Garden room design consultations
Once you have explored the websites of different garden room businesses, requested a brochure or played with a design configurator, you should have a short list of names to book a design consultation with.
It is important to note that by requesting a garden room design consultation you are not under any obligation to buy. With the vast majority of companies, they are free, but we do know that there is the odd firm that makes a charge for an in-person design consultation. This is often then refunded if you proceed to purchase from them.
Check which garden room companies work in your area
Not all of them do!
Visit a show site to discuss your options
Several of the modular specialists have furnished garden rooms on display at their workshops. You can book an appointment to view the buildings and have a design consultation while you are there.
Often when booking a visit to a show site, you will be given a voucher for a couple of hundred pounds or so against the price if you go on to purchase from them.
Arrange a design consultation
If you can't get to a show site, don't fear, a garden room designer will come to you. This will either be an in-person visit or a video call.
To arrange a design consultation, you would make contact with the company over the telephone or via email. They will arrange a time to suit you and indicate what you should expect from the process and how much time to allow.
Some firms have design consultants who travel around the country undertaking in-person visits. They will often carry material samples so you can get a feel for your different options.
Since the pandemic, many more garden room design consultations have been conducted via video or telephone. These virtual consultations follow a similar pattern to an in-person visit.
Share your vision
The initial design consultation is a key phase in the garden room buying process. Your designer will work closely with you to fully understand how you plan to use your new space. They will also want to identify the features you want to incorporate and which finishes you wish to use.
If you have pictures of garden rooms you like and, indeed, things you don't like, feel free to share them with your designer. It can be very useful.
It is also helpful if you share your budget with the designer. This can help them advise you on ways to maximise your budget. Sometimes, a fixed budget can bring out additional creativity in a garden room designer!
Checking the site and access
An essential part of a design consultation is for the company to explore where you plan to site your garden room. They will then be able to advise whether your project will require planning permission or if you can build under the Permitted Development rules.
They will assess the ground conditions for the foundation system and walk the route the installation team will use to bring in the materials for the project, to identify potential obstacles.
If you have an in-person consultation, the designer will undertake this at the time of the visit. If you have a virtual consultation, you will commonly be asked to take videos, photos and measurements so the design team can review them. They might then do an in-person survey to confirm things.
Personalised garden room designs
Depending on how they work, your garden room designer may work on your design as they speak with you so that they have a model they can show you at the end of the conversation.
The designer will commonly take the information gathered from your conversation and then, once back at their desk, work on the design.
As well as preparing floorplans and elevation drawings, some companies will create a 3d visualisation of your building. They may make a short video animation exploring different aspects of the design.
You might find that your designer creates more than one design giving you different options.
Detailed specifications and quote
Your designs will be accompanied by a detailed specification list and quote for your project.
You will want to read through these documents carefully to ensure they include everything you expect. If they don't, or you have questions about any item, reach out to your designer, who will be happy to help. They want your building to be perfect, so they won't mind questions or tweaks to the design.