Every teenager longs for a space of their own to hang out with friends and some privacy for study and relaxation. A garden room makes the perfect choice for both parents and teenagers as our clients Susan & Nadiya discovered.
Susan needed a space for her teenage daughter Nadiya to study and entertain her friends without fear of making too much noise and disturbing the neighbours. Their terraced house had become too cramped and so they looked to the only space left - the garden! The result is a warm, secure and inviting environment for Nadiya (and Susan) to escape and relax in peace.
Nadiya- "I never really had my own space. My friends and I were either in my small bedroom or in our lounge but only if Mum and Dad vacated it. We have a terraced house and I was always aware that we might be making too much noise. It was difficult to really relax or to stay up late watching films etc."
Susan: "We couldn't convert our loft as we are an end of terrace & not only was planning unlikely to be granted but the floor-to-roof measurement was not high enough for a room. We already have a flat roof extension at the back of the house and the 'light law' stopped us from building a further extension on the front of the house. We wanted to utilise the space in our long narrow garden and a garden room seemed a perfect choice.
Nadiya was due to start college to take her A levels and we wanted to give her somewhere she could go to have her own space, study and spend time with her friends."
If we had built an extension to the house the noise problem would still have applied and I know that it would not have had the calming, natural atmosphere that the wooden garden house has.
Susan "I am a keen gardener and I wanted a building constructed of natural materials that would sit comfortably in the space available and not offend my eye. To be useful it had to be big enough 5m x 4m and we had initially thought the cost would be prohibitive.
Originally, I had thought of a traditional-style building with a pitched roof but then I realised we were restricted to a height of 2.5 metres because of current planning regulations regarding height. Also as the front of the building would be facing our modern flat roof extension, we decided it ought to be of a similar style.
I had considered a modern "cedar box" style building and I went to Grand Designs and a number of other garden shows, but they were either too expensive or not really suitable for our needs. Eventually, we decided we preferred a more traditional look and feel.
After a lot of deliberation, I was with a friend at her sister's house and noticed a large wooden garden building. It was a workshop for her business and was used all year round. I assumed that a building that didn't have insulated walls would not be warm enough to work in in the winter. She told me that they had electric convector heaters that kept the environment comfortable even when it was really cold outside as the floor and roof was insulated and the timber walls retained the heat well."
Susan: "The building I mentioned had been built by Garden Affairs a number of years ago and the company came highly recommended. Despite the recommendation I decided to do some research on the Internet and could only find good reviews. I spoke to the team at Garden Affairs who were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and suggested we visit their display site to see the buildings for ourselves as it would be easier to determine what was best for our requirements.
They were able to build anything from a summer house to a fully insulated garden office. I would not have purchased any garden building without having confidence in the company and being sure of the quality of the build so we did visit and chose a log cabin from their manufacturer Bertsch Holzbau. We loved the look of it and particularly the large solid roof beams, sturdy walls and the double glazed windows.
Garden Affairs designed the building to ensure the proportions were right. We chose French doors and two long tilt and turn windows at the front of the building and a high narrow opening window at the back.
Susan - "For me the room is a peaceful haven. It was built in July in time for our daughter's 16th birthday and she said it was the best present she could have wished for.
From the day it was finished even before it was furnished she couldn't wait to spend time in there with her friends,
We managed to get Sky installed and wireless internet with a very clever little gadget that sends a signal via the electrical wiring from the main house. There is also a large corner sofa.
In the summer, I used to take my early morning coffee and have breakfast in the garden room with the doors open listening to the birds. I used to wake everyone up previously by putting on the TV in the kitchen at 6 am - so it was great to have somewhere to go where I wouldn't disturb anyone. If I had work to do and needed to concentrate I would take it down to the garden house. The smell of the wood and the peaceful atmosphere is very conducive to study. As a family, if we want to watch a movie we all troop down to the garden house!"
For Nadiya "The benefits are endless. It's a quiet, calming and relaxing space to study and do my college work. Now I can have my friends around any time without us getting in my parents way. Best of all it's like having my own house.'
Nadiya - "I love the fact that it smells of wood, is so light and spacious and is another area that is mine but separate to my bedroom. We can now watch films and Sky TV whenever we want to. Even at night, I feel very safe down at the end of the garden - I told Mum and Dad it's the best investment ever!"
For your own Teenage Den take a look at our range of Log Cabins to get you started and then give us a call to design the right building for you. For more photos of Susan and Nadiya's building visit our Log Cabin Gallery.