Are you yearning for a higher quality environment to work from home? Have you considered a garden room or home office?
Over the years many of our clients have sought to maximise the potential of their garden, by building a bespoke garden room to provide ancillary accommodation to the main house. In London, where space is at a premium, this can be a great investment and the opportunities for the use of these garden rooms is almost endless. Many clients like the separation of working in a garden room, so creating a high quality home office is often the starting point. Other briefs we have been set are a music room, a studio for a photographer, an extra bedroom for guests, children’s playroom and a yoga studio to teach 1 on 1. Whatever the end use, a well designed building can provide a high quality working / living environment almost as good as that can be achieved in the main house.
The benefits of designing something to meet your own brief, and tailoring it to the site brings advantages over off the shelf garden room products. These include maximising the allocated plot, use of materials to compliment the main house, as well as being competitve to build if done at the same time as a main build project on the house.
Planning the garden room
Most of these garden rooms don’t require planning consent, as they can be built under permitted development (PD), which sets limits on the size and height of the stuctures. We generally advise our clients to obtain a certificate of lawful development before proceeding with the build. If the house is listed or situated in a conservation area, where the council have removed the PD rights – then you will need to apply for full planning and we have a lot of experience of these types of applications.
Contruction of the home office
There are a number of methods to construct these rooms, and much depends on buildability issues, cost, and the end performance of the building. Usually the stuctures are built to the same standards as the main house’s new works, including meeting building regulations. This includes being fully insulated, and compliance with electrical regulations. Timber frame can be a good option, as the timber stuctural elements are easy to erect and the stucture is lightweight, so foundations can be reduced. A masonry block system, does produce a more robust building, and if rendered or clad in brick, can compliment the house very well. Some clients like the aesthetic of timber cladding, as it feels more appropriate for a rear garden setting. There are many options available for cladding, which can natual weather to a grey patina or be treated to retain a colour. Typically the garden rooms have 1 or maybe 2 external aspects, so glazing is usually maximised on these elevations, as well as rooflights to maximise daylight and the perception of space.
Internally the garden rooms can be fitted out to a high standard, plastered, electrics and lighting, plumbing, and high quality finishes. Or there is often a requirement to fit out economically, and this can be done with simple palate of materials.
Access to the rear garden should also be considered as part of the design, especially if you will need to bring all the waste and materials for the build through the house. The proximity to the boundaries is also a consideration, as some build methods are much easier than others. Proximity of trees is also a constraint that could limit the height of the garden room building and the depth of foundations.
If you like the idea of maximising the potential of your garden, and want a haven to retreat to, then do get in touch here.