ABOUT

GARDEN ROOM

FAQs

Planning a Garden Room

Questions about garden rooms?

You've come to the right place.

Whether a curiosity, query or concern, we want you to have all the information you need to plan your perfect garden room. So we've collected all the common, and some not so commonly asked questions about garden rooms right here. 

From getting started to building to aftercare, we want you to feel informed and confident that an Image garden room is the right choice for you.

Garden Room Q and A

Quick Topics

 

GETTING STARTED

I want a garden room, how do I get started?

First you can take a look through the designs and options available on our website, if you're keen, maybe you already have. From here you'll start to build an idea of what you'd like. The next step is to give us a call. We can talk through any initial queries and ideas you have, set your budget and arrange a site survey. During the survey, we will also have a design consultation with you, here we can go into more detail about your garden room in person and make sure we understand exactly how to create the perfect garden room for you. 

When will the consultation and survey take place?

We will aim to visit you within 10 days of your initial enquiry. As we are a factory based manufacturer, our hours are usually 08:30 to 17:00 Monday to Friday. Although where needed, we can arrange consultations at the weekend.

 

Who will carry out the survey and consultation?

You'll will be glad to hear that we do not employ sales people. A member of our dedicated design and build team will come to see you, with experience in the design and specifying of your garden room structure from the ground up. The meeting will focus on the design and features you would like and what you need to achieve to create the perfect garden room that meets your needs, style and budget.

 

What happens after the survey and consultation?

Once we understand what you need and we have discussed an expected overall cost, we will prepare an itemised quotation and customised design. This will include a full specification for your unique garden room. This will include CAD (Computer Aided Design) outlines to help you plan the space, plus a colour 3D visual so you can experience what your finished garden building will look like. 

Do you have a showroom and can I visit you?

Yes we have a showroom and factory in Norwich, visitors are always welcome by appointment. However as this is an indoor industrial building, due to the size and individual nature of garden room structures we do not have full pre-built examples in-house. Instead we have a full virtual catalogue of our designs, plus a range of material samples and finishes for you to explore.

How do I place an order and how long does it take?

Once we have agreed on price, specification and timescale, we will ask you to confirm your order by completing the 'acceptance' section on a copy of our design, quotation and specification.

A non-refundable deposit of 25% of the total project price is payable at the time of placing your order.

A further 50% of the total project cost is then due 3 weeks prior to the agreed installation date.

20% is payable to coincide with installation and must be cleared before the last day of install.

A final 5% balance is then payable on satisfactory completion, once we have completed your new garden building.

Typically we plan to complete your garden room within a 6-8 week period. However subject to your specification this may be shorter or longer if we have to wait for a specially requested materials or finishes. Regardless, we will always communicate with you clearly and openly throughout the build process to you know exactly what’s happening and when.

 

PLANNING CONSENT (T&CPA)

Generally we design and manufacture our garden rooms so they fall within the classification of “Permitted Development”. That means there's no need to obtain town and country planning consent. There are however several rules to stick to, your garden room cannot be bigger than 30 sqm, and the total area of your collective outbuildings cannot be more than 50% of the total size of your garden and overall property curtilage. It should be noted that flats and listed buildings have no permitted development rights, so will always need planning permission.

 

So how big can my garden room be?

To benefit from “Permitted Development” the external height of your garden room should be under 2.5m in height if it is built right up to or near to your boundary. Ideally we recommend a clearance of approximately 0.5m is allowed for access and maintenance between your boundary and garden room. Our garden rooms can be taller when incorporating a pitched or apex roof, typically up to 3.0m but would then need to be positioned at least 2.0m from your boundary. 

 

​What happens if I do need planning permission?

In most cases there won't be any need as most of our building are constructed at a height of 2490mm high. However should your garden room choices mean that T&CPA is required we are ready to help you with this, with advice or handling the entire process for you. In either case we can provide suitable drawings and specification to support your application.

What about building regulations?

Our garden rooms are built to a very high standard in keeping with building regulations wherever possible and practical. As a result, unlike a conventional summerhouse or conservatory, all our garden rooms are fully insulated and can be used comfortably all year round. In most instances  we building within the rules of 'permitted development' where building regulations or planning consent are not required or a necessary cost. Subsequently you may not live in a garden room nor should it be intended for sleeping in.

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CONSTRUCTION & SPECIFICATION

What is included with the pre-designed Image Garden Room range?

Our pre-designed range of buildings include a single double glazed door, a customisable quantity of double glazing, a choice of floor covering in various colours; carpet or vinyl, a maintenance free interior wall finish, internal ceiling finished white, internal wiring including recessed down lights, electric sockets and a fuse board / consumer unit (supplied but not fitted). The exterior is finished with a FSC timber cladding in either pine or Siberian larch.

 

How long does site installation take?

The concrete base, sometimes referred to as a 'pad', normally takes 1-2 days to install, subject to the size and location of your chosen garden building. This is normally completed around 2 weeks prior to the installation of your garden room. As most of the construction is completed in our factory, installation and on site work will take as little as 2-3 days, depending on the size and specification of your garden room.

 

What type of base is required?

Considering the average size of most garden buildings, we generally recommend a conventional 150mm concrete base. This is made up of a 50mm Mot type1 sub base with a DPC (damp-proof course) membrane and 100mm of concrete. This can be installed by one of our dedicated groundworks partners or working to a similar specification and size, we can confirm the use of your own contractor upon request. The cost of the concrete base is not included in our core garden room pricing, however we can obtain a quotation for you as part of our planning service.

Can an existing concrete base be used?

Yes, as long as the concrete slab is of the same or similar specification and to the correct size. It’s important that it is level with the ground, if it isn’t the building may be too high, exceed 2.5m and become subject to planning permission.

What about ground screws?

A modern alternative to a conventional concrete base is to use “Ground Screws”. This method is becoming increasingly popular but is not necessarily cheaper than having a concrete base laid. Ground screws are certainly faster to install and less intrusive, carrying some environmental advantages over concrete. However as the installation typically requires the timber joist frame to be more substantial and elevated above the ground the resulting height can begin to eat in to the internal height of the building when trying to remain within permitted development rules. Traditionalists would say that ground screws are no substitute for a professionally laid concrete base foundation. As we aren’t ground work specialists we have an open mind, and can build on both, discussing the best all round option for your own particular project during our  consultation.

Do you provide landscaping and garden services?

Whilst we do not provide groundwork, landscaping or gardening services ourselves, we do provide a full design service as part of our “Freestyle” range. This typically includes the design and planning for landscaping, patios, decking and garden features to compliment your new garden room. We then work with you and any landscapers, ground-workers and other specialists to deliver a complete fully project managed solution for you.

Can I have a custom-size building?

Yes, our pre-designed range is available in many set sizes but we can also create bigger versions up to 30 sqm which we price as required. Our “Freestyle” range is available in any size you choose, again up to a maximum area of 30 sqm. We can also consider a variety of shapes and styles within our "Freestyle" range, opening up a huge range of possibilities to create your perfect garden building. 

Can I attach my garden room to the side of my house?

Attaching to a house is possible when using a flat or mono pitch roof, however there are a few other restrictions to consider so we would need to specifically review your requirements.

 

Can I have a toilet in a garden room?

Yes, it is possible. However we do not offer plumbing services directly, so we would work with you and a plumber to facilitate this, gain any planning approval required, and install required features to support a toilet within your garden room.

Can I have shelves and cupboards built in?

Yes, we manufacture bespoke furniture and storage units, so we can provide a bespoke fit out service for you, including desks, shelves, cupboards and more. Alternatively we can help you plan and source pre-made furniture, making sure it fits where you want it to.  

What are the interior finish options?

Our pre-designed buildings are supplied with pre-decorated internal walls. The FSC MDF interior clad wall sections are covered with a hard wearing, washable, textured vinyl wall covering, available in a choice of colours. As an alternative we can provide a range of alternative special wall coverings, wallpapers or painted finishes which we'd be glad to discuss with you.

Can the internal walls be plastered and finished?

No, and they shouldn't be. Garden rooms are based on an engineered timber construction and any plaster will crack and keep cracking as the building flexes. Our vinyl covered interior wall finish is included to avoid this and provide long life with minimal maintenance for you.

 

What maintenance is needed on the wooden cladding?

Most natural wood claddings are designed not to require any form of maintenance or staining, certainly cedar and larch can be left to weather naturally. However if you want to preserve the colour, then a branded exterior stain finish of UV protection oil can be used.

What maintenance is required on painted buildings?

Should you choose a painted finish for your garden room it will be hand painted in a branded colour stain, to your choice of colour. These modern finishes often last for 5 to 10 years, so again maintenance will be minimal.

How is the garden room heated?

The finished garden room structures are well insulated and can be used year round with minimal heating requirements. An ideal and cost effective solution for both heating and cooling is to use a freestanding, reverse cycle air conditioning unit. This requires a vent positioning in one of the walls which we can facilitate during build, so ask us about this option when we design your garden building, we'd really recommend it.

How is the garden room cooled?

As above, a cost effective solution for both heating and cooling is to use a freestanding, reverse cycle air conditioning unit. This requires a vent positioning in one of the walls which we can facilitate during build, so ask us about this option when we design your garden building, we'd really recommend it for keeping your garden room comfortable year round. 

Can I have underfloor heating?

Underfloor heating can be considered as an optional extra but as the insulation and heat retention properties are so efficient, you might find it's not really something you need.

Are the windows and doors secure?

The doors and windows we use are much the same as used in your house already, so are made to current building regulations. Standard specification includes high quality PVCu, multi-point lock security and environmental accreditation with 28mm sealed units and low-e glass.

How do I get power to my garden room?

We can provide a complete end-to-end service, co-ordinating the build from ground works through installation, to electrical connection and commissioning. The costs for ground work and electrical connection from the garden structure to the mains are not included in our fixed costs. However we can provide a quotation for these elements following site consultation. Alternatively you can choose to commission your own ground work and use your own electrician.

Can I get internet in my garden room?

Often the existing Wi-Fi service in your home is sufficient to reach your garden and garden room. However if this is not the case we can recommend and assist with the simple installation of a Wi-Fi extender, which boosts internet signal via the electrical circuit connected to your garden room. Or an armoured CAT 6 network cable can be run from the router in your house out to your garden building.

Where do you install garden rooms?

Pricing for our pre-designed range includes the cost of installation throughout Norfolk and up to 100 miles from our Norwich based factory. However we can deliver and install throughout the UK and have extensive experience of working throughout Europe, so we can install virtually anywhere. If you have a place in mind, just ask us. 

 

Is there a guarantee?

Yes there is. Our garden rooms come with a comprehensive 10 year guarantee covering most aspects of the structure and build to cover any significant defects. Windows and doors are subject to the limitations implied by the double glazing manufacture with respect to internal misting, door/window hinges and locks which is typically 3 years. External decking, external fascias, internal linings and trim, floor covering, electrical installations, electrical and network connections (if applicable) are all subject to a 1 year guarantee.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS TO ASK?

Not to worry, our team is excited to help you create the perfect garden room, and answer any questions you have...