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.
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.