There are some key questions you should ask before buying a garden room:
What aftercare arrangements are offered?
Is a guarantee offered, what period does it cover and what exclusions are there? You should expect to get at least 5 years guarantee and it should cover key points like the roof and doors. Most firms will offer a guarantee because they are confident with their workmanship.
Does the electrical system come with a NICEIC certificate?
If the electrical system has been installed by a qualified electrician it should be tested to NICEIC standards. When an electrician connects the building to the house mains supply another test will be done.
What are the payment terms?
It is common practice for companies to ask for a 50% deposit to confirm the order followed by a further payment of up to 45% just before delivery and a final balancing payment on completion of work.
What timescales are involved?
It’s important that you ask this early on in negotiations to save disappointment. If you are ordering a standard design the supplier will probably hold a stock of the building and so lead time will be relatively short. Other suppliers build to order so lead time will be longer, 12 weeks would be the maximum you would have to wait from order to completion.
How long will the contractors be onsite installing the garden room?
This is an important question, some firms have a team of contractors who complete the project in a few days whilst others might have only one or two workers which means it could take weeks to install.
How is the building delivered?
Some firms deliver their garden room in panels and assemble it onsite whilst other firms bring the completed garden room on a lorry and crane it into position.
Are there any extra costs involved?
In most cases you will have to pay any planning permission fees (if applicable) yourself, also you often have the cost of running electricity supply to the garden room from the main house and connecting it up to the consumer unit and earthing the garden room. Sometimes the foundations of the garden room are not included in the price so it’s best to ask.
What choices do you have in the finish of the garden room?
You may well be happy with the standard finish on offer but if you want, can you have an option on roof covering or cladding finish? Do you have the choice of where the electrical sockets go – this may be important if you are going to use the building as a garden office. If you are buying a garden room that’s built to order you should definitely have some choice if you mention it early in the design process.
Where does the wood used in the garden room come from?
Your supplier should be able to show you the Chain of Custody documentation for all the timber used in the garden room, this certification means that the wood comes from renewable sources – don’t be fobbed off!