If you can’t afford a loft, kitchen extension or basement – or you’ve already extended your home in every way possible and still don’t have enough space – a garden room is an increasingly attractive option. Not a rickety shed or draughty summer house, but a fully insulated building with electricity and underfloor heating that can be your office, spare bedroom or yoga studio.
An increasing number of home owners are opting to put up these structures rather than move to a larger property, thus avoiding stamp duty and moving costs. “It’s so expensive to move, yet you can put up a top-of-the-range garden building for £25,000,” explains Katie Langley, who founded JML Garden Rooms (jmlgardenrooms.co.uk) with her husband, John.
The Posh Shed Company says that sales in the capital jumped 35 per cent last year as Londoners chose to expand their home in an original way.
There are countless companies offering insulated timber buildings from as little as £5,000, but according to Jo-Anne Neighbour of Savills in Islington, it’s essential to go for an attractive design and high-quality finish if you want to add value to your home. Buyers, she says, will pay a premium of up to 25 per cent for a house with extra inside space in the garden.
“They want to be able to work from home or have the option of secondary accommodation,” she says. “A garden room is always factored in to the total square footage of the property when you sell. If it’s attractive and well built, you’ll get your money back.”
This is exactly the kind of space that Chris Hodge set out to create when he founded Shackadelic (shackadelic.co.uk), a building company specialising in trendy garden structures with heating, sound systems and bespoke furniture.
“I used to be a garden designer, so when I started making buildings I realised how important it was to integrate them into the garden setting,” he explains. He now produces bedrooms, offices and chill-out spaces starting from around £10,000 – a snip compared with a loft conversion, side-return or basement.
Hodge works closely with his clients to ensure the structure is fit for purpose, pleasing to look at and an enjoyable space to spend…