Home garden rooms have become extremely popular over recent years, particularly so since lockdowns were introduced and those able to work from home were instructed to do so by the government. Working from home has proved to be such a success that many companies have taken the decision to make it a permanent option; some have even ditched their expensive city offices forever. Home garden offices have been popping up in gardens across the land, with their owners desperate to get away from the general hubbub of daily family life. A quiet spot at the end of the garden, or perhaps in a little used corner amongst the wild flowers, is an ideal place to create your own oasis of calm.
Of course your home garden room doesn’t have to be used as an office; it can be a studio for art or yoga, a treatment or consulting room, a home cinema, a music room or just a multifunction room for the whole family, the list is endless.
A garden room, fully designed and fitted for you by a company specialising in this type of construction will be expensive, although they will handle everything from design to decoration and you will not have to worry about anything, apart from colour schemes and moving in. A modular garden room is one that is built off site then delivered and installed, either in one piece or as a set of connecting units; a range of these prefabricated kits are also available for the DIY enthusiast. Another option is to build your own garden room, either from your own design or by following a set of plans; this will require much more than just a basic knowledge of DIY of course. Converting an existing shed, cabin or even garage is a very popular DIY choice as the building is already in place so no major construction required, you also do not need to lose any more garden space and it is the cheapest option.
The position of your garden room within your garden is a very important consideration, one that needs careful thought and planning. Most garden rooms are positioned in the rear garden, it is more aesthetically pleasing, there is usually more room and generally there is no issue with privacy. If you would prefer to site your garden room at the front of your property you are most likely going to require planning permission.
If your garden enjoys full sunshine for most of the day you will need to consider just how hot it could become inside your garden room during the summer months, you may require extra insulation, tinted glazing or even a living sedum roof to help keep the inside cool whilst the outside sizzles. Overhanging or deep eaves give shade from the sun whilst still allowing full daylight into the room, if you don’t have overhanging eaves then a wind-out canopy could always be utilised to keep out the glaring sun during the hottest days of the year. If you are fortunate enough to have a mature tree in your garden then why not take advantage of Mother Nature by positioning your garden room in the shade of a tree, providing you don’t damage the tree, it’s a great way to keep cool in the summer. If you have electricity then fans or air conditioning will really help on the hottest of days.
If you intend having services, such as water and electricity, connected to your garden room then you will need to consider this when deciding upon the position of your garden room, you will also need to research whether there are any sewage pipes running through your garden as access to these should never be blocked.
The distance from the main house to the garden room is an important consideration, a peaceful walk through a lovely garden on a summers day will be quite a different experience in the depths of winter and that lush green lawn will soon become a quagmire if you don’t have a path or stepping stones. Distance will also have a bearing on electricity and water services where cables and pipes are concerned.
Garden rooms are considered to be Permitted Development so you should not require planning permission for construction of your Garden room kit, although there are restrictions, particularly if your house is listed or you live in a conservation area or other protected area such as a national park. We strongly recommend that you take time to research whether planning permission is required, either by contacting your local planning authority or by visiting the government planning portal at https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200125/do_you_need_permission In the meantime you can find details of planning rules in our article
There are a variety of garden room kits available for those who intend building on a DIY basis, with many offering an online design service in which you input all the measurements and your garden room kit is factory built to your specification, arriving at your home as a flat pack ready for you to construct. Whilst this is perfectly acceptable to some and they would not be daunted at all about the accuracy of measurements required, many of us would definitely prefer the reassurance of having an experienced representative of our chosen supplier visit our home and do the measuring up for us.
Garden room kits are available in various forms, the most basic being a shell. This kit will consist of all the panels required to construct the walls, floor and roof of your garden room, it is then down to you to finish the build. Most suppliers will also offer glazing, cladding, etc.; this can make finishing easier as these products will likely be available in the correct dimensions for your initial garden room kit. Other kits provide a basic shell along with glazing and the external components, such as roof covering and cladding, that you will need to make your garden room weather proof, some of these types of kits are quite versatile, rather like a pick and mix option. You will only need to finish your garden room internally if you choose this type of kit. You can of course opt for the full garden room kit; this supplies everything that you will need to build your garden room from start to finish, it is the most expensive kit but at least you will know that you have everything needed and that it will all fit together perfectly. Don’t forget that you cannot just construct your garden room on your lawn, you are going to need a solid base, most likely a concrete foundation.