with the relevant authorities and suppliers and confirmed that you are safe to commence construction of your Northern Irish garden room, it is time to decide which type of garden room you will build as this, along with the size and shape, are important factors where delivery is concerned.

Do you live in the middle of a terrace with little or no rear access or is your property at the end of a narrow and winding country lane? If either of these situations applies to you then you should perhaps reconsider if you were thinking about buying a garden room that is delivered in one piece because it is highly unlikely that your supplier will be able to deliver to your garden. To make delivery of this kind of garden room your supplier will arrange to have it lifted into position by crane and the lorry will need to be close to your garden room foundation to carry out this operation.

The position of your Northern Irish garden room within your garden is extremely important; you will need electricity and may even decide to have a mains water supply so it would be sensible to site your garden room close to your main house where these services are already installed, this will make connections easier and cheaper. If reaching your garden room means walking over areas of lawn or through flower beds then you will need to think about the need for a garden path as grass can become dangerously slippery when wet; concrete, gravel or paving slabs are all perfect for keeping the mud from your shoes and out of your garden room and your home.

You will need to consider what type of foundation you are going to use, there are many different kinds of foundation, some of which are even suitable for uneven ground. The most common type of foundation is a concrete base; this is a solid foundation that will last for many years. For more information about garden room foundations read our article on garden room bases.

It is advisable to insulate any Northern Irish garden room, particularly if you live in an exposed area but also if you intend to use your garden room all year round. Insulating your garden room will help to keep your energy costs down by keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer months. There are many types of insulation suitable for a garden room, further information regarding insulation can be found here. It is important to fit double glazing as a single glazed window will lose most of the benefits gained by insulating your garden room.

Heating can be provided for your Northern Irish garden room in the form of electric heaters, convection heaters or oil filled radiators are both suitable for a garden room as they are thermostatically controlled and can be turned on and off with a flick of a switch. If you want to add character to your garden room you could also install a wood burning stove, perfectly cosy for the depths of winter. Garden room heating details can be found here.

Your garden room in Northern Ireland is certain to be a valuable and well used extra space for you and your family to enjoy all year round, make sure you do your research and visit lots of suppliers before placing your order, this will ensure that everything will go smoothly from start to finish.

Garden room companies in Northern Ireland

https://www.gardenroomsni.com/

https://islandgardenrooms.com/

https://www.bridgegardenrooms.co.uk/

https://whitethorngardenrooms.com/

https://www.bespokegardenroomsni.co.uk/

https://www.escapod.net/

Special thanks Olivier for providing the image

Pallet Garden Room

The past year or so has changed so much of what and how we do things in so many ways. For a lot of people it has also been the year that has bought more focus on family, health and overall wellbeing by changing the way we work and live.

The lockdowns caused by the pandemic meant that, although key workers or those employed by essential businesses were required to continue going to work, many people were furloughed or asked to work from home. Those working from home often found it difficult or impossible to find a place of peace and quiet in which to concentrate within their family home, because of this the popularity of garden rooms began to soar. Garden rooms come in a range of sizes and styles but some people found that even the most basic was beyond their budget; this meant that many resourceful workers began to look around for materials that they could use to build a garden room on a DIY basis, either very cheaply or for free.

Pallets are commonplace throughout the UK, once they have fulfilled their delivery purpose they are often surplus to the requirements of the recipients and are either taken to recycling centres or offered at low cost or for free, some companies will even deliver large batches at no charge.

The wood used to make pallets in the UK is generally a combination of hardwood and softwood, the most common being oak and pine. Care should be taken as older pallets were often treated with toxic chemicals, check for an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) logo and do not use any with an MB stamp, which stands for methyl bromide, a toxic pesticide, you should also reject any that have no markings at all. Pallets safe to use are the newer ones from Britain, Canada and the US, these are largely heat treated and the IPPC logo will include an HT stamp.

Having checked that your pallets all have the correct IPPC markings and are safe for you to use, you should now sort through them looking for any errant nails sticking out or any that are just too damaged to use. Once you have finished disassembling each pallet and ensured that all nails have been removed you can store them until they are needed, whilst your pallets are being stored it is advisable to cover them with plastic sheeting or a tarpaulin, wet pallets are not pleasant to work with. Some pallet garden room builders do not disassemble all of their pallets, preferring instead to use whole pallets as a kind of prefabricated panel to construct the walls; this is a matter of choice.

Before any construction begins you will need to give a great deal of consideration to the size and style of your pallet garden room and where you will position it in your garden. You should also consider what it is to be used for – whether it will be a dedicated garden room office or a multipurpose garden room for the whole family to enjoy, as this is likely to affect the size and style requirements. Once you are satisfied with your design you will need to level the ground and lay a foundation, you cannot just build straight off the ground as your pallet garden room may be affected by settlement, also pallets, even those that have been heat treated, will eventually begin to rot if laid on the ground without protection. A good foundation will allow you to use a damp proof membrane and insulation, vitally important if your pallet garden room is to be used all year round. We recommend that you rear our article on laying a foundation for garden rooms for additional information in relation to garden room bases.

Popular and Recommended Types of Garden Room Bases

The next stage is to lay your damp proof membrane; if you have opted for a concrete base then this could have been laid one stage earlier if preferred, under your concrete foundation. A damp proof membrane (DPM) prevents rising damp from entering your pallet garden room from below, concrete is actually quite porous and moisture can travel through it into the flooring level.

It is advisable to insulate your pallet garden room floor, particularly if you intend to use the room all year round as a great deal of heat can be lost through the floor. There are many types of insulation available to suit a garden room floor; these can vary greatly in price so it is well worth shopping around for a good deal. For advice on insulation please read our article on garden room insulation.

Garden Room Insulation

Many people choose to construct their pallet garden room in the same way that one would build a timber framed building, using the disassembled pallets as external cladding. These pallets can also be used for interior cladding in the same way if desired, or another form of lining the interior walls can be used, such as plasterboard. Insulation can be added prior to fitting the cladding. The disassembled pallets can also be used for the roof with a weatherproof covering of your choice laid on top; tiles, shingles or even roofing felt are all suitable material for a pallet garden room roof. Another way of construction is to use each pallet as an individual prefabricated panel and joining them in a row to make the walls, using this method you are limited to keeping the size to match a fixed number of panels. The floor can be constructed in the same way but the roof will probably need to be built in a more traditional manner as pallets are rather weighty. Insulation can be inserted into the void between the pallet sides. Disassembled pallet wood can then be used to clad the exterior and also the interior if desired.

After working so hard on your pallet garden room it would be a shame to skimp on the glazing, shed style single glazing may be the cheaper option initially but double glazing is definitely the more cost effective choice as it will pay for itself very quickly with lower heating costs. Double glazed windows and doors can often be found cheaply in local classified ads, social networking sites or online auctions, you may even find them listed as free to collect!

The finishing on pallet wood is rather rough so it is recommended that you spend time sanding your cladding before applying wood stain or paint, this will give it a really smart and professional finish. Pallet wood can also be used to make window boxes and planters, filled with colourful flowers they will make the perfect touch to a successful project.

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