- Pictured above is the Monaco Lodge by Manor Park Homes
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!