If space inside the home is at a premium, a garden room can be an excellent alternative to extending the house or moving. Ideal as a home office, a writer’s or artist’s studio, or even as a teenage den, one of the varying types of garden rooms is bound to suit. Most of them share the same basic construction methods in that they comprise factory-built insulated panels that are delivered to the build site for quick and easy assembly.
There is no industry-wide benchmark system that buyers can use to compare products. Instead, it is necessary to look closely at individual specifications. However, as a general rule, garden studios built from materials identical to those used in housing construction will have superior thermal performance. Set against this is the fact that such structures often have thicker walls than non-house quality constructions. When in the limited confines of most gardens, buyers may prefer thinner walls to maximise the space in their new room.
Full timber frame construction
These are high-quality products similar to those used in timber-framed housing. Insulation is good due to the particular construction of the walls. Relatively thick at around 150mm, they include insulation and airspaces. Garden studios such as these are an excellent year-round choice.
Timber frame construction
Bearing some similarities to the full timber frame construction products, these garden rooms have thinner walls. The typical range is 75 to 100mm, but insulation is used to guarantee a level of comfort. The floor is often formed from a metal framework into which insulation and the flooring itself are inserted. Preformed insulated panels are popular roofing choices for these products.
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
A more recent innovation on the market, SIPs are nonetheless beginning to usurp timber frame constructions. A house-quality SIP has insulation wrapped around its walls, which tend to be about 150mm thick. Even though choosing this type of SIP may give you a house-quality product, it is still a good idea to view a variety of products before you buy. A site like http://www.gardenspaces.co.uk/garden-rooms/garden-studios/ is a great place to view Garden Studios. The Chelsea Flower Show also provides an excellent opportunity to view a variety of studios in different gardens.
Custom-built SIPs and all-in-one SIPs are alternatives to house-quality SIPs. They usually have thinner walls and may include timber studs.