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Last updated: 19.07.19

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FAQs

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FAQs

You’re thinking about installing a garden room at your home. At Bakers Timber Buildings, we know there is a long list of things you will want to know about what lies ahead.

Whatever question you have, we know we have the answer. If there is an area we haven’t covered on this page, let us know and we’ll be happy to help you out.

THE BIG ONES


How much does a garden room cost?

Bakers Timber Buildings can build you a small office for as little as £10,000; at the other end of the market, our most expensive rooms can cost as much as £70,000.


The average project price is typically between £25,000 and £35,000. To get your personal quotation, tell us what your dream building looks like and we’ll work with you to create something that’s right for you – and your budget.


What does “project” mean – what’s included?

Not many firms offer the range of services that Baker Timber Buildings can deliver. We are able to help you with every stage of the process in creating your garden room.


This means our contribution to your project can include some, or even all, of the following:

1/ Advice on the design of your garden room

2/ Obtaining planning permission if it is required

3/ Advice with building regulations and lawful development certificate if it is requested

4/ Clearance of your site

5/ Laying of the base for your room

6/ Construction of your room

7/ Installation of electrics, both external (the sub-main) and internal (lighting, heating and sockets etc)

8/ Installation of connections such as smart TV

9/ Installation of plumbing

10/ Completion and final handover

 

RULES AND REGULATIONS

Do I need planning permission for a garden room?

In general, no. For the vast majority of garden rooms we create and deliver, planning permission is not required.


However, there are limits on how high you can make your building, the amount of space it can cover and on where you can place it in your garden.


You may also face restrictions if you live in places like a national park or an area of outstanding natural beauty.


We have a very clear understanding of the relevant rules and regulations, so we can ensure the building you want to construct is compliant – and, if it’s not, what your options are.


By keeping your building within the rules and regulations, the room becomes a real investment in your property and adds value if you ever decide to sell.


How high can my garden room be?

That depends. If your building is less than two metres from the boundaries, the maximum overall height is 2.5metres from the highest ground next to the building.


If, however, your building is more than two metres from the boundary with your neighbours, you can have a maximum eaves height of 2.5metres, a pent roof can be up to 3.0metres and you can go as high as 4.0metres to the peak (ridge) of an apex roof.


How big can my garden room be?

This is where lots of people make a mistake. The planning rules say “up to half your garden” – but building regulations prevent any unregulated building having floor space of more than 30square metres. So, even if your garden is larger than 60sqm, the largest room you are allowed is 30sqm.


This shape can be designed in any orientation; it could be six metres long and five metres wide, ten long and three wide, or any other combination of length or width that equates to 30sqm or fewer.


This sounds like quite a large area. Indeed, for most garden rooms 30sqm is plenty of space and is more than is needed in most instances. But it could become a consideration if you want to build a combination room.


For instance, if you have a very big garden and want to enjoy a spacious lounge with a separate gym and a changing area, that could take up a large amount of space.


It’s worth remembering that if you add a canopy to your garden room, the area it covers is counted as outside space.


If you feel you need more than 30sqm, talk to us about the ways in which we can achieve this without impacting upon your investment.


How close to a boundary can I build a garden room?

While planning rules suggest you can build anywhere, building regulations like you to build at least one metre away to restrict any spread of flames.


While this is the best option, this is sometimes not possible. In such instances we use a non-combustible boarding to reduce the risk of a fire spreading.


But don’t forget, if you erect a structure less than two metres from the boundary, your building can’t be more than 2.5 metres high.


That places a restriction on the style of building you can put there – you’ll almost certainly have to have a flat roof.


Are there any other restrictions I need to know about?

Yes. You can’t use your new garden room as self-contained living accommodation. This can’t become, in effect, a separate address and you are not meant to sleep in there overnight.


Also, you will need planning permission if you want your garden room to be closer to the road than your house is.


Do I need to consider building regulations too?

Yes, you do.


What is the difference between planning rules and building regulations?

Building regulations set standards for the design and construction of liveable buildings to ensure their safety and efficiency – and all houses need to conform to this.


Planning rules guide the way our towns and cities are developed. This includes the use of land and buildings, their appearances and their impact on the surrounding environment.


When you build a garden room, you will need to be aware of your obligations under both areas – and yes, naturally, Bakers Timber Buildings can give all the advice you need.


What does permitted development mean?

You can carry out some works without needing to apply for planning permission. This is covered by “permitted development rights”.


These are covered by a general planning permission granted by Parliament rather than your local authority.


If you live in certain designated areas, permitted development rights are more restricted. These include conservation areas, national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.


Permitted development is also known as lawful development. If you want to be absolutely sure you are allowed to create the garden room you want, we can get extra peace of mind by applying for a lawful development certificate. Naturally, Bakers can help you secure this.


Can you help me to get planning permission?

Yes, we can. We’ll work with you at every stage of your development to make sure you get the garden room you want.


We’ll endeavour to make sure your building is compliant, but you may want a special element to your structure – extra space, or extra height, for instance – that means you need to apply for permission.


We’re proud to say our expertise in the field means we’re able to be one of the only garden room suppliers in the UK that can offer this comprehensive service.


Do I have to tell my neighbours I’m building a garden room?

Technically, no you don’t. But, unless you really don’t get on, or your neighbour has a history of being unreasonable, we really think you should.


It’s the Bakers way to be as open and inclusive as possible when we are dealing with our clients, so instinctively we think telling your neighbours what you are planning is the decent thing to do.


Why not see what colour your neighbour would like on the back, or side they are seeing? We can paint different aspects in different colours.

 

TECHNICAL

How long does it take for you to build and deliver my garden room?

From the moment you place your order to the day when it’s installed and ready to use usually takes between three and six months, but most of this time is due to our order book.


Once on site we take between two and four weeks from breaking the ground and starting your base to handing you the keys of your fully painted and finished Bakers garden room.


We do not keep buildings or panels in stock. It’s our proud boast that every one of our garden rooms is constructed from scratch to your exact requirements. In 35 years we’ve designed thousands of rooms – but hardly ever the same one twice.  


Will you run the entire project from start to finish?

Yes. We’ll sit down with you and work on your design. Not only considering the external look, but also how you will use it and the position of the furniture, to ensure the design is perfect. Then we’ll bring it to life in our workshop.


Our on-site team will carry out all the groundwork and installation.


If there are elements of your project – such as an Endless Pool ®, or services needed from outside our area – that mean we have to use trusted partners, that doesn’t change things. Bakers Timber Buildings will help to manage the entire project.


Will you clear the site for me?

Site clearance is a vital element of the process of successfully delivering a garden room that really works for you.


We’ll work with you at the design stage to select the right location for your new structure.


Then we’ll roll up our sleeves at your location and clear the site. We’ll make sure it’s ready for installation of the building and any other services and utilities.


What base will my garden room need?

Our default base solution is a “steel and timber frame”. We use this method because it offers a clean and relatively quick base that we can provide all year round.


Because we use a fast-set concrete to support the steels, we can install the building the day after the base is finished. That minimises disruption to your garden and ensures your project is finished on time.


In some instances, a traditional concrete base is the best solution. But we will guide you through the process and ensure we come up with the right answer for your project.


What cladding can I have on my garden room?

The external structure of your garden room can be in traditional timber. We use red wood from Russia and northern Scandinavia because the cold, slow-growing climate is the best.


All our timber is planed and assembled in a way that offers maximum strength and weather protection, and is FSC or PEFC accredited.


However, you can upgrade your cladding on visible surfaces to Medite Tricoya Extreme (MTX), a fantastic product with a life expectancy of 50 years.  On unseen surfaces we can use cement board. These materials offer almost zero maintenance, boast a life expectancy of 30-50 years and are part of our unique 10-year guarantee.


What material do you use for doors and windows?

Our doors and windows can be made of timber. However, because this requires maintenance it is not as efficient as the alternatives.


So we also offer house-specification uPVC and aluminium doors and windows. These offer better heat and sound properties, as well as the latest in multi-point locking technology.


What material do you use on the roof of a garden room?

Our favoured option is EPDM. This stands for ethylene propylene diene methylene and is an extremely efficient, strong, weather-proof form of rubber.


Our view is that you are as strong as your weakest point. With the materials and items below, the minimum guarantee we get is 10 years and the maximum 50.


So if your garden room incorporates an EPDM roof, MTX cladding and aluminium or uPVC doors and windows, it will be covered by our unique supplier-backed 10-year guarantee and has a life expectancy of 30-50 years.


How do you get electricity in a garden room?

When you create new living space in your garden, you want to be able to enjoy it to the full. Without installing electricity and heating, this will not be possible.


We will install your electrical submain, from your house to the new room, to the latest regulations. We will discuss your power requirements for now and in future.


Internally we can provide all the lighting, sockets and heating you will ever need – with some fantastic mood and wash lighting options.


Can you get Wi-Fi in a garden room?

Yes, absolutely. Otherwise, how would you persuade your teenage children to use it?


Joking aside, we appreciate how important it is for people of all ages to feel connected to the rest of the world at all times.


All our garden rooms can be installed with their own Wi-Fi “bubble” connected directly to your router to ensure excellent service while you use the space and its immediate surroundings.


How do you get plumbing in a garden room?

It’s not unusual for clients to want water and drainage services installed in their new garden room.


Some people want a kitchen or bathroom in their garden; others want a shower or changing room; we even have customers who want to create a hairdressing salon in their new structure.  


For all these requirements, and for those we haven’t thought of yet, Bakers Timber Buildings can ensure an efficient delivery of water to the garden room we create with you.


Can you build me a low-maintenance garden room?

Absolutely. The key here is the external material. If you choose a cladding made of wood, you will need to spend time and money preserving it over the years.


Exposure to sunlight will change the colour of the wood; it will lose its original vibrancy and take on a silver-grey colour. The only way to slow this process is by applying UV protection (preservative) every couple of years.


The best way to cut down on maintenance time and costs, or even to eradicate them, is to use claddings and materials that are not affected by UV rays.


Will I need to be at home for the entire build?

There are only two occasions when we will require you to be at home. The first is the day when we install the base – so we can agree its final position prior to casting it.


The second is the first day we put the electrics in, so you can agree the positioning of the sockets and heater. We will also need access to your house for connections.


Apart from that, you can leave our experienced team to do what they do best. However, many customers enjoy being home on the first day of the building installation because our well-oiled team is a sight to be seen.

 

USAGE

Can a garden room be used all year round?

Yes. This is exactly what we have designed it to do. You are, essentially, in a cube of insulation and double glazing, with no stair wells or other rooms to leak heat.


To give you some idea of how efficient our standard specification is, if your house was built before 2007 our building is almost certainly better insulated.


Having a space in your garden that can be used 12 months of the year is a tremendous way of adding extra space, character and value to your home.


Do you offer heating in a garden room?

Yes, absolutely. There would be little point in having a garden room without heating.  


There are various options, all with associated pros and cons. Naturally, Bakers Timber Buildings will be glad to walk through all the different ideas you may have.


Do you offer insulation in a garden room?

We say it’s not a garden room unless you have it insulated. Without it, you’ll have just a summer house.


If you want to use your garden room all year round, or as an office, it will be too cold if you don’t ensure adequate insulation to hold in the heat.


Even if your room is an occasional destination – such as a shed or a workshop – it’s more pleasant if the worst of the elements are being kept at bay.


Can I control my heating and lighting remotely?

Our new and standard Dimplex convector heaters have the latest power efficiencies available. We will set up your temperature timings, along with the ideal level of heat for the times when you need it.


You can then control all your sockets and lighting with our recommended LightwaveRF ® system. We can extend this into your entire garden, with moods and timers and the touch of a button.


Can I have music and speakers in my garden room?

Yes. We highly recommend Sonos speakers. Being an ex-DJ, Martin has a good ear for great sound, and the Play1s are fantastic.


By having one on a bracket with a ceiling socket and another on a stand, you can get a stereo pair. By adding an outside socket, you can take the one on the stand outside for garden parties. You can also add a sound bar.


We can even offer a special Wi-Fi bubble so you can add the garden room sounds into your house system for that complete home music solution.


Can I hang a TV on the wall of my garden room?

Yes, of course. Because there are so many TV and bracket variables, we will be talking this through with you and will provide hidden cabling for all your TV and gaming needs. We will also fit the bracket and TV for you.  


Can I hang paintings and pictures on the walls?

Yes, you can use standard picture hooks or screws. However, if you have a particularly large picture, or an especially ornate and heavy frame, it’s definitely worth getting our advice before your room has been completed.


If I create a music room or cinema room, can it be soundproofed?

Having a space where you can enjoy – or create – your favourite music, or immerse yourself in a great movie without worrying about disturbing the neighbours, is a wonderful way of using your garden room.


Bakers Timber Buildings can add sound insulation to your garden room. However, while the level of insulation of our standard wall construction will be better than that in a conservatory, it won’t be quite as good as a modern brick-built house.  


We’ll work with you to ensure the level of soundproofing is the right one for your specific requirements.


 

The Bakers difference

© 2019 Bakers Timber Buildings Ltd. Registered in England and Wales no. 8384038. VAT reg. 155 7432 02.
Covering Brighton, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Croydon, London, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and throughout southeast England and the UK.