Sat 21 Aug 2021
In this three-minute read, we look at the growing popularity of garden rooms as places to work and play.
Garden room. Man cave. Home studio. Shoffice (shed/office). Call it what you will but having a standalone space in the garden where you can work, unwind, or pursue a favourite hobby is one of the fastest-growing property trends in recent years.
Now, garden sheds are nothing new; Britain’s first shed was built in 1481. But a ‘garden room’ is far more than the old-fashioned lean-to your granddad used to store the lawnmower.
Garden rooms are high-spec spaces with plenty of mod cons: mains electricity, heating, and WiFi. They also often include full-height glazing, a kitchenette, toilet, hot tub, bar, or home cinema.
If you’re considering investing in a garden room, here are some tips to help you get it right.
Identify its purpose
Start by having a clear idea of how you’ll use the space. Will it be an office, yoga studio, gym, or games room?
If you don’t have a strong vision, your garden room could turn out to be a glorified storage cupboard, crammed with boxes and odds and sods.
Find the right location
If space is tight, your options will be limited. However, if you have a big outdoor area, give careful consideration to the location and orientation of your garden room.
If you’re creating a mini music studio, opt for a location some distance from the house so that noise isn’t an issue. On the other hand, a children’s playroom might be best near the house, so you can keep an eye on the little ones.
Also, remember that:
- An east-facing garden room will catch the morning sun (ideal for early bird, work-from-home types).
- A west-facing garden room will get the afternoon sun (perfect for a post-work parents’ chill-out space).
- A south-facing garden room will catch lots of sun (great in the winter months) but will get quite warm in summer, so consider adding a louvred canopy.
Keep your garden room cool in summer and warm in winter (and save money on heating) by opting for insulated walls, roof, and flooring.
When architects, builders, and manufacturers talk about insulation, they use the term U-value. The lower the U-value, the better (the best insulating materials have a U-value nearing zero).
It’s called a garden room for a reason, so make sure your space is surrounded by lush greenery – being close to nature is good for your mental health, after all.
Plant trees, shrubs, and bushes around your garden room so that it feels like an integral part of the space.
Before you get started, always seek confirmation from your local authority about whether any outbuilding you’re thinking about needs planning permission.
For more advice about how to add value to your property and market trends, get in touch!