Save Money With a Self-Build Garden Room

Have you been longing to extend your living area or create a space in the garden but are worried about the cost of a garden room? Do you have a penchant for DIY and would love a summer project? Some of our partners offer self-build garden room kits, allowing you to keep costs down. We take a look at some of our favourites here.

  1 Click Log Cabins

 

Bradwell corner cabin DIYDalton self build cabinShelter build it yourself

The Bradwell Corner 28mm is perfect for adding sheltered outdoor living space to your garden. This uniquely shaped garden room fits perfectly into the corner of your garden and can be built in about 10 hours.

The Dalton 44mm by 1 Click Log Cabins is perfect for a home gym, office or even playroom. This garden building is 3.75m x 4.35m and can be built by two people in one or two days.

If you were looking for a gazebo – perhaps this Outdoor 44mm Timber Shelter might be perfect for you. Two people can build this 2.4m2 structure in about 6 hours. It comes with charming built-in internal benches.

Vision Garden Rooms

Domeo 2 DIY garden room Domeoe 4 self build garden roomjapan self build

 

The Domeo 2 is one of the smaller garden buildings offered by Vision Garden Rooms. It can be built by pros in a couple of days and may take the more unseasoned DIYer a week. Perfect as a BBQ Room or studio with outdoor space, the Domeo 2 comes in 6 different colours.

 

The Domeo 4 has wall to wall windows and would make a perfect garden office or hobby, or craft space because it is flooded with natural light. It would also make a great playroom allowing you to see the kids clearly from the garden or your house. Impregnation and rain gutters can be added as optional extras, but it will take about a week unless you’re a trained professional if you want to build this yourself.

 

Perfect as a yoga studio or other retreat or quiet space is Japan. This gorgeous garden room, complete with double glazed windows and truly allows you to embody nature with large doors and multiple windows that allow natural light in.

 

Cotswold Garden Rooms

Lugarde Sutton SummerhouseLugarde gilbertlugarde system desmond

The Lugarde Sutton Summerhouse is one of the larger DIY garden buildings available. With a building floor area of 40m2, this combines a summerhouse, home gym or office with folding doors that lead to a lovely terrace area.

If you are looking for a perfect home working space, the Lugarde Gilbert Garden Home Office offers the ideal solution. This self-build garden room has two double-glazed windows with air grates and a double door that is double-glazed and allows in lots of light and air.

We think this Lugarde Desmond Summer House could make a fantastic guest room. It combines a 3m2 enclosed space with a 1.82m by 3m open room perfect as an outdoor relaxing area. This summer house could also be a great way to include a hot tub with storage and changing space attached. Made of solid pine with upgrades available to the walls and roof, this is a great space to consider!

 

We have only looked at a handful of the available DIY garden rooms, but it is clear to see many incredible garden buildings that could make a brilliant summer project you can enjoy for years to come! You can browse all the self-build garden rooms here.

 

 

 

 

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Garden Room Lighting – The Options

One of the beauties of a garden room or office is that they are inherently designed to have large amounts of natural light. Often constructed with large, bifold or sliding doors that allow the sun to flood in from the floor to the ceiling and help make the rooms look larger and help flow out to your garden area.

In addition to the potential of bi-fold or sliding doors, you can add skylights to a garden room if it has a sloped roof. You might also opt for custom glazing panels that can be fitted to one section of a wall. These glazing panels bring additional light into the room and add options to create exciting window displays.

Of course, natural light fluctuates through the year – so what are the best ways to ensure there is sufficient lighting year-round?

Internal Lighting

The image below is The Brampton by Brighton & Hove Garden Rooms

garden room lighting

When winter comes and (certainly if you live in the UK) what seems like 23 hours of darkness descends, you’ll need to consider other ways to light your garden room.

Most garden rooms or garden offices will come equipped with some type of ambient light source. You can choose from spotlights, recessed downlighters, track lighting. If it’s more of an industrial look you’re going for or perhaps a workshop, why not consider fluorescent tubes?

Ambient light systems such as those will light the room brilliantly. The amount, type and even colour of light can be controlled by the bulbs you choose.

If you create a garden office or perhaps a hobby room, you will need specific task lighting to prevent eye strain. This can easily be done with a desk or floor light as appropriate. If you are in the process of designing the room now, consider where you’ll need sockets so these can be placed during construction rather than having to get an electrician in to add them later down the line.

Light Fittings

The most popular type of lighting for a garden office is recessed downlights, although these cannot be fitted in all styles of garden room. If your garden room is suitable, then these recessed downlights, which take LED bulbs, come in several types:

  • Fixed – light directly downwards
  • wall washer – light directed at the walls
  • gimbal – these can be rotated to direct light
  • Eyeball – these can be rotated with a greater range than gimbal lights

Some of these systems will have an option for a dimmer switch so that you can adjust the lighting in your garden room even more.

If downlights cannot be placed in your garden room or office, then spotlights are probably the next logical option. Spotlights are mounted on the surface and can be on tracks, fitted singularly on in groups. They will usually have a swivel function so you can direct the light exactly where you want it.

To give you an idea of how many lights you may need, downlighters are placed a metre from the wall and about 1.5 metres apart.

External lighting

The below image is the Domeo 7 by Vision Garden Rooms

external garden room lightDon’t forget the outside of your garden room will need lighting as well. The most obvious reason for outdoor lighting is so you can access the room on a dark night. You can also create a stunning ambience with coloured LED’s tucked in among plants. These outdoor lights will also be essential for enhancing an outdoor decking area. Last but not least, outdoor floodlights can act as a security device and deterrent to anyone peeking in at your equipment.

Lighting Controls

Many garden room suppliers will offer different options for lighting control. This option allows you to control the lighting remotely, such as with a key fob. This is especially brilliant on a rainy day when you get into the house and realise you’ve left a light turned on. There are also systems controlled by your smartphone which are available or even those attached to Google Home.

Lighting options clearly abound; it will help to talk to your garden room supplier or a qualified electrician about the intended use of the room. They can guide you through the appropriate lighting options for your needs.

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How To Create A Multi-Purpose Garden Room

Having a garden room is brilliant! It allows you to create additional space without having to move from your home. You can have a hobby area, a home gym or office, or even a guest space for visiting friends and loved ones. The possibilities are plentiful, but what happens when you realise you need more than one space. Garden rooms are incredibly versatile, and they can be easily transformed into multi-use spaces. Before you kick the kids out so that you can have a guest room and a home gym, take a look at our tips for creating a multi-purpose garden room.

Use Partition Walls

It goes without saying that the most obvious way to create two spaces within one room is by putting a wall between them. This is a great idea when the two desired uses don’t work well together, like a bicycle, kayak or garden tool storage area and a guest room. Having these two aesthetics completely separate allows you to keep the storage area out of the way of the primary building use.

Partition walls are also a great choice when one of the spaces requires some privacy, such as a toilet or shower space. If you are using the space as an office for yourself and a couple of colleagues, they probably won’t want to use the toilet right in front of you! Partition walls work well when running more than one business from home to give clear separation and privacy.

If you know you will want to use your garden building in this manner, walls can often be added at the point of construction, which will save time and money in the long run. However, if you realise later down the line that you need to split the room up, a trusted builder can construct one at that time.

Doors

You can place a door in the partition wall so that the rooms adjoin, or you might choose only to have external doors for access; this would probably be the case if one of the uses were storage space. Adjoining spaces work brilliantly if, for example, you run a business from home and want to keep stock in a separate storage area. This will also work for a toilet, bathroom or changing room for an exercise space/home gym, perhaps.

Use Furniture

If you already have your garden room built and don’t fancy putting up walls or damaging your paintwork, you can use furniture to separate the spaces. Large items such as tall bookcases, cube storage units or even a sofa can gently create separation between a living and working space, for example. There are many types of specific furniture units that work brilliantly as room dividers and can be accessorised to match your décor. This type of layout works well for a small home office used as a living room or cinema room in the evening.

Curtains/Screens

Not just used to block the light on your windows, curtains can be an excellent and moveable way to provide privacy in a room. This would work very well for a beautician who could draw a curtain to create a calm and peaceful atmosphere for a massage whilst still having lots of natural light for other treatments. If part of the multi-purpose garden room will be used for hobbies, curtains or screens can be placed to hide the masterpieces (or mess!) away whilst allowing the rest of the garden room to be enjoyed.

Garden rooms are widely accepted to be an excellent choice for those who have outgrown the confines of their four walls or just require useable space separate from the main property. The ability to use a garden room even more flexibly than you may have thought initially opens up a world of possibilities.

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Adding Utilities To Your Garden Room

Are you looking to add a toilet to your garden office, so you don’t have to run back to the house mid-meeting? Or perhaps you want to plumb in appliances for a kitchen and a shower or bath to create a full granny annexe or guest room.

There are a few things you will need to consider when adding utilities to your garden room or summer house, but it isn’t as confusing or challenging as it may seem.

The main elements you will need to consider are additional lighting, freshwater supply, and discharge of wastewater. If you are considering a shower, for example, then ventilation and water heating will also need to be considered.

Here we take a look at some of the key points to consider when adding utilities to your garden room.

Adding Ventilation to a Garden Room

Many garden rooms are made of timber. This means that ventilation is even more vital. Therefore, if you are thinking of fitting a bathroom, you will ideally want a window that can open and an extractor fan. The extractor should have a run-on timer ideally; you can also get one with a humidity sensor.

Adding an Electricity Supply to a Garden Room

Whether run underground or even around the garden, electrical cables must be armoured steel wired. Considerations will need to be made depending on the type of soil at your property; it might be best to run a conduit pipe to protect the wiring.

Clearly, above all, safety is paramount. You can save a few pennies by digging the trenches yourself, but we do not recommend that you try and rig the electrics unless you are a certified electrician. No amount of YouTube tutorials are worth the risk, and even if you decide to save the money and do it yourself, you’ll still need an inspection to certify the completed works! Accredited contractors can self-certify, which means the job gets done correctly, and you avoid this additional inspection.

Make sure you have a really clear idea of your expectations and desires so that you can tell the electrician what you want and allow them to do the best job they can.

Add a Fresh Water Supply to a Garden Room

Freshwater supply pipes will need to be buried below the frost line, and anywhere they run above ground, they will need to be well insulated. These freshwater supply pipes cannot run in the same trench as the electrical cables, and they do need to be placed at a minimum distance for safety.

How to Get Hot Water in Your Garden Room

You can add a small hot-water heater under your sink. These can provide 7-10 litres of hot water. Because these mini heaters are not boilers, they are not subject to the same regulations. If you install appliances such as dishwashers or electric showers, these will generate their own hot water.

How to Remove Waste Water from Your Garden Room

If you build an annexe, you will need wastewater removal. The requirements for wastewater will differ slightly if the garden room is located below the level of any existing drains. If it is lower, then you will need a simple domestic pumping station to be installed. The pumping station is a small holding tank that is then buried in the ground. It has a water pump attached to it with a built-in macerator. The macerator will break down any waste to a pulp, and then this system is used to pump the waste to your main sewer. It’s essential that you let your electrician know if you’ll need one of these because they will need to factor that into the entire electrical installation.

There are some eco-friendly options for both water supply and discharge, such as a toilet flush fed by rainwater or a water butt to cope with non-toilet water waste.

Last but not least, you must consider planning permission. If you are changing your garden room’s original intended use, you will need to apply for planning permission to ensure you comply with building control regulations.

All in all, adding utilities to your garden room might actually be more accessible than it seems. Ensure you employ professionals who can make your plumbing and electrical dreams a reality!

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