Garden Rooms Vs Loft Conversions: Why A Garden Room Is Better

garden room office

If you’ve started to outgrow your home, moving to a larger property isn’t the only option. You could consider developing the dark, spidery space between the rafters into a loft conversion. Then again, if the idea of workmen in your home, dust and disruption fills you with dread, your garden could be the perfect location for a quality garden room, designed specifically to meet your growing needs. Both investments can improve your quality of life, whilst adding considerable value to your home; but which is best for you?

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Points To Consider

Garden rooms rarely require planning consent, as outbuildings which comply to a set of guidelines are usually considered Standard Permitted Development. However, a loft extension may mean you need to alter the existing structure of your roof to accommodate your plans. You will also need to factor space for a staircase leading up to the loft and think about how this will affect your current floor layout.

small garden room

Comparing Costs

Cabin Master’s garden rooms can be built and installed for a much lower cost than a loft conversion, and you’ll receive definitive costs from the outset. Budgeting for a loft conversion requires careful planning to ensure you don’t underestimate the scope of work, or the costs involved. The average cost of a loft conversion can range from £20k to £45k and will vary depending on several factors including:

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Roof Space And Height

If the distance from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling joist is less than 2.2m in your loft, the ceiling below may need to be lowered, or the roof raised to create adequate head space. Planning permission will be required to increase the height of your property, with costs varying between local authorities. Expect this type of restructuring to fall within the higher price range.

Garden Rooms are designed with sufficient head space throughout, without the constraints of conforming to an existing roof space, or constricted layout.

garden room studio

Angles And Pitch

Where sufficient space is available, windows can be installed in the roof to let in light. Check whether your home is subject to any regulations which determine where windows can be located. If you require a dormer extension, to create additional floor and head space, or to create space above a staircase, this will be more expensive than a basic conversion, and may also be subject to planning permission.

With a garden room, windows can be positioned anywhere. The designer can factor in the position of light around your garden throughout the day, using this to maximum advantage. Garden rooms also provide more flexible furnishing options, as they do not have to work around low spaces, or steep angles and pitches.

hot tub garden room

The Age Of Your Home

Depending on the style and era in which your home was built, you may require additional costly supporting structures, such as steel beams for reinforcement. All work must meet building regulations. Always seek specialist advice and research reputable tradesmen.

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Construction costs for loft conversions vary by geographical location. In general prices are lower in the North of England and Scotland, peaking at a premium in London and the South East.

It’s also worth considering where you will relocate all the items previously stored in your loft! Lofts are often treasure troves of accumulated ‘stuff’ you don’t want on display, but don’t want to part with either.

redwood timber garden room

Why A Garden Room Is Better

With a garden room, your site is carefully evaluated and a design built around your exact specifications to enhance your home and garden. As a more cost effective means of creating additional space, whether you want an airy studio, somewhere to exercise, additional office space, somewhere for the grandchildren to play, or simply a peaceful haven; garden rooms offer true flexibility.

With garden rooms the components are fabricated off-site to carefully calculated measurements and delivered ready for swift installation. As there are no alterations to your house, there are no unexpected costs, no risks to the structural integrity of your property, no disruption to your daily life and no extra dusting!

garden room interior

Have a chat with one of our design team at Cabin Master for some informal advice about your garden room options. We’re sure you’ll be able to find the right balance of beauty, practicality and affordability. To whet your appetite for garden rooms, click here to download our free Ultimate Guide to Garden Rooms. This eBook is full of practical knowledge, hints and tips, all gathered from our many decades experience designing and building bespoke garden buildings.


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