A self-contained garden room has a multitude of uses, ranging from traditional summerhouse to year-round offices, guest accommodation or personal gyms
Insulated timber structures and log cabin self-assembly kits, from around 9m² upwards, are a well-priced, all-year-round option and are available from DIY stores and specialist companies
Many companies provide an installation service in addition to the cost, Crown construction group builds garden homes with Rock Wool insulation and a premium backing board that is fire proof, water proof and has properties to help reduce sound pollution as standard.
If you prefer to call in a specialist company to take care of all aspects of the design and installation then feel free to call us.
Traditionally, garden rooms have been constructed using a timber frame. However, more and more are now being built from pre-fabricated panels, often clad in timber such as durable red cedar. These structurally insulated panels (SIPs) are manufactured offsite and put together on site for minimal disruption. Teamed with high-performance glazing and energy-efficient roofing, such as the latest eco-friendly living sedum roofs, these garden rooms meet the standard of any new-build property.
Making your garden room fully functional
An all-year room requires heating, ventilation, insulation and electricity. If you go for a bespoke option, this will be arranged for you, but make sure the price includes connection to mains electricity. This requires a Part P registered electrician to relay power through armoured cabling and will cost between £300-500. You should also receive a certificate stating that the work meets current regulations.
What to consider before buying
Planning and building regulations
When you’re choosing your preferred spot for a garden room, bear in mind that you must stick to planning and building regulations. Outbuildings are considered as permitted development when subject to a few limits and rules, so if you want to avoid the planning process you need to meet certain conditions, such as the ones below. (You’ll find more details at planning portal.gov.uk.)
You should avoid building in front of your property, as this generally needs planning permission. Most people prefer their room to be in the back garden and, unless your property is listed, this is permitted as long as:
- The roof height of any room less than 2m from a boundary line is no higher than 2.5m; or 3m for a mono pitch roof and 4m for a dualpitch roof when over 2m from a boundary.
- Your room must be no bigger than 30m² and can’t occupy more than 50 per cent of the total space of your garden.
- Planning permission will be needed for rooms used as accommodation – building regulations apply to all rooms over 15m².
Planning issues aside, there are other important points. Light and shade can dramatically affect the way your garden room will perform. Depending on what you’ll use it for, it often makes sense to have the windows on the south and west-facing elevations to capture the natural heat and light from the sun, rather than the cooler north and east-facing elevations.
Ground conditions and access also need to be taken into consideration, especially during the winter months. Consider drainage patterns, access to utilities and the garden room’s distance from your property. Sloping sites will inevitably complicate installation and, while trees can be used to frame or shade a building, they can also cause a build-up of leaves and debris on the structure, while the roots can complicate the groundworks.
You need to decide whether you want the cabin to be a key design feature in your garden, or a discreet addition where privacy is important. Don’t forget too that it should be positioned with a great view of the garden.