Protecting your garden room investment
A garden room will cost you a lot of money, so you will want to ensure that your investment is protected. You can take precautions to safeguard yourself both before and after the structure is finished.
Protection during the buying process
You will make payments towards the cost of the garden room at stages during the build. These stage payments will each amount to thousands of pounds, and you may want to protect these payments whilst you wait for the building to take shape.
Paying on a credit card
One option is to pay on your credit card, as payments made on a credit card over £100 are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. There are upper limits on the cover, which may exclude you from the cover if you buy a large, expensive garden room. This article by the Money Saving Expert clearly explains the situation.
Another option offered by some of the more established manufacturers is a deposit insurance policy. With this system, you take out an insurance policy to cover the cost of your deposit should the supplier go out of business or not supply your building.
However, we have heard that buyers of the more expensive garden room designs have hit up against a problem where their deposit payment is more than the standard amount covered. In these situations, it's worth talking with an independent insurance broker who may be able to arrange a bespoke policy for your situation.
Protecting your garden room once it's built
Most garden room suppliers offer warranties on their buildings. These often run for 5 or 10 years after completion of the building. This offers you peace of mind if there is a problem down the line.
Often this coverage is the warranties offered by each of the materials, e.g. the EPDM roof covering, doors etc. You will want to read the small print of the business's policy when it comes to repairing cracks in plastered interiors or altering doors that are not closing properly.
You will also want to read up on the timeframes for informing them of a problem with the building and how quickly they will come out to rectify the issue.
Insurance backed warranties
The issue with some of the warranties on offer is that they are only valid if the supplier is still trading 5 or 10 years after the build. If they stop trading, the warranty dies.
To protect yourself in this instance, several suppliers offer insurance-backed warranties. In these cases, an insurance policy is taken out when the room is completed, and this would cover the costs of any repair even if the original supplier is no longer trading. You will typically cover the cost of the insurance premium when you pay for your building.
A few garden room companies office maintenance plans. What is covered varies between companies. Some offer an inspection at regular intervals to check the building is in good order, and they send a team out every few years to reapply UV oil or paint.
Again there is an ongoing cost to these maintenance plans, so you will need to weigh up if it is worth it based on the cover provided.
Insuring your new room
One of the first jobs most buyers do once their garden room is complete is to add the new room and its contents to their house insurance. It's not uncommon for us to hear that this hasn't been as simple a task as a quick phone call!
Owners have reported back to us that some insurers are not keen to insure garden rooms because of their timber frame construction and, particularly, the flat roof designs.
But fear not; there is a solution. An independent insurance broker will find you a policy that covers your garden room. Henshalls have written a couple of posts on The Garden Rooms Guide, and readers tell us they have been accommodating in insuring their garden rooms.