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Property: inside and out

/ by Completely London

No space indoors? Add an outside room!

Do you need studio or office space, guest accommodation or more room for your family? You may think that living in London makes building a garden room difficult, but in the experience of one design company, Green Studios, there are very few places where a garden room can’t be installed. We spoke to them to find out more.

What sorts of outside rooms are popular?

In terms of design, our pod range with open cedar panels (pictured) is popular. A lot of people use them for offices – we’ve built garden offices for people who either want a better work-life balance and the space to work from home, or have become self-employed. There is also the trend of having an extra room for families to relax and have guests over to stay. People can’t afford to move but need that extra room. Another popular garden room is for elderly relatives that need a little extra care – a ‘granny annexe’ in the garden could be the perfect solution.

Also, being green is something people are more conscious of and one of the reasons they come to us. People like to know that when they are buying a garden room, they are also using sustainable materials. The attractiveness of a green roof is also very popular – lots of people want to have this for the environment, but it also gives them a nice view when peering down at their garden room from upstairs!

What kinds of garden rooms have you installed?

We recently completed a garden studio for a London-based client who set up She wanted the space to initially move her utility area out of the kitchen to free up some space and now uses the studio as part utility (this is a partitioned part of the room), as well as an office and a leisure space for her son and his friends.

We’ve completed a light and airy artist studio in Brixton. Our clients, both keen artists, wanted a space to be able to get creative and not leave the mess in the house. We’ve also created a home music studio for a DJ and producer in London – a heavily sound-insulated room to separate work from home life and reduce noise – and a garden pod for a professional photographer in central London, who wanted extra space for use as an office as well as a chill-out area.

What planning restrictions should homeowners be aware of?

In general about half of our installations require planning permission. It tends to be not about the size of the building but about its location, appearance and use. For example, if the garden room is intended as accommodation, this requires planning permission whereas a large garden office may not. If you’re installing electrics you may need a Part P certificate (we do this for you), and if garden rooms are between 15sq m and 30sq m in floor area, they need to be installed with a minimum 1m gap between the garden room and the boundary. At Green Studios, we can add an extra fire-proofing layer to the structure and build as close to the boundary as possible.

How much space do you need?

Even the smallest of gardens can have a garden room. Our pod range typically starts from 4x3m, with prices starting at £17,995.

Find more information on the Green Studios website.

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Completely London

Completely London is an award winning customer magazine produced by Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward three times a year. It is aimed at Londoners with an interest in property and is devoted to bringing everything that's special about living in the Capital to life. Completely London blog posts are written by a host of leading lifestyle and property focused journalists and run alongside the magazine.

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