Interesting article from the Swift team looking at how a high-quality garden room can add value to your home both financially and lifestyle-wise.
If there were not already lots of reasons to buy a SMART Garden Rooms, Offices & Studios building, the new ‘Friend of SMART’ programme will reward you for your purchase.
Back in March 2010 we launched Garden Room Compare offering potential garden room purchasers the opportunity to compare garden room features side by side, this proved so popular that we wanted to develop the tool and make the searching process easier and more enjoyable – we are therefore pleased to announce the launch of Garden Room Search!
We have changed the name to Garden Room Search as this new site is so much more than a comparison site; it’s also a search engine and a database for the best garden rooms, garden offices and garden studios on the market.
Garden Room Search launches with 243 garden rooms listed and we hope that it will evolve into the most comprehensive listing of garden rooms on the internet. Garden Room Search is FREE to use and we don’t charge garden room suppliers to list their products or take commission – our aim is to showcase the work of garden room suppliers and provide potential purchasers with information on what’s on the market.
All the buildings listed on Garden Room Search are fully insulated, double glazed and electrically wired for comfortable year round use which should make comparing specifications easy but you can do searches on specific features such as garden rooms that include the foundation in the price.
By far the majority of listings are for standard design garden rooms but Garden Room Search also allows you to search for bespoke design garden rooms.
The site is easy to use, simply enter the size of building you require, your budget, features you require or a combination of all of these and press search! The more fields you complete the narrower the search results will be.
When you have performed your search click on the results to be taken to a details page where you will find information about the garden room, photos, videos and contact details for the supplier.
If you are a garden room supplier and would like to list your products FREE of charge please complete the Submit Garden Rooms form – the only criteria is that your garden rooms are fully insulated and designed for year round use.
We hope Garden Room Search will help you find your perfect garden room.
Start searching here www.gardenroomsearch.co.uk
Garden room suppliers are very good at publishing their prices in their brochures and websites, but when comparing different suppliers it is best to be aware of the hidden costs.
Site visits are a valuable opportunity for the garden room supplier and customer to discuss the project face to face, to talk over the design and to survey the site, but they do come at a cost ranging from about £150 to £1,000. Most garden room suppliers will refund this charge if you proceed to buy a room, but not all so check before you book.
Depending on where you live and the positioning, size and style of your garden room you may require planning permission. Garden room supplier should be expert in handling these applications and will either handle it on your behalf or assist you in your application. You will need detailed drawings of your proposed garden room, build specifications and site maps, all of which can be easily supplied, some garden room companies will offer this service for free whilst others may charge you.
Some companies ask you to pay a deposit on your garden room whilst you apply for planning permission; this secures your slot in their order books, but what happens if your planning permission is declined? If your supplier has not started work on your garden room in their workshops this deposit should be refundable in the event of planning being declined.
When comparing garden rooms it’s important to ascertain whether the foundations are included in the brochure price, some suppliers include them others don’t. The types of foundation used in garden room construction vary from concrete slabs, to pile foundations to adjustable pads and the costs involved can vary, and you can be looking at £2,000 or more for an average size garden room.
Check when ordering your garden room whether there is a delivery charge, most companies will deliver throughout the UK but some companies will make a charge when delivering outside their immediate location, delivery charges can be in the region of £500.
Whilst most quality garden rooms come pre wired with electricity the connection of this system to the mains supply is not normally included in the price. This involves the customer organising a local electrician to bury an armoured cable from the garden room to the mains supply in the house, they will also install an earth rod and test the garden rooms electrical circuit, they will then issue a safety certificate. It’s difficult to estimate the cost of this connection as it depends on how far from the house the garden room is located and how much armoured cable needs to be laid but you should allow at least £500 for the connection.
It’s always best to be aware of the costs of a project before you start work, so take the time to ask your garden room supplier about these factors before you order.
To help you choose the right garden studio for your needs we have put together a few key questions you should ask before buying.
What choice do you have over the studios layout? You may well be happy with the standard design of garden studio you see in the brochure but do you have any choice in the positioning of doors and windows, the type of roof covering used, the finish on the floor or choice of paint colour? If you are buying a garden studio that is built to order you should have some flexibility on the final layout and finish but be prepared that any changes to the standard specification will have an impact on the price.
How well is the garden studio insulated? Different suppliers use different construction methods and different types of insulation so how can you compare how well insulated a garden studio is? The key is the u-value, quality garden studio suppliers can tell you the u-value of their floors, walls and roof, the lower the figures the better performing the garden studio will be. U-values are measured in W/(m²K), figures below 0.2 W/(m²K) are considered good.
Where does the timber used in your garden studio come from? This is an important question, your supplier should be able to prove that they use timber from certified, renewable sources such as FSC or PEFC certified forests. Don’t be fobbed off!
Are there any hidden costs? Some suppliers include the garden studio foundation in their prices, others don’t so check out before you order. Another extra cost is the connection of the garden studio electrics to the mains supply. If you need to apply for planning permission for your garden studio, your supplier should be able to supply you with drawings and specifications, but check to see if they charge extra for this service.
What is the garden studio lead time? Ask this early on to save disappointment, some suppliers will have studios ready to go, and the time from order to installation may just be a few weeks, whilst other suppliers will build your garden studio to order and may have a waiting list. Twelve weeks is the maximum you would expect to wait from order to installation.
How is the garden studio delivered? Some suppliers will deliver a garden studio fully finished and crane it into place, other garden studios will arrive in manageable panels that go together quickly and some companies will have all the materials delivered to site and build the studio from scratch on site.
How long will the studio take to install? Onsite times can vary from supplier to supplier, some companies can fully install a garden studio in one day, other suppliers may only have one or two workers on site and installation can take several weeks.
What are the payment terms? It is common place for garden studio suppliers to ask for 50% of the price as a deposit, 45% before delivery of the office and 5% on completion of the job. This is a good system as it allows you to hold back some of the money until the job has been competed to your satisfaction. If you have to pay a deposit whist waiting for planning permission check to see if this is refundable if planning permission is declined.
Does the garden studio come with a NICEIC certificate? It’s important that any electrics are installed to building regulation standards and they should only be installed by a qualified electrician. Garden studio electrics installed by a registered electrician will come with a NICEIC certificate.
What warranty does your garden studio have? Most reputable garden studio suppliers will offer a guarantee with their buildings and you should expect to have a warranty of five years if not ten included in the price of your studio. Ask if the warranty is insurance approved as this offers you greater assurance than a suppliers own warranty in the event of the supplier going out of business.