Garden Room Buyers Guide
Garden rooms come in many different styles and designs. So, it’s easy to find the design that suits your needs, the possibilities are endless, it’s all down to what you want to use it for. Garden rooms can be extensions to the current property, built with a garden shed attached or even an area to make an office or a home gym.
With a market open to a range of cheaper alternatives such as sheds, summer houses and garden pods, just to name a few, you may wonder what justifies the extra expenditure that is applied to the cost of a garden room. While a summer house may offer an aesthetically pleasing outside cover, relaxing area or social space during the day in summer months, garden rooms provide extras that make your time inside the structure worthwhile all year round.
Garden Rooms have a lot of options and to help with affordability, garden room suppliers handle these in different ways. Here is a list of what we have found most frequently available within the base price of a garden room. Installation, French door/s with double glazing, exterior cladding, insulation, plasterboard finish & a 10 Year Guarantee, which appears to be the industry standard for Garden Room structures.
You may also want to think about what the space will be used for and if internal walls, a bathroom, a kitchen or even a bar will be part of your design.
See our buyers checklist if you would like to see a more detailed list of what can be added to your garden room.
The most significant thing to consider when investing in a garden room is the cost. With prices starting from around £10,000, it is a large investment to make.
Most purchasers view this purchase as adding value to their property and would expect to recoup their investment if they sold, as reported by Property Price Advice and the BBC. Some suppliers will offer payment plans, with a small down payment required followed by a payment schedule, whilst others will ask for the total upfront, make sure you're comfortable and confident with your supplier before handing over too much, as it's usually nice to hold something back until the project is complete and any snags have been addressed.
Payment options Include
Using your savings: Whilst this is a great option if you can, you're afforded a lot of protection when using credit cards to make payments, so it may be sensible to ask for a payment plan and use a credit card here instead, as explained by the Money Advice Service.
Personal Loan: Typically up to £25k, Speak to your bank about a loan as they're more likely to be able to offer you great rates, or read this article on Money Saving Expert about the latest cheap personal loans available.
Secured Loan: Normally used for consumers looking to borrow large amounts of money and securing the debt against a property. These loans typically offer great rates, but also come with the risk of losing your home you can't pay them back.
Remortgage: When remortgaging your property, you may wish to take some of the equity out to invest back into the property. This is another great option but you should seek professional advice to ensure this is the safest and most cost effective way for you.
Finance Partners: Some garden room providers also provide financing options with help from financial partners. Such as Gardenplex's partner Kandoo.
The next thing you might ask yourself is do I need planning permission to build the garden room? In most cases you do not, however, there are a few things you will need to check beforehand. Garden rooms are categorised as Class E developments. To give the short answer, so long as the room doesn’t take up 50% of the garden (including current garden structures) isn’t being used as “self-contained living area” and remains a single storey structure you should not need to. For a more detailed view read our FAQ about planning permission, where we explain more about Permitted development, Building Regulations & Article 4.
You should also consider:
- Whether the property has already had an extension in the past that didn’t require planning permission.
- If you want to have a TV or satellite antenna you will need planning permission.
- if the property falls in a conservation area you will require planning permission.
The best thing to do if you are unsure is check with your local authorities or the government website to see if your property falls under any of these scenarios.
Garden rooms are large investments and as such need the correct care to avoid future issues.
It's also worth speaking to your home insurance company to let them know and ensure you're garden room and its contents are covered by your existing policy.
The last thing you want once you have started developing your dream garden room are delays. Whether it’s your installers having access and room to work, access to water/electricity, a bathroom to use, no matter how small, delays usually have simple solutions if planned ahead correctly. Therefore, site visits are essential, both you and your supplier can discuss everything required for a smooth installation. If you're planning to use your own plumbers to connect your garden room to the main supply, it's a great idea to ask your supplier for a date to ensure they can prepare everything necessary.
Finally, Snagging! Make sure that you are happy throughout your installation with the quality of your garden room, it's much easier to correct issues during installation than after. If you see something that you're not happy with, point it out. Whilst your supplier will likely return after the job is completed to complete a quality check and speak to you about any snagging you've identified, it's much easier to handle when the installation team are on site and set up. Remember your suppler is there for you and if you've chosen the right provider, you should always feel comfortable and confident in asking any question.