Earlier this year, Director Ben Couture spoke to Aucoot Journal about where to start when planning a new garden room. Below we look at a range of considerations, from location to usage, helping you to make an informed choice about your investment.
Initial considerations, where to begin
When first considering a garden room, think about how you would like to use it and how you want the space to feel inside – imagine what a typical day might look like. A garden room can perform one function or in some cases many; such as a studio/office, with an area for fitness activities. Think about heat, natural light, comfort, quality of space, and storage.
Other useful things to think about
We find that most people know where they would like to position the new structure, so often we would suggest people think about details such as locations of full-height windows – taking into account the position of the sun, and also the views that could be framed looking out of the garden room.
Modular vs traditional garden buildings
The benefits of a really well designed modular system are huge. Our customers often remark that they appreciate the fixed-cost approach we take, each 3rdSpace Modular model size has a price that is known up front. Modular buildings are also manufactured in a factory environment, so we have greater control of quality and site installations only take a matter of days. Also, there is great flexibility in a modular garden room. For example, if the demands for the space change, then walls, windows and doors can be simply interchanged to reshape the layout.
Planning and other permissions
There are sometimes occasions where we offer upgrades to material specifications for specific end uses, but in most cases 3rdSpace garden rooms do not require planning permission, and when they do not provide ‘sleeping accommodation’ they also do not require any approvals by Building Control.
End use, flexibility
3rdSpace Modular designs are inherently versatile, the same core system has been successfully used for a vast range of uses, including libraries, gyms, workshops, yoga studios and of course garden rooms. Our interior specification always includes a solid timber post and beam structure, with walls and ceilings finished in furniture-grade birch plywood – they are a perfect canvas for so many uses.
A ideal site will have good access, and enough space to unload / stack components during the installation. A number of garden rooms have been installed by bringing the modular components through a house, although this does come with some small risk of damage even with every care taken. Where site access is very good, we can fully complete the construction in the factory and deliver the building by crane.
Some of our customers add a small electric space heater for working through the winter, and we have seen larger spaces fitted with air-to-air heating and cooling. Very little heating is generally required, due to the solid construction and excellent insulative properties of our design.
Green roof options
Sedum is an excellent option for a natural roof, particularly for small buildings. Sedum is lightweight compared to turf, and in general requires little-to-no maintenance. It provides a perfect habitat for supporting biodiversity in urban areas, as well as giving an added layer of insulation to the building.
Photography: Beth Davis