A garden office is one of the most significant purchases you’ll make so its important you research your options thoroughly – you’ve made a good start by reading this guide!
Here’s the research we think you should do before buying a garden office:
The Garden Room Guide
The Garden Room Guide is designed to showcase the work of garden office suppliers and act as a buyers guide for potential purchasers, we tend to use the more general term ‘garden room’ on this site but all buildings described here could be used as garden offices. The Garden Room Guide has an extensive suppliers directory with contact details for the leading suppliers.
Links from our directory or a simple Google search will through up dozens of garden office websites, its a good idea to research as many websites as you can to see the variety of garden offices on the market. Most suppliers websites are detailed and offer information on specification, prices, photo galleries and planning permission guides.
Spend some time delving a little deeper than the first Google results page as there are some great suppliers who might not be as great at website SEO as the big companies, also try widening your search for suppliers by using different terms – garden offices, garden rooms, garden studios, garden pods and garden lodges are all effectively the same thing and can throw up some different results.
Most garden office suppliers have a brochure of their products and they normally go into more detail about the company, the buying process and the options available to you, many companies have their brochures in digital format for instant download whilst other companies will post you a glossy brochure – a few companies dont have a brochure at all and try to pass on these savings in the cost of the building.
The term for people who work from a garden office is ‘shedworking’ and Alex Johnson who writes the successful Shedworking blog has written the definitive book on the subject, its beautifully illustrated and informative – a must read for all potential garden office buyers.
Its always a good idea to see a few garden offices up close before you make your final decision, this gives you a chance to get the feel of a garden office, to realise what size will work best for you and to generally identify what features you do and don’t like.
Many suppliers have show sites at their headquarters where they display their standard designs, this is a great opportunity to see the quality of the materials used and the workmanship, many companies have more than one model on show so you can compare them side by side.
One of the best places to see a selection of garden offices is at the major home and garden shows, Grand Designs Live is a particularly good place to see a variety of garden offices but the RHS shows such as Hampton Court Flower Show are popular with garden office companies too. Shows such as Grand Designs Live allow you to have informal chats with the suppliers, many of whom will have taken a full size, furnished model with them to the show, you can also often pick a up bargain as suppliers often run a promotion to coincide with the show.
A few garden office suppliers have arrangements with previous customers whereby you can visit their homes and look at their garden office, these appointments are usually reserved for serious customers and by set appointment. This type of visit offers a valuable opportunity to talk with someone who has brought a garden office and uses it, you can ask them what they are most pleased with and what they might have done differently ie would they have opted for a bigger size, installed air conditioning etc.
Garden Studios TV
There are lots of videos on the web made by garden office companies, you can see them on the suppliers websites or trawl through YouTube but if you want to see them in one place take a look at our sister site Garden Studios TV. You can search for videos by supplier and by subject such as foundations, electrics and adding a toilet. There are some great time lapse videos of garden office builds and some valuable customer interviews there.
Garden Room Search
Another of our sites is Garden Room Search which allows you to search for garden offices by different criteria such as price, size, construction method, cladding type etc. There are over 400 garden offices listed on the site and it is a valuable tool in researching your options.
Tomorrow we will publish the first in our Q&A sessions with the garden offices suppliers, in these interviews we have asked the suppliers questions about design, planning permission, construction and pricing and the answers will allow you to compare your options.
The next chapter in our unique buyers guide is Garden Office Guide: Design to have a copy delivered to your mailbox sign up to ‘connect with us’ below