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Homes, Exteriors

Have You Got the Room for an Outdoor Room? 


With the weeks we have spent at home this year, with the family doing home-schooling and adults working from home, you may be thinking that your property is not quite large enough to accommodate everyone comfortably with so much time being spent indoors. You may have looked outside at your garden space, thinking you may be able to install some form of garden building to become an outdoor office or playroom. Garden buildings come in various formats; traditional sheds, summerhouses, offices/studios, and garden rooms. For a reasonable amount of money, you may be able to install a garden building that suits your needs without going through the time delay of building an extension or moving to a new house.

We spoke to Crane Garden Buildings – whose Oxfordshire show centre is based adjacent to Burford garden company – about the things you need to consider when installing an outdoor room....

What is your budget? 

This will obviously determine the type of outdoor building you can afford. Not only do you need to consider the cost of the actual structure, you will also need to build a suitable concrete foundation which needs to be flat, smooth and level built to a depth of 100mm and slightly smaller than the size of the building. To make it a fully usable room you will need to add the cost of an additional electrical installation providing power and light. To ensure the ambient temperature of the outdoor room remains comfortable throughout the year, consider buying a structure that has suitable insulation as many of Crane Garden Buildings do.

Whilst you can buy Crane’s classic shed from £1,050, their cheapest summerhouse starts at £3,950 and their garden studios at £8,940. Feature levels vary depending on the types of building. Their cheapest summerhouse is unlined and unpainted with just basic features; however, the basic studio comes fully lined and insulated with double glazing and a choice of paint colours. Their luxury garden rooms start at £21,865 but this price includes a choice of roofing material, paint colour, a painted interior lining, full insulation, double glazing, and electrics.

The positioning of your garden building is important too as it may influence the requirement for planning permission. You also need to ensure that the windows are not receiving full sunlight as this can create computer-screen glare. You may also need to factor in the cost of additional garden landscaping, perhaps creating a pathway from the house to the new structure to make it easy to reach.

Will you need planning permission? 

Most garden buildings fall within the permitted development and you can proceed without needing planning consent. However, whether planning permission is required depends how close your building will be to your boundaries in a rear or side garden. If it is less than 2m from a boundary the building must not be more than 2.5m high. If you position it more than 4m from a boundary you are limited to a 4m high building. However, should you live in a conservation area or AONB, certain restrictions do apply which you can discuss with your building provider.

What styles of building can you select from?

Crane Garden Buildings are mostly traditional in design, inspired by the type of buildings best suited to beautiful British country gardens. Their popular octagonal Wiveton summerhouse affords views from all angles and the larger structures make good sociable spaces for al fresco dining or as an entertainment area. Inspired by old cricket pavilions, the Pavilion garden room has a wonderful sheltered veranda and suits a large garden space. For contemporary gardens, Crane has a range of modern buildings styled with plenty of glazing, pent roofs, modern colours, chrome door and window furniture.

How long do you need to wait for your building?  

There are no ‘off the shelf’ buildings available from Crane as all buildings are handmade in their Norfolk factory by craftsman. Buildings can all be tailored to meet individual customers requirements to ensure they have a building which meets all their needs so you may have to wait between eight and ten weeks once the order is processed. It is worth discussing time scales with your local sales office.

What is the next step?

Take a look at the company’s website and visit their Show Centre to gain a greater understanding of just what a wonderful addition a garden building can make to your property, often increasing the value of your home by as much as 7%.


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