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This article on how to create a dreamy outdoor retreat features a modern garden room from The Garden Room.
Garden rooms are one way of creating extra space in your home. This article explores the several steps you should take to create a beautiful garden room, but let’s start by understanding they are.
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What are Garden Rooms?
Before knowing what they are, you should know what they are not. Decorating the patio with furniture then adding some potted plants does not create a garden room. A patio isn’t a garden room either.
You can create a garden room using structures like shrubs, trees, hedges, and fences. The goal is to separate the space from the rest of the surroundings but in a casual way.
The created space can be used as a home office, outdoor living area, playroom, or studio. It can also be your chill spot. You have a wide range of options to choose from.
The type of garden room you’ll prefer will be dependent on your space restrictions and budget.
Steps you should take to Create a Garden Room
1. Mark your Preferred Spot
Before you create a garden room, you should think about the location of your room and how much space it will occupy. The most popular size for additional rooms is about 12 square meters. You can take the measurements of a comfortable and flexible room in your house and use those dimensions for your garden room.
In case you are unable to reach a decision, you can also seek the help of professionals who help with space maximization. They will help you utilize your space best. For instance, a 13 square meter room can fit a sofa bed, office desk, and gym equipment, and kitchen units.
2. Preparing & Clearing the Site
Clear the site by pulling out trees and uprooting shrubs and grass. You should then carry out an over site excavation approximately 150 mm deep.
3. Your Foundation
A garden house is a dwelling and so the approach used should be similar to that of a normal house. Every single structure exerts pressure on the load-bearing stratum. For this reason, the room will need a foundation. Don’t just place it on the ground.
Since you are going to need permanent footings, here is a range of forms to choose from:
- Slabs or concrete rafts
- Mini piles (to reach the firm ground, dig to 600mm)
- Concrete pillars- These are prefabricated and adjustable units that are set onto the excavated pads)
- Screw piles- If you are constructing a lightweight structure, this is the way to go.
- Helical anchors- They can support massive loads.
Screw piles are the most commonly used because they cause fewer disruptions to your garden ecosystem. The installation is also an easy process as it doesn’t involve heavy machinery or digging.
If necessary, the concrete slab can be laid. Alternatively, if concrete bases pre-exist, you can start working from there.
4. Designing and Building the Front Frame
If you choose a modular design, it will be even easier. The build will consist of one front and two sides. This way, you can separately work on each frame and assemble them when you are done.
You should ensure the timber you use is of good quality and suitable for framing.
5. Design of the First Frame
After the base has hardened, you can stand on it while constructing your front frame.
- Make models to help you visualize the outcome.
- Lay the frame out by cutting off the bottom and top beams first.
- Clamp the frame (UPVC) to the bottom and top beams. This helps you determine the length of upright beams.
- Once you have gotten the measurement right, cut four upright beams.
- Lay out your window and door frames and see how they will look like.
At every corner, you need to put some frame beams to provide strength and accommodate the height of the exterior cladding. This offers a 4” connection thus allowing attachment of these 4×2s at every corner.
The double vertical beams should be of the same width. The framework below the window may use some of the off-cuts. Spacing should be factored in to fit internal insulation boards.
You can choose to do away with window and door sills as long as the sealant used if of good quality and sufficient amounts. Roof overhangs do a good job of protecting the front part of the room.
6. Construction of First Frame
In this stage, you treat the frames using a wood preservative. You then nail them using ring nails. Use wood screws of high quality to attach the window and door frames to the wood structure.
Insert the screws in the UPVC then move inside the wooden structure. As you continue fixing each part, everything needs to be held in order using clamps.
Check the square at each fixing before screwing or nailing.
7. Designing and Building the End Frames
Why do end frames require careful thought? First, to allow accommodation of the guttering.
Second, to relieve the abutting wall of stress. It is just a garden wall that isn’t meant to bear heavy loads.
Once the fascia boards, ridge timber, and gutter have been delivered, you should use them in estimating the required angles for the accommodation of the design of the rear roof. The struts need to be inclined at 25 degrees. This enables the ridge beams to lie atop those wooden frames that hold the door frames.
8. Assemble and Construct
Bring the frames and assemble them. In case there are any modifications needed, make sure they are done. Also, use a DPC sheet to ensure your room stays warm.
9. Choose a Roofing Material
Construction experts recommend rubber membranes for the roof to avoid letting in the rain. Sedum can be used as a finish for flat roofs.
You May Also Like: Top Tips when Choosing your Garden Room Roofing
However, many homeowners have fall in love with the beauty of pergolas. These are structures that can be used to cover a patio, garden, or deck area in your backyard. And they make such goof garden room roofs. However, you might be worried about them not providing additional layer from outdoor conditions.
Common roofing materials such as metal, fiberglass, plastic, and fabric are all great solutions to gaining an additional layer of protection from Mother Nature for pergola lovers. Here is an article on how to go about these great solutions for using a pergola for your garden room.
10. Take care of your Exterior
For your garden room to match its surroundings, use natural materials for its exterior.
Larch and cedar would be suitable options as they do not require chemical treatment and are maintenance-free. You should also give cedar cladding a try. Not only is it natural and warm, but also smooth and stylish. Besides, it can stay up to 20 years without needing treatment.
For windows and doors, try aluminum trims. Compared to UPVC, they are more stable and their profiles are thinner.
11. Do Flooring
Your best flooring option would be engineered wood. It can be easily maintained and also has underfloor heating properties.
12. Electrical Connection
Given that garden rooms can be dark and chilly, it is essential to consider your garden lighting.
The right lighting can transform your garden room into a seamless combination of functionality and style, whatever the intended use, without costing the earth both literally and figuratively.
Even before installing electricity, consider optimizing the use of natural light which is vital in terms of practicality, energy efficiency, and aesthetics. It is also clean thus essential for the physical and emotional health of a room’s occupants.
Also, installing the right combination of overhead and wall lights with a smart control system can ensure the provision of the right light, into the right place at the right time in order to maximize the user’s comfort.
Another garden room lighting option would be to use garden lamps, both inside your garden room and outside, just for a clean ambiance.
13. Factor In Heating
With winter underway, you should be keeping your timber garden room snug, cozy, and warm. Think dense timber walls, double-glazed windows, and quality flooring and roofing. As well, heating should be employed.
You can choose from the following:
14. Add Plants
Garden rooms are the best places to house plants. You can grow all warmth-loving plants if you heat your garden room in the winter or if you don’t heat it, you can use it as a nice shelter for Mediterranean species.
Here is an article on some of the best plants you can grow in your garden room.
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Now it’s your turn! Go ahead and create your modern garden room for all your outdoor retreats!