What can a garden room bring to a self-build home?

If you’re creating your own home from scratch, either through custom-build or through self-build, then you have the freedom to design the perfect property that you have always wanted. An orangery or garden room could create an elegant, light-filled space that will help your dream home feel completely connected to your garden. In today’s article, we look at what a garden room can bring to your self-build home…

While adding an extension onto an existing home is one of the most common domestic building projects, quality garden rooms and orangeries have always been the superior option for adding more space to your property. These classic, glazed structures are not only ideal for an existing building, however. They can completely change the way that you live in your home, so there’s a lot to be said for including a garden room or orangery in a self-build property too.

Ideal for modern living

It’s exciting to build the perfect home from scratch, and a garden room is ideal for creating a bright and airy space in your new house that’s perfectly suited to your family.

People are opting for self-build homes for a number of reasons. You might need to create a home that can cater for wheelchair access, with walk-in showers and wider doorways. You might just be tired of feeling uninspired with what the housing market is offering in your area.

This tailored element makes a bespoke garden room so suited to a new build house. Whether you need your home to work for you as a couple while still having lots of extra space for guests, or you need an open-plan space that will accommodate a large busy family, you’d be surprised how well a multifunctional garden room can suit your needs. The structure’s extensive glazing offers uninterrupted views of the garden, with doors that open up in the summer to allow for stylish, functional outdoor living.

All in the aesthetics

Nothing beats showing off a beautiful self-build house that reflects your own personal tastes. During the design process, it can be tricky to settle on a style that you really love, but some considerations can help you decide on a look.

Do you want to match with the other houses on the street, but with your own unique twist added? Are you interested in incorporating features from the original structure which stood on the plot they are building on? There are so many trends and timeless looks to choose from, but ultimately the final decision rests with you and that’s what is so exciting about a self-build home.  

Whether you’re in love with the idea of an oak-framed house with high vaulted ceilings, or want a sleek and edgy property, a bespoke garden room can be designed to blend in with the rest of the building. Unlike pre-designed uPVC conservatory structures, a timber orangery is completely bespoke and tailored to the style of your home.

Photo credit: Marion Sidebottom

Addressing environmental concerns

Sustainability is usually high on the agenda for self-builders, but this is about to become ever more important over the next few years. The government are planning to introduce a new Future Homes Standard, which requires all new build homes to include low carbon heating and high standards of energy efficiency. Although the details are still a little vague, the start date is set for 2025.

Classic timber-framed orangeries and garden rooms are an environmentally friendly option, especially when the best sustainable materials are used. Accoya is a high-performance modified timber that resists rot and doesn’t bend or twist. It’s a highly sustainable timber product, made from fast-growing and copiously available FSC® or PEFC™ certified tree species such as Radiata pine.

Excellent insulation and heat efficiency will reduce energy costs, meaning that the property’s environmental impact is reduced in the grander scheme.

Photo credit: Marion Sidebottom

To avoid overheating, garden rooms can be fitted with solar glass that reflects the UV rays back out while still letting the natural sunlight into the room. Electronic roof vents will ensure good year-round ventilation with minimal heat loss.

Planning preparation

Planning can be a long and complex process for many self-builders, but ultimately it is the final hurdle to cross for those looking to build their dream home. Once obtained, it’s full steam ahead with your build project, but getting it is not easy and there can be a long wait from when you first submit your application.

Garden rooms and orangeries could be the answer to obtaining planning permission if you’re hoping to build on a tricky or environmentally sensitive plot. You may have found the most beautiful country village to build your dream home in, but if it’s in a conservation area, you could be restricted to single storey designs. In these circumstances, devising the right layout is key and a light-filled, open-plan orangery could be the answer.

Photo credit: Marion Sidebottom

If there are concerns from neighbours, town councils, or local parishes then a beautifully crafted, glazed structure that blends in with its surroundings could look appealing and be less of an eyesore in parts of your plot that might be more visible.