Garden room performance for the long-term

Garden rooms are a long-term investment says Ryan Crossley, director of Making Your Space. The best materials and proven off-site construction techniques are a pre-requisite for any retail business looking to exploit the sales opportunities, he adds.

We’ve seen the era of the conservatory sector ride a wave, with installations once in excess of 300,000 units per annum and back down now to a modest 90,000 or so.

But while this market has shrunk considerably, albeit with improved product specifications, the garden room market is already looking to boom thanks to the changing way in which we live our lives.

The demand for additional living space has never been so high and this is compounded by the fact that home working is now part of a long-term hybrid workspace for many. According to Which? magazine, the average size of a house in 1970 was 83.3m2 – today this figure has fallen by 19% to 67.82m2 and notably, the average number of bedrooms has dropped to 2.95, the fewest in the last 90 years.

While a garden room may not form part of the fabric of a house, it does provide a permanent space in which to live, work, socialise and play all within the confines of an outdoor environment. It goes without saying that given this premise, material choice needs to be carefully assessed, as does the long-term performance of the room.

We’ve already seen customers enjoy our premium bespoke garden rooms for hairdressing salons, beauty parlours and indeed some larger sizes have been specified for luxury retreats, reflecting the careful specification of our products. Given the integration within a garden space, timber is the material of choice and when correctly specified with the minimum of ongoing maintenance, can last a lifetime. The beauty of timber really does make a statement settled next to plants, trees and shrubbery, while decking areas can also enjoy a real inspiration from nature.

The use of premium timbers in a garden room is a must in our experience and it provides that luxury feel rather than a cost engineered room, which has a limited life expectancy. Despite the latest laminates and finishes, both aluminium and PVC-U panels don’t provide the same natural finish, offering an environment that can only be described as a little stale and unnatural in comparison to real wood.

We also harness the latest off-site construction techniques developed in other sectors within our garden room facility which is dedicated to the trade and our growing network of design partners. They know that with Making Your Space we’re building easy assembly premium garden rooms to provide lasting performance, based on the industry’s first bespoke 3D garden room designer, developed with Business Micros and The Consultancy.

Additionally, a focus on a bespoke design can help make the most of the space allowed and provides the flexibility to move doors and windows across different elevations, with the option of both aluminium and PVC-U. Other product upgrades include premium timbers, flooring options, provision for electrics, heating and the ever-popular canopy overhang feature, offering a three-season space in which to enjoy the world outside. We’ve even created a hidden door that facilitates a space for garden tools in lieu of a shed, while the vermin barrier keeps unwanted animals out, 24/7.

Making Your Space is a business that’s been developed to fully service a nationwide network of design partners and we’re actively looking for new ones in key areas. Homeowners need additional living space, while homeworkers need a permanent place in which to set up a home office for the long-term. Material choice, product design and build quality will help ignite the garden room market and with the marketing resources that we’ve developed, we’re convinced that this is now one of the most opportunistic home improvement segments for the trade for the future years to come.