It can be a little daunting if you’ve never done it before, but we are here to guide you every step of the way and the end result will be a building that is unique to you, designed exactly to your taste and needs. Check out these tips for commissioning your first garden room.
Firstly, don’t be put off by the idea that it’s ‘too expensive’ to have a bespoke build because each element of a building is priced individually: the walls are priced in half metre increments, you can choose the thickness of timber, the roof style, the doors & windows that you like and we will select the manufacturer that best suits your needs & budget. All our manufacturers have been selected for sharing the same exacting standards that we do and share our passion for quality.
Identify your use
There are a number of triggers that might prompt you to think about a garden room. But what most people have in common is the need for more space. Perhaps a new baby means you need more space for a garden office, or you have downsized your home in retirement but need a room for a hobby, or perhaps you are fed up with paying gym fees and instead would like to create a dedicated exercise or gym space, or do you have teenagers who dream of a their very own den with some privacy for friends (and peace and quiet for you), or quite simply it’s time for a little haven to relax away from the pressures of life with a good book and cup of tea. Whatever your plans we are here to help.
Develop your ideas
Once you have identified your use its time to start thinking about the best location in the garden, it’s important to consider the following points and to take in to account that if you plan to be in your space for most of the day, say for a garden office, then there will be different considerations than for a summer hideaway.
Planning restrictions & heights
Most people will want to situate their building closer than 2 metres to their boundary. In this case, you will need to keep your building under 2.5m high to comply with current English planning restrictions. This is not a problem as we are well used to designing garden buildings to comply with these restrictions. A building to 2.5m high offers a very attractive contemporary design with a flat roof and a long lasting EPDM rubber roof membrane.
If you have a large garden and you are able to situate your building further than 2 metres from any boundary then you can go up to 4m in height and choose a more traditional style of ridge or hipped roof with a choice of roof finishes including bitumen felt shingles (to residential standard), cedar or slate effect shingles.
Let us know where the shade is in your garden and which way the sun rises and we will design your building to optimise light throughout the day or design a building with a front canopy to avoid the glare of full sun.
Then it's time for the fun bit, you can begin to think about the way you want your new garden room to look!
A good place to start is by browsing our customer galleries as well as our product pages. Or take a look at our comprehensive brochures which are full of design examples and will provide inspiration and illustrate a whole range of uses, you can download our brochures here: Brochures
Understand the construction - Visit our Display Centre
Having a rough idea of what you want and how it’s made will help you pinpoint your ideas. From a simple summerhouse to a large multi-room building, the way a building is manufactured will determine its use, cost and lead time. The best way to see the different construction methods we offer is to visit us at our display centre, we have a range of design styles & sizes on show from ultra modern to timeless and traditional and our friendly team are here to guide you from the ground up. Often folk are surprised once they have stood in a building at how much space it allows; something you just can’t imagine from a website or brochure.
Talk to the experts!
Having an understanding of building construction will also help you to work in the realm of the possible. Of course being experts who have been designing bespoke garden buildings for over 16 years we will guide you through the options and what is possible, but commissioning a bespoke garden building is a two-way process, and the more you understand about it and are involved with it, the more likely you are to be delighted with the end result!
“Thank you for all your help and for your wonderful service, you thought of everything and forgot nothing, an outstanding job I just wanted to tell you how thrilled I am with the Cabin, your boys were fantastic, they worked very hard and have done a marvellous job."
Mrs Granger, London
Draft up a specification
Once you’ve identified what you want, and you’ve done some preliminary research and know that it’s roughly within your budget, it’s time to get down to the details.
Measure the space
Firstly, measure the space you have available in your garden (we work in metric but will convert for those of you who like to work in “old money”). Now this is very important when you are measuring up be sure to leave at least half a metre all around your building for roof overhangs and maintenance. A timber garden building needs to be preserved and painted to protect against water and UV damage and will need to be maintained to protect your investment in the years to come. Be aware that there will be a roof overhang of between 25-30cm (unless you choose a building from our Linea range featuring no roof overhang) and that it is illegal to overhang a neighbour’s boundary.
Once you have your ideal size and have taken measurements, it’s a good idea to draw a basic floor plan and have an idea of the types of doors and windows you like, this is very useful to our designers. You can either send this to us via email or bring it along when you visit. Photos of your garden, any access issues and where you plan to situate the building are always useful things to have considered.
Choosing doors & windows
Choosing door & window styles is covered in another of our posts here: Choosing doors & windows for your garden room
Self assembly or fully installed
At Garden Affairs we do things slightly differently to other companies and employ our own team of skilled carpenters. This way, we have total control of the build and we offer one of the best installation services in the business. Our customer reviews, which you can find on the Internet, are testament to our team’s skill and professionalism. We also won a prestigious award for our customer service which you can read all about here: Houzz Customer service Award.
See details here about our installation service or our self assembly option. Installation or Fully Installed
All our garden buildings are made to order for you. However, just because you have chosen a bespoke product it doesn’t mean you have to wait forever for it to be manufactured. Lead times for all our buildings are usually 6-8 weeks extending to 10 weeks in very busy periods, this gives you enough time to have a base laid, and engage an electrician ready for when it’s time to connect to the mains. See more details here about our delivery service: Delivery Services Details
Finally enjoy your unique garden room
Once you’ve been through the whole process, you’ll have your very own bespoke garden room, and probably be the envy of the neighbourhood! It’s time now to enjoy it, and start to think about furnishing and decorating, a brand new subject for discussion! So take a look at our blog here: designing the interior of your garden room.
What our customers say
“From our initial enquiry to the finished product the whole experience has been very easy and professional ... I would like to thank you for your high quality of work and professional approach to the installation…”
Mr Judson, WinchesterRead more of our testimonials
Beat the planners with our log cabins!
Read all about our cabins under 2.5m high here
Planning on installing yourself ? DIY Tool Tips