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DIY / 4 Sep 2015 / By Emily Hirschmann

How to Build Your Own Garden Room…

There’s been a growing trend for garden rooms during the last few years. With property prices consistently high and space at a premium we’re all seeking to make the most of the plot that we’ve got.

Garden rooms are being used for all manner of functions: adult’s retreat; kid’s hang-out; artist’s studio or home office. The rooms can be beautiful and ornate, or rough and ready; little better than a shed, or a bijou boutique. If a high-end finish takes your fancy, then a bespoke garden studio from Atelier, could be the thing for you, but for a more hands-on approach this is our guide to…

How to Build Your Own Garden Room
  1. Location, location.
    Choose a site that is easy to get to, but one that won’t block the light going into your house. If you share a party wall, you’ll need to make sure that the structure is at least 1m clear of the fence, unless your neighbour gives you permission to the contrary. 
  2. Begin the build with good foundations.
    Whatever style of garden room you have in mind, you’ll need a solid stand. In most instances a reinforced concrete base with a damp-proof membrane will be best.
  3. Select your structure. These days there are endless varieties of garden structures available from DYI stores and garden centres. A flat-pack kit can be a quick, easy and affordable solution. Rather like a large 3D jigsaw, you just need to piece it all together.
  4. Weather-proof.
    To make your room fit for year-round usage you’ll need to customise. Start by weather-proofing the exterior; you’ll want more than a sheet of bitumen felt to protect the roof; shingle might be an affordable option. A couple of coats of good quality wood stain will work for the rest of the exterior.
  5. Interiors.
    Insulation is a must for a functional garden room. Insulation board is the easiest method, particularly in a small space. Cover that with plaster-, MDF- or vinyl-coated boards. If you’re intending to link the structure to the mains you’ll need to call in a qualified electrician; it is best to consult them before you ‘finish’ the interior, to avoid unnecessary work. Likewise, plumbing. If you intend to install a sink or lavatory you’ll need to consult building regulations and contact a local plumber. In a small space, underfloor heating is also worth considering. From there on in, all you need do is decorate!

If flat-packing isn’t for you, the internet is full of quirky solutions; a garden room crafted from recycled packing crates for those handy with a hammer; a shipping container can provide an ideal office-shaped shell; for those with a penchant for heritage crafts, a straw bale structure with lime plaster could look the part; while the recyclers of this world have successfully constructed garden rooms from old tyres, plastic bottles, wine bottles set in concrete and myriad other materials.

If you’re looking for extra space without moving or extending your home, a garden room could be the way to go.  Self-building is an option, but calling in the experts is easier!

Get in touch today to design your own Vista or Horizon!


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