Bursting at the seems? Little ones become monstrous teenagers? Need an office? How to do it? A frugal answer to a problem
Moving to a larger house isn’t easy. For a start there’s the cost of moving, estate agents fees, solicitors and so on. That’s assuming you can get and afford to increase the mortgage. With the property market as it is, it can take months, even years to sell your house and find another With all the things that can go wrong, not an appealing prospect.
Then there’s the extension or loft conversion route. Planning permission and building regulations to get past and then finding a good builder who isn’t looking to plate his white van in gold leaf. Once you get through that, you’ve months of disruption and mess, not to mention dust everywhere for a year.
Garden Room – The Answer?
If you’ve a garden then why not consider a garden room? In effect a shed built to the sort of quality standard that you find in your house. They can be double glazed and insulated to keep warm in the winter, power can be run to them from the house and they become the answer.
Cost of Garden Buildings
In terms of cost, they’re not peanuts. A purpose-made garden office building, professionally constructed and erected, could set you back anything from £10,000 upwards but you can bring the cost down considerably by undertaking work yourself and you can start by choosing the free shed plans first.
Some companies will supply the room but you install the base, run the power to it etc whereas other companies will undertake all the work and just give you the key when it’s done. The more you do, the cheaper, of course.
Of course you could do what a good friend of mine has done and just convert a standard garden shed into his office. Total cost, £300.
A quality garden office will incorporate insulation into the walls, roof and floor as well as double glazing to windows. All this costs more, but if you can’t use your office in winter without wearing Arctic gear, it’s not a lot of use.
Whatever route you go, it will cost an awful lot less than moving house or building a bricks and mortar extension.
The Garden Office
The most popular use for a garden building is as a garden office. More and more people work from home nowadays and finding somewhere away from the hustle and bustle (or kids!) can be difficult. Having an office down the garden keeps you away from all that and psychologically breaks work from home.
Other Uses of Garden Buildings
The garden outbuilding has other uses as well:
- Artists Studio – peace and quiet with the easel.
- Therapy Rooms – for alternative medical practitioners
- Summer House or even Guest Accommodation
- Music Studio – garden buildings can be soundproofed
- Play Room – somewhere for that train set you’ve always dreamed of.
Planning Permission for Garden Buildings
Under new regulations that came into effect on 1 October 2008 outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to certain limits and conditions.
Because garden rooms are generally far easier to catch fire and burn, which is why they are only exempt from regulations, including fire regulations, provided they are not used overnight.
There’s more information on this here: Planning Permission for Garden Rooms & Offices.
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