[box]Many people think their garden is too small for a garden room, so we have asked the garden room suppliers to share with us their experiences of creating highly usable garden rooms in small gardens. Our first interview is with bespoke garden room designers Swift[/box]
Some readers fear that their garden is too small for a garden room, tell us about your experiences of creating garden room solutions for small spaces, please give an example:
A wide but shallow rear garden, a new baby on the way and an urgent need for a new space for an office. Our clients don’t want to spoil the outlook from their conservatory, don’t want to rob the growing family of space to play out, and want a fast solution.
We talked about the options, visualised the possibilities and then designed a room that oozed quality, provided a light and very smart office, and eventually made the garden look bigger!
Aluminium framed doors and windows, air-con, decking, beautifully lit and totally successful.
Project Size: 3800mm x 2350mm
Project Cost: £17850 (including various options, electrical hook-up, and VAT)
Prepare yourself first by establishing what you really want from your new garden room. Sometimes they aren’t the perfect solution! This may sound rather negative, but in reality, this is a detached extension of high quality, and therefore a significant investment. It has to work and not feel like a compromise. Usually we provide an inspiring and genuine solution, but we are happy to make alternative recommendations if they will will work better for our client.
Our first step is to delve into what is needed from the new building to make it an exciting and successful addition to your home. This will include the size the overall style, the position and extent of windows and doors, plus much more besides.
Then look at the garden and look at ways that these objectives can be achieved. We regularly bring in the services of our landscape team at this stage. We use their expertise to visualise the best positions for the new building and any simple ways that the whole garden can be transformed. Maybe a natural screen, maybe a curved pathway.
Go to each room in your house that overlooks the garden and check that a cherished distant view isn’t going to be obstructed. Maybe a poor view can be improved!
Do you want to be able to look from inside your new room back to the house, or perhaps the opposite.
Lots of questions, which become great fun when the answers develope a clear picture that matches your dreams! Swift love this stage… building relationships and confidence that the result will be a delight.
Readers are concerned that a garden room might dominate or overpower a small garden, how do you design your garden rooms to prevent this?
The picture that shows a pitched, slate roof model illustrates another building that was designed and installed specifically to match the surroundings. The materials and style mirror some of the features of the neighbouring country cottages so successfully that, despite it being a small garden, the whole environment has been improved and has become an eye-catching and functioning feature.
In the design stage we will use a variety of means to help you visualise how the finished project will appear. These include photo montages, marking out the actual ground and even constructing an outline, full scale model!
In our extensive and varied experience we would conclude that on the first day of the installation your new building will look enormous! It always does…. but by the time we have finished, and removed tools, tarpaulins and what little waste is produced, the building will look like it “belongs” in its space.
Some readers are concerned that because they only have a small site they have will have to forgo the on-trend features like full length windows, living roofs, under floor heating etc – is this the case?
The Swift Brand promise is “To delight with truly inspired environments”
If you have a dream of a set of bi-fold doors opening out onto a view, but the building is only 3 metres wide…. then let us show you how your dream can come true! (we have done this and the client adores the result!) We will always give honest and technically sound advice, and we are not fettered by any pre-set designs. You can have exactly what you desire, providing it is legal and we are able to build it and stand proudly by our 10 year warranty.
When designing a small garden room what features would you recommend or include maximising the space?
Some features that look great, actually take up valuable floor space, for instance deeply recessed doors with overhanging soffits. Look at maximising floor space and if you desire a veranda area, add it on, or create it somewhere else.
The gap between the building and the boundary is often wasted space. We have installed buildings that are within a few millimetres of the boundary, enabling valuable space to be created inside.
It all comes down to using our expertise, experience and passion to match your dreams.
Realistically what is the smallest usable garden room space?
I am not the judge…. if the space, however small, suits the clients needs then the space is a success.
Maybe a triangle would work best, maybe ….. let’s just look at what works best for you!
Access can be a problem in smaller gardens; do you have measures in place to overcome access problems?
Acces is never a problem! Sometimes it is a bit of an interesting challenge, but never a problem. We are about to crane a pre-built studio into position…. extreme and costly, but no problem.
In more common situations we will simply plan the project to fit the access. This may mean taking all sorts of strange and imaginative measures, but we haven’t been beaten yet.
What is your top tip for those looking to buy a small garden room?
Forget the size! Start with an open mind, a clean sheet pf paper and a company who relish the journey towards a building that you will love. Swift will listen, then listen some more and then utilise a team that have huge experience and expertise to make it work….. within your budget.
Call Swift on 0800 3102 800 to discuss your garden room project – big or small or visit their informative website at www.swiftorg.co.uk