When the available space in your home is limited, one of the best ways to increase your living space is by building a garden retreat. These can be made for a variety of functions such as; gym/workout area, office/work-space, artist studio, massage/yoga studio, games room, or, just somewhere relax and unwind after a long day at work – the possibilities are almost endless!
So, once you’ve decided on what you want to do in your Garden Retreat, you can then go about designing it and having it built. Depending on your level of skill and experience, you may want to take this project on yourself. For those who are less practical, there are several companies now specialising in garden offices and retreats. For inspiration, we suggest you check out the Garden Room Guide.
Most garden rooms are constructed from a modular timber frame and structural insulated panels. This enables fast installation as the main components are built offsite and put together on site which, minimises disruption and means your garden retreat can be put together within a matter of days. Make sure you consider noise levels in your garden. If you are in an urban environment, you may want to add extra sound insulation to keep external disturbances to a minimum.
The exterior is typically finished with timber cladding. There are many different options you can choose from, real timber cladding is arguably the most attractive finish, however, if left untreated, timber cladding will turn grey over time which is a disappointing surprise for most people. Low maintenance composite cladding won’t require maintenance or repainting can save you considerable time and money over the lifespan of your garden retreat.
Once you have the framework and external finished, it’s time to focus on the internal aspects of your new retreat. We recommend keeping the interior light and minimal so you can maximise on available space. Keep furnishing to a minimum – you want to focus on functionality and purpose, so you are not distracted when you want to relax and unwind, or when you want to focus and meet that important deadline.
Whilst most people choose to have their retreat hooked up to electrics, some people prefer to feel somewhat ‘cut off’ from the external world so they can they get that real sense of ‘retreat’ and tranquillity. If you do choose to add electrics, expect to pay in the region of £300 – £800. Whilst it’s best to do this whilst you are having it built, you can always add it later on if you change your mind.
Planning permission is not often required for garden buildings. However, if you are using your retreat for commercial purposes, or if the ground area covered by the garden retreat, and any other buildings within the boundary of the property, excluding the original house, exceeds more than half the total area of property, then you may need to consult your local building regulations. See here for a handy guide to find out if your project will require planning permission.