Outdoor Living. Are Garden Rooms the Key to Creating More Space?

Garden rooms are all the rage these days. They’re the new ‘must-have’ for people who want an office that isn’t their kitchen table, but they’re also proving to be the ideal solution for lots of other home dilemmas.

Often, we need to move to give us more space to do all these things but that’s not always possible and, if you don’t want to up sticks and relocate just for those reasons, there’s a perfect solution at hand.

Get a garden room!

A garden room or out-house can be anything you want or need it to be. A home office, a gym, a man-cave? A girl-cave? A bar? A yoga studio? All you need is the space, someone to build it, and a little bit of cash to pay for it.

Just think of the extra room this could give you, and, in the long run, it could also add value to your property when you come to sell.

Rules and Regulations

Before you start making grand plans for a new outdoor space, you must consider what it will be used for and, your first question is likely to be do I need planning permission for a garden room?

*Generally, garden rooms fall into the permitted developments bracket and you probably won’t need planning permission. However, there are still conditions attached regarding size, height and intended use. For example, if you plan to use it to sleep in, even occasionally, you will need to comply with building health and safety regulations.

The best way forward is to be honest with your builder about what you want from your garden room. They will then be able to advise you on the appropriate action and build a room that’s Building Regulation compliant.

*This information is for guidance only and we strongly advise that you consult your local council before you commence any work. They’ll be able to give you the most accurate, up-to-date information. Your builder or architect will also be able to advise you on the right steps you need to take. You can also access information on planningportal.co.uk

You could run into problems further down the line and building regulations aside, you don’t want to upset the neighbours either, so please, make sure you check what rules apply to your chosen out-building. Better safe than sorry!

 

Our Top Garden Room Ideas

Business Matters

One of the most obvious choices for installing a garden room is a home office. Apart from the number of self-employed people running small businesses from their homes, we have now seen a lot more people working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, forcing employees to do their jobs remotely. If balancing your laptop on your knee, fending off furry friends or kids isn’t going to see you at your most productive, then a garden office could be the answer. You can shut yourself away in peace and style the space like a proper work station. This is an ideal solution if you’re lacking the discipline required for home-working or if you need to feel like you’ve left the house to go to work. At least the commute won’t take as long. Win-win.

The Wow Factor

You’ll be the envy of your neighbours with this Farmer’s Cottage 7 Seater Rotating Garden Pod which will make a stunning showpiece for any garden and a real talking point too. This beautiful pod is perfect for escaping for some solitude but, it’s also surprisingly roomy and will seat up to seven people. Perfect for pre-or after-dinner drinks or, a cosy afternoon coffee. Imagine escaping to this with a good book on a rainy day? Bliss.

Available from John Lewis

Picture supplied courtesy of John Lewis

Farmer's Cottage 7 Seater Rotating Garden Pod, £7,999

 Teen Retreat

Kids moaning about not having anywhere to go or maybe their rooms aren’t big enough to bring their friends round? You can create a cool space for them to gather in your garden, giving you peace of mind too as you’ll know where they are. Add in a Wi-Fi router to let them access online games, social media or whatever it is kids spend their time on and that should keep them happy for a while. You could also add in some wireless Bluetooth speakers for them to stream music to. Now that’s what we call a dream den.

Gym Joy

Save £££s on that gym membership by creating your very own mini gym in the garden. Simply kit it out with your running machine or your weights and you’re all set. You won’t have to travel too far on a dark, rainy night to get a good workout.

Bar Fly

Turn your summer house into a social area you can escape to when you need some down-time. Put a mini-fridge in and some casual seating – and voila! You’ve got your very own bar.

Shepherd’s Delight

If you don’t want to commit to a permanent structure, why not invest in a portable Shepherds Hut? These look a bit like caravans and as a rule, probably won’t need planning permission but again, best check with your local authority.

There are some absolute crackers around which will give you the added extra space outdoors but they can also add character and romance to your garden. The perfect retreat!

Pictures supplied courtesy of Blackdown Shepherd Huts

Be My Guest

Want to invite your friends or family for a sleepover but haven’t got a spare room? With a garden room, you’ll be able to offer them their very own glamping experience in your back yard. Kit it out with a nice sofa for daytime that will easily pull down into a makeshift bed for those unexpected late nights and taxis are thin on the ground.

(Remember, garden rooms that are going to be used for sleeping in will need to meet specific building regulations.)

Shabby Chic Shed

If funds won’t allow for a professionally built garden room – why not finally clear out all the junk from the shed and transform it on the cheap. You’ll be amazed at how much space you have once you’ve got rid of all the junk (how much of it do we really use?). You could find that it will accommodate a table and chairs or a desk for home-working.

Have you added a garden room? Why not share your pics with us on our Facebook page? We love seeing everyone’s home improvements and it might just inspire someone to do the same.

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