A garden room is an expensive purchase, and we can see why you might want to try and save money where you can. The thing is, we don't want you to make choices that can come back to bite you.
In the last couple of months, we have heard of a couple of garden room buyers who have gotten caught out in their attempt to save money. We will anonymously tell their stories so you can avoid the same mistakes.
Don't go into self-building blindly
One way that people try to save money when buying a garden room is by self-building. The thing is, when self-building is that you have to make sure that you are abreast of the rules and regulations, particularly if you plan to build under the Permitted Development rules.
If you plan out your project in advance, as we encourage people to do in our Self Build Garden Room Guide eBook, you will realise that lots of design choices need to be made in the planning stage to keep the overall height of a garden room under 2.5m, which offers the maximum flexibility in positioning the building under the Permitted Development rules.
We recently heard from a self-builder who hadn't read our self-build guide, who had asked a local builder to build them a breeze block garden room.
They contacted us in a panic as their neighbour had told them it was too tall, and yet they didn't yet have the roof timbers on. They were building within 2m of the boundary fences, and so under Permitted Development rules, the build must be no taller than 2.5m.
We told them to stop work and contact their local planning department about submitting a retrospective planning application.
They were not happy with our response because they wanted to get on and use their new room and had spent out on most of the materials. The thing is, if the planners don't approve their retrospective application, they will have to take the building down.
Working with an inexperienced garden room company can end up costly
Over the last couple of years, many new companies have launched. To entice customers from the more established names in the industry, they often offer early customers a significant discount.
The thing is, thinking garden room design is easy, some of these companies are inexperienced, leaving their customers with costly problems.
We recently had an email from a family who had chosen to work with one of the newer companies that offered them a significant discount.
They had been using their new room for a few months, but one corner of the building had dropped, with both internal and external finishes affected and the door not closing correctly. The company who installed the room were not replying to their calls, and they didn't have an insurance backed warranty to fall back on.
In their email, the family were honest in saying they didn't do enough research before going with this company and were attracted by the price compared to the more experienced names they had talked with. It will now cost them much more than the initial saving to rectify the building.
Both these examples show that the research stage when building a garden room is so important.