Up until a few years ago, when writing about garden room design and construction we pigeon holed suppliers into one of two categories, a standard design or bespoke design.
As a garden room buyer your either went down the route of a standard size and shape garden room with minimal options when it came to the style and positioning of doors and windows and the palette of materials used, or you opted for a bespoke garden room where you would have input and choice in every element of the design and materials used in the construction.
Your decision as to which route to take would often be dictated by money and time, suppliers of these standard designs often hold the components in stock, so a garden room can be ordered and fully installed in just a handful of weeks – this makes them a cost effective option for the supplier who passes this benefit onto you the customer. Bespoke design on the other hand has a lengthier lead time, the design of the garden room is honed to your site, your intended use and the features you want it to include, this is quite labour intensive and because bespoke design tends to include lots of ‘designer features’ it can invariably end up a more expensive option than the same size standard design.
But, over the last year or so watching developments in the garden room market as we do, we have seen a third way of buying a garden room develop, the modular garden room.
We’ll let you into a secret, most garden rooms whether called standard, modular or bespoke are built on a modular building system, this is for a couple of reasons, firstly sheet materials are used widely in garden room construction and they normally come in 120cm (4ft) widths as standard, so as a garden room designer it makes sense to work with this dimension as a base unit, so that there is minimal waste which in-turn maximizes profit. Secondly panels based on a 120cm (4ft) measurement are easy to transport to site and for two workers to manoeuvre and install without the need for specialist lifting equipment, this not only creates a quick building system (the shell of a garden room can be installed in as little as a day) but again reduces costs.
So, the modular building system is tried and tested within the garden room industry, but what we have seen recently is some suppliers lift the lid on their modular building system and offer a range of different panels which you the customer can choose from and combine to create your ‘own design’ garden room.
You’ll find when looking at modular garden rooms that you get to choose a footprint often based on the 120cm (4ft) measurement we mentioned previously, sizes such as 240cm (8ft), 300cm (10ft), 360cm (12ft) are commonly quoted, they all maximize the use of sheet materials.
Once you have chosen your footprint size for the garden room you will then get to mix and match the panels which make up the walls of the building, again these panels will be designed to maximize material use, and 120cm (4ft), 90cm (3ft) and 60cm (2ft) panels are commonly used. These panels might be solid insulated walls, fully glazed panels or a combination of the two.
We thought it would be interesting to show how versatile this building system is, and how by mixing and matching different panels from the same palette, very different looking garden rooms can be created.
In our experiment we have modelled up the typical sizes and styles of panel on offer from a modular garden room supplier, we have also chosen a typical size footprint for our examples – 360cm (12ft) x 420cm (14ft), this is a good size room similar to the size of a sitting room in a average house.
Whilst these images are mock-ups they are built using real world scale, and just show how with a little imagination you can tailor a modular garden room to your garden, needs and tastes, ending up with a garden room that combines all the benefits of bespoke design with the speed and cost effectiveness of standard design.
…what layout would you create?