• Alex Cosham

Intelligent Home Improvements - 3 of 3

Welcome to the third and final article of three that takes the lid off Image Garden Rooms, highlights the benefits of how we work and more importantly what we can do for you…

Intelligent Home Improvements #3

“Freestyle”: beyond garden rooms, bespoke home improvement design and build.

You’ll notice that we’re not slow to point out, we are essentially a “design and build” company. When we introduced our range of pre-designed garden rooms we included our “Freestyle” option which is where our strength and passion is. We revel in a challenge and most enquiries we receive often start like this; “we like the look of your Knightsbridge garden room but would really like to…” To us that’s game on, our attention grabbed and the design challenge accepted. Timber based construction has become more and more popular and it's now common that modern homes are constructed on a base of SIP’s (structural insulated panels) rather than conventional breeze blocks, bricks and mortar. As we’ve mentioned in a previous article our construction process is based on a high specification timber engineered approach, you could say an intelligent version of SIP’s. Timber based construction has many benefits, not least lower cost but also, thermal efficiency and faster, less intrusive build. So while we don’t profess to be house builders we can provide a wider range of “attached garden rooms”.

When is a conservatory, not a conservatory?

Considering the rules about a conservatory roof being at least 70% glass were changed in 2010 and modern conservatories can just as easily have a solid roof as a glass one there seems to still be a lot of glass roofed conservatories about. Strange considering a glass roof is so inefficient and poorly insulated making a conservatory too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Imagine what would happen if you swapped a typical PVC and glass based conservatory with one of our garden rooms. A fully insulated conservatory with a choice of roof options that you can use comfortably all year round. A conservatory built to much higher specifications than a typical uPVC kit while working within the same or very similar budget costs. Permitted development regulations stipulate that your conservatory cannot be transformed into an extension of your home and must remain a separate outbuilding attached to it. It must be separated from the main house by the external walls, windows and door(s) and have its own independent heating system and heating controls...

So to answer our question about when a conservatory isn't a conservatory - when it’s an attached garden room!

What about using a garden room structure as a home extension?

A Garden Room Home Extension could be an incredible way to add functional stylish space to your home
A Garden Room Home Extension could be an incredible way to add functional stylish space to your home

Moving beyond conservatories, an entire modern house can be based on a timber construction, meeting the same building regulations and planning controls of a brick build. Our garden room specification is no different and can very easily tuned to meet current building regulations and of course the same benefits apply to having a timber based home extension built. Reduced cost is a major consideration, installed in a fraction of the time of a traditional brick build with less disruption to your home. We can even complete extension projects using more modern foundation systems, subject to suitability. So potentially no heavy plant and machinery is required which means your garden suffers less and is able to recover more quickly from the building works.

It’s probably appropriate at this stage that we start to consider such a project not as a “garden room” all be it an attached one. Calling it by another name, quite simply “home extension” is appropriate with all the attributes and benefits that come with such a project. However while such projects may not, depending on use, require planning consent they are no longer exempt from building regulations approval. As a permanent addition to your home that may be slept in or become a kitchen it must be built to an approved specification, properly insulated and meeting the appropriate fire regulations. Building regulations are there to ensure that this is the case and your investment is a safe one and fully certificated, which is essential should you eventually sell the property.


Please get in touch if we can help you with any garden room, conservatory or home improvement project you may be considering. or call us on 01603 408104 to arrange a free no obligation consultation.

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