A recent TV programme looking at the house of the future included a garden room, we think that garden rooms will definitely be part of our homes in the future – they have so many more uses than a garden office!
How can we protect the garden rooms we buy today so they are still functional and aesthetically pleasing in 20 plus years time? We ask Croatian Cabin this question:
Do you think a garden room will be part of the house of the future? If so how and why?
Yes, yes, yes! More people are working from home and setting up home based businesses be it a therapist, graphic designer or making cup-cakes.
They want to separate their work from their home life.
House builders are starting to design in garden rooms into new developments and we have even heard of one local authority that is stipulating home offices in new town extensions (to reduce commuter traffic and support the local economy).
There is an increasing trend of adding a garden room vs. extending or moving for extra space e.g. for teenage dens, hobby, gym or music room or even just storage.
With an improving climate and more leisure time the garden room provides an excellent place to entertain in the garden.
For people buying a garden room today, what elements design and material wise do you recommend for the building to look good and be functional in 10, 20 years time?
Good design will ensure that your garden room has timeless style. Good quality materials will ensure that your garden room survives the test of time. Look carefully at that fancy cedar or chestnut cladding – it may look good now but is it really thick enough? We use 65mm engineered timber wall beams and our ceiling and fascia is often thicker than the cladding on some garden rooms that are really no more than fancy insulated sheds.
Timber windows are easier to repair than UPVC or anodised aluminium. Sliding folding doors may look good today but are maintenance nightmares.
How can buyer’s future proof the garden rooms they buy today? What features do you include as standard?
The function of the room may change over time so choose the biggest garden room you can afford and fit into your location. Go for as much depth with a full-height ceiling as the space will allow – 75 cm ( 2’) extra depth may not sound a lot but it could mean 25% extra usable space.
If you are thinking of adding a living sedum roof at a future date (the costs are now coming down), choose a seamless EDPM roof finish and ensure that the rafters will support the extra load (>75 Kg per m2) without strengthening (especially important for deeper rooms with big unsupported spans).We use glulam engineered timber rafters as standard.
Garden rooms are popularly brought as home offices, studios etc do you see a shift in the uses people are buying them for e.g. granny annexes etc?
We are seeing an increasing demand (not a shift) for habitable annexes in the garden. For independent living space for aging parents who moving in close to the family, for children and young couples who want to save on rent or for a mortgage deposit and for children moving back with parents after a marriage break up.
We are meeting this demand with a new range of planning and VAT free annexes that can be installed under permitted development rights for incidental use.
If you were designing a garden room for yourself, what features would you include ready for the future?
Go for as much depth as your space allows. We always recommend 3.75m (~12’) as a minimum with 4.5m (15’) if budget permits and for 2.5m flat-roof structures make sure that it has a full-height flat ceiling – sloping ceilings inhibit usable space.
The extra space created really becomes apparent once you move furniture in or start to build a partition for a toilet or a shower.
If you want to add an additional window or door at a later date, can this be done without major rebuilding and is the floor sub-structure suitable for construction a partition on?
Installing an electrical supply can be expensive – if you are thinking of fitting a water heater/shower at a later date ensure that the supply and consumer unit are up to the job.