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September, 2018

Garden buildings

Hand in hand with the trend of treating the garden as an outdoor room is the growth in garden buildings. Until relatively recently, if you said garden building you would immediately think of some unloved shed at the bottom of the garden, often deliberately hidden from view. But today's garden buildings are no longer limited to the humble shed. Visitors to home and garden exhibitions will have noticed the proliferation of companies offering garden buildings: from super-smart, cedar-clad studios that double as a home office to traditional summerhouses, pavillions and gazebos designed to be used purely for pleasure and relaxation. Garden buildings now come in all shapes and sizes and can be personalised to suit a variety of needs. So how should you go about deciding what type of building is right for your project and ensuring it will work in your overall garden plan?

 

There are a few things to consider when trying to decide which building is right for you. Budget is most often the first consideration and it's true that you can spend a few hundred pounds or several thousand, depending on size, materials, the specification of windows, doors etc. Beyond budget, it's really important to think about how you plan to use the building. If it's going to be more than just a nice-to-have, then knowing what you plan to do in and around the garden building is key to getting the right solution for your needs. Will it be a place for the younger members of the family to get away from the grown-ups? Or a space to indulge your favourite hobby (guitar playing springs to mind!)? Or is it intended to be a dedicated home-office? Or perhaps a combination of some or all of these activities. The proposed use, as well as the budget and available space, will dicate the size and style of the building. And this brings us to another key question: storage. If you are getting rid of your shed to make room for the new building where do you put everything it used to hold? Look at options that allow for a storage area to be incorporated into the building. This can be really useful for all your garden paraphernalia such as tools, furniture, seat pads, cushions etc.

 

Once you've agreed the form, function and style of your garden building, the next big consideration is what additional services it will require. If it's to be a multi-purpose building it's likely you will need a power supply to it for lighting and heating. If it's to be a place for entertaining or working perhaps you'll need plumbing for a sink and cloakroom. Of course, all of these add-ons will have an impact on your initial budget so it's worth bearing such things in mind when you start planning. Last but not least is location. If you are installing it to an existing garden your options will largely be dictated by what's already in the garden. However, if it's installation is part of a complete re-design, then you have more options for it to be fully integrated with other garden elements such as planting, paving, lighting and pathways. A garden building can be a focal point in its own right so be sure to make the most of yours, be it a glorified shed or a state-of-the-art summerhouse.