A current Channel 4 TV programme forecasts what features the house of the future will have, one of the significant predictions is that garden rooms, whether for use as a home offices, studios, gyms or guest accommodation will play their part.
Garden rooms are so well built that they will last for decades, so any purchase you make today will still be in use in 20 plus years time, but how do you choose a garden room that will still be functional and ‘modern’ in 20 years time? We have asked the leading suppliers this question and this series offers a valuable insight into future proofing your garden room, office or studio.
Today we chat with Booths Garden Studios:
Do you think a garden room will be part of the house of the future? If so how and why?
Absolutely. Not enough houses are being built at the moment – houses are very expensive and getting a mortgage is very difficult. On top of which, people are living longer and putting an elderly parent in a home is mega bucks, and having them with you in your own house doesn’t always work out. Having a compact Granny Annexe in the garden with small Kitchen, Shower & Toilet would maintain privacy and independence and be far more affordable.
Technology also means many people can work from anywhere in the world so it’s a no brainer to work from home but this can have problems which a Garden Office can solve. The problems we come across are kids getting home from school at 3 o’clock which interferes badly with a business call or even just that the spouse wants the partner “from under my feet”!
A Room “away” from the house does give a person a different mind set where they can get their work head on. Writers are the perfect example of this.
Other examples are when a baby arrives, Mum wants the “office bedroom” back for her baby. The Dad gets booted out and a pro Garden Office is the perfect solution.
For people buying a garden room today, what elements design and material wise do you recommend for the building to look good and be functional in 10, 20 years time?
You could use a wood like red cedar but if it’s not treated, it will lose it’s look as the sun and rain does it’s thing.
The other alternative is to look at modern building materials which are as effective as brick but also more flexible with the design. That’s why we use a Plasti Coated Leatherette Embossed Galvanised Steel. Our customers are always surprised by this, but love the fact that it maintains it’s look for 30 years with Zero Maintenance.
If “Apple” were building a large state of the art factory – would they use timber? Of course not. They would use Steel, Glass and Plastics. Apart from the fire risk of timber, a business does not want the expense or hassle of looking after timber.
We have stopped making Timber Garden Studios for exactly this reason.
This then comes to the second design element for functional use and that for us is Portability.
Say you’ve spent £30k on a Granny Annexe for your Mother which worked out great. She kept her independence and you were still there to look after her. You spent quality time together. Time is cruel though and eventually we do lose our parents. The most horrific thing to happen in my life but it does happen unfortunately.
This leaves you with a Granny Annexe that has lost it’s major function. Of course you can use it as a Shed but it’s a very expensive shed.
Why not sell on your Granny Annexe to another family who need what you had – quality time with their parents.
This is why all our Garden Rooms are portable. If your parent passes away, you still have a major asset which hasn’t been remortgaged to pay for time in a old peoples home and it’s value can be realised by selling onto another family in need.
Our Studios are designed to look great for easily 25 years (hence our “Quarter Century” or “QC” name tag) and are Zero Maintenance for the exterior.
How can buyer’s future proof the garden rooms they buy today? What features do you include as standard?
Apart from future proofing the exterior, we now install the latest LED down lights which use very little electric (bills are only going one way – up:-) and they have a lifespan of 75,000 hours. They can also have a dimmer switch attached if required. The flooring we install is a Heavy Duty V Groove Laminate which is thicker than normal and therefore stronger.We include SIP Panel insulation in the walls and roof for maximum insulation in the winter and summer.
As discussed above – portability means if your circumstances change, your Garden Room can be sold on or you can take it with you to your new home.
Also, our Studios have an inbuilt adjustable base which doesn’t require a concrete base. It saves time, money and hassle. It uses 10% of the concrete that a concrete base uses. Concrete is not good for the planet.
Garden rooms are popularly brought as home offices, studios etc do you see a shift in the uses people are buying them for e.g. granny annexes etc?
Yes. We are getting more enquiries about Granny Annexes but the stumbling block is the red tape and the backward thinking of planning in the UK.
They’re not building enough houses.
They don’t want to build on Green belt land.
But they won’t let people solve this problem with living space in the garden.
It will have to happen though as the growing elderly population is a slow ticking time bomb which garden rooms would help defuse.
If you were designing a garden room for yourself, what features would you include ready for the future? E.g. would you include a shower room, go bigger than you need now etc
Yes – a Shower, Toilet, Kitchen, Bedrooms.
Yes – you need a new home in the garden and we can do it far more cost effectively than a new build brick built permanent structure which you can’t easily sell on.