Garden rooms have never been more popular than they are right now; we live in difficult times and the need for solitude is great, just a quiet space in which to escape the noise and general mayhem that is so often part of family life. As we find ourselves seeking distraction from the threat we share, many of us have taken up new hobbies and pastimes, or even returned to them after many years, a garden room workshop is the ideal place in which to immerse ourselves in our chosen activity.
Working from home is the new normal for a very large proportion of the UK population, with many of us preferring to keep it that way, employers across the land have moved to accommodate this trend and are offering flexi or full time home working positions. Garden rooms of all shapes and sizes are springing up in gardens in every UK town and city and they are being used for a host of different purposes. This article will cover the topic of garden room workshops, why they are built and what they are used for.
Of course a garden room workshop may not only be used for those seeking a quiet haven or for those who are working from home instead of going into the office, garden room workshops may also be used by those who have decided to set up a business, possibly after having lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, or perhaps they have outgrown the spare room in the main house and need a dedicated workspace.
What is a garden room workshop used for?
Here are just a few of the popular activities carried out in garden room workshops, all of which can be the basis for a small business based at home:
- Wood work
- Metal work
- Vehicle repairs and restoration – small scale
- Bicycle or motorcycle repairs and restoration – small scale
- Upholstery and furniture restoration
- Mosaic and stained glass
- Picture framing
Before ordering a garden room workshop, or starting construction if you plan to build it yourself, you should consider the impact upon your family, your neighbours and your customers. How will your family feel about losing part of their garden, how will your neighbours react to the noise of power tools and what will your customers think about traipsing across the lawn when it’s pouring with rain in the event they have to call upon you?
Will I need planning permission for a garden room workshop?
Most garden room workshops come under the rules for permitted development which means planning permission is not required, however, limitations and restrictions may apply so it is always recommended that you seek advice from your local planning authority before commencing construction. To add to the confusion different areas of the UK may have different rules and regulations. Planning permission will be required if you live in a conservation area, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or a national park, or if your home is a listed building. You are likely to require Building Regulations approval for your garden room workshop.
Will my garden room workshop activities require planning permission?
You may indeed require planning permission; it may depend upon whether you (or your business) will have an adverse affect upon your neighbours, will you disturb them late at night or early in the morning, will you cause noise or fumes and smells, will there be a constant flow of people visiting, possibly causing issues with parking or traffic build up in a residential area? You will also need to consider how much floor space will be required and whether the interior height of the garden room workshop will be sufficient. This is why small business owners often decide to rent or buy a light industrial unit that already has the appropriate permissions required; it is definitely an area in which you will need to seek advice from your local planning authority. You should consider whether you will be required to pay business rates and your local council will be able to answer any questions regarding this. It would also be a matter of courtesy to consult your neighbours for their views regarding your plans.
What should my garden room workshop consist of?
Having dealt with the matter of planning permission you are now ready to design your ideal workspace, of course you could simply visit a garden room supplier and ask them to design one for you, or you could buy one “off the shelf”. You will need to take into account the purpose of your garden room workshop, if you are going to require large items of equipment, such as kilns, looms, cutting machinery, etc., then you will need to consider how you will install these items into your workshop, the size of this equipment will determine the floor space and ceiling height required, also the size of the access doors. You will need an electricity supply for lighting, heating/cooling and general use but you may need to upgrade from single phase to three phase for larger equipment, this will all add to your costs. If you are using your garden room workshop for business then you should inform your water supplier as this may (or may not) affect your charges and the way your supply is metered.
Can my garden room workshop be multipurpose?
A multipurpose room is always going to be more useful and versatile than a room dedicated to a single use, however, not all garden rooms can easily switch from one use to another, it depends entirely upon its primary use. For instance, a garden room workshop that is generally used for working with mosaics or stained glass will not be a safe environment for the rest of the family to use at all, not without a thorough clean up of all the shards of glass that very often tend to fly everywhere! Perhaps a two roomed workshop could be considered, with a lockable door between the safe area and the workshop.
A garden room workshop is certain to be a useful space; hopefully it will also be a profitable space for those who intend to use it as part of their home based business. We hope your build goes smoothly and that you find it an enjoyable experience.