Traditionally garden rooms are made from wood and the construction techniques used are taken from timber frame house building, but new technologies and combinations of materials are being used to build garden rooms.
Materials such as steel, aluminium and PVCU (formally known as UPVC before Europe intervened!) are replacing the use of timber in garden room construction. These materials have benefits over timber in that they are generally quicker to install and need less maintenance than timber. However on their own these materials are generally not as thermally efficient as wood so you need to check with the manufacturer what insulation they use, and in turn what the u-values of the building are.
Building regulations in the UK currently state that walls of a house should have a u-value of 0.27, floors 0.22, flat roofs 0.16 and pitched roofs 0.20, whilst garden rooms are not bound by building regulations (unless being used as sleeping accommodation) to perform well they should have similar u-values as a house. The lower the u-value the better the thermal performance.
Steel and aluminium normally have a powder coated finish; this is hard wearing and needs little maintenance. In steel and aluminium garden room construction the panels are made from a sandwich of exterior sheet metal – insulation – interior sheet metal, whilst the interior surface is coated in a light reflecting colour such as white or cream you need to be aware that your internal walls will be metal and often have joint covers – not that this is a bad thing!
PVCU doesn’t just come in white but comes in many colours or wood effects and like the metal options it does not require painting. PVCU and modular metal garden rooms are very quick to install – some suppliers can completely install a garden room in just one day!
So if you are looking for an almost zero maintenance garden room take a look at the companies that build in steel, aluminium and PVCU.