Garden rooms as we know them today have come a long way from the dictionary definition of their predecessor, the Summerhouse, which is described as “a simple, often rustic structure in a park or garden, intended to provide shade in the summer”.  Nowadays garden rooms are solid, modern, valuable and useful additions to our home space.

Before you think of adding a garden room to your home read our top 7 things to consider below.

There is no one size fits all when investing in a garden room.  There are no right or wrong answers in terms of what you should or should not have, it all depends on your individual needs.

There are lots of thing to consider but below we have tried to focus on the main considerations that might influence your choice.

1) Budget

You should go for the best quality that you can afford.  Although the initial cost will be more, investing in good quality and craftmanship will result in a building that could potentially last decades and more than pay for itself.

2) Space

How much space you have in your garden will determine the size building you can practically have.  You don’t want to dominate your garden with your new room or limit your other usable space.

Consider your lifestyle and how you may want to use your garden and garden room in the short, medium and longer terms.

3) Size

Think about what you are going to use the building for; if you are using it purely for relaxation or whether you will combine storage. It would be a useful exercise to lay everything out, to help you visualise what space you might need.

Partitioning a larger building to create a multi-use space for storage and relaxation is a good way of making best use of the space available.

4) Use

If you intend to use your garden room as an office and are likely to spend more time there during all seasons, then you should factor in some additional options such as:


Lighting, heating, computer/IT equipment or power tools will all require some form of electrical supply. You should have properly installed electric sockets in your garden room for this purpose.


Over time, you could easily accumulate a substantial amount of valuable equipment within your garden room so you also need to consider how secure you can make it.

Integral window bars, security screws and multi-lever anti-crop, anti-pick locks are excellent deterrents.


If you are likely to spend time during the colder months in your garden room, you should consider floor, wall and roof insulation to maintain a comfortable working temperature.

5) Location & Position

Consider the path the sun takes across your garden throughout the day and what you are going to use the building for; if you work full time and use your garden room for leisure, such as a summerhouse, you may want to position it to take advantage of the evening sunshine.

6)  Planning Permission

See here for the latest planning permission rules in Northern Ireland…/advice_home_structures.htm

7)  Base

Concrete base or paving slabs? Paving slabs are offer a cheaper option than a concrete slab, but the right materials, installed correctly, should offer comparable performance. Whichever option you do choose, we recommend seeking professional help to ensure it is installed correctly.

A concrete base since it offers a uniform, consistent surface and has less opportunity for movement.

Paving slabs, over time and under certain conditions, may settle and move creating an uneven surface, which will put undue stress on areas of your garden room and will lead to problems opening and closing doors or windows and can lead to premature deterioration.

All things considered a garden room can prove invaluable as a workspace, a place of relaxation away from the house, a gym, a guest room, sauna, games room or somewhere to hide from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.   Don’t forget about the interior, get some inspiration here…

Get FREE tickets to this years Love Your Home Show. Northern Ireland’s largest home event Love Your Home Show 2017, created for home lovers will take place in the Titanic Exhibition Centre 13th-15th October 2017.


S U M M E R   2 0 1 8 Who said interior design has to remain indoors, definitely not us at Blakely Interiors. Summer, the...


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