This Year's Best Wooden Garden Rooms
Garden rooms have never been in such high demand, having surged in popularity since the coronavirus lockdowns of 2020 when additional space outside the home became even more valuable and desirable.
The appeal of wooden garden rooms has strengthened as people have recognised that creating an extra room on their property does not necessarily mean working through requests for planning permission or extensive building work disrupting everyday life.
An upshot of this increased interest in wooden garden rooms, sheds and summerhouses is a wider range of products coming to market, with manufacturers developing garden room innovations to give themselves an edge over the competition.
In this article we will look at a selection of the best wooden garden rooms available and offer some guidance on things to consider if you're planning to buy one.
Why do people love wooden garden rooms?
A survey of Which? members found that people love garden rooms for their versatility, with 31 per cent of respondents who own one saying their garden room is a multi-purpose space.
Entertaining and socialising was the next most popular usage of a garden room, with 19 per cent of respondents using their garden rooms as a space to host guests, while 13 per cent said they use their garden room for hobbies such as crafts, art and music.
Those using a garden room as an office or a home gym were surprisingly few, named by just six per cent and three per cent of respondents, respectively.
Of course, a garden room can be used for all sorts of things and, even if your current focus is to give yourself more room to exercise or a space to work, it could be wise to choose a versatile room in case your needs shift over time. A wooden garden room offers more scope for flexible usage, expansion, and redesign than a steel or glass construction.
Wooden garden rooms vs glass
Garden rooms constructed with steel frames and floor-to-ceiling windows are popular, but solid wood remains the most sought-after material for its natural aesthetic and versatility.
While glass has the obvious benefits of allowing light to flood into your garden room and being relatively low maintenance, it has the potential downside of exposing the contents of your space to would-be intruders. Therefore, toughened glass, double glazing and 3 or 5 lever lock options are popular choices for modern garden rooms.
Wooden garden rooms can blend into their surroundings and can be easily painted should you wish to customise yours. If regular painting and wood staining sounds like too much effort, you could consider a wood composite garden room for a similar look and feel without the need to care for the timber. It’s worth noting that a wood composite shed will suffer disadvantages like other plastic sheds over time, such as discolouring, becoming brittle and potentially cracking. Although, it may seem like a more affordable option, their limited lifespan and the headache of disposal can make it costlier than they seem, and they never look quite as good as the real thing.
If you do opt for a wooden garden room, you'll find products available in larch, cedar, maple and redwood among other timbers, and some manufacturers offer options such as laminate floors, plywood walls, and double-glazed windows.
Planning a garden room: the essentials
You can find simple wooden summerhouses and sunrooms for around £500-£1000 if you are happy to take on the responsibility for assembling your product, with larger summerhouses on offer for slightly more.
Self-assembled log cabins without insulation tend to range from about £2,000 upwards, and you may need to double your budget if you would like to add insulation and installation.
From there you can spend as much as you are happy to on more luxurious garden rooms, all the way up to around £30,000 for double-glazed, spacious, heated constructions. If you are planning to run electrical power to your garden room, you should budget around £1,000 for an electrician to connect it up and test the circuits.
The good news is that, alongside rear extensions, loft conversions and full interior refurbishment, garden rooms are among the home renovation projects most likely to add value to your home.
It is always best to consult local planning regulations before building any new construction on your property, as permissions vary from place to place.
However, as a general guide, for your garden room to be classed as a permitted development and thus not require planning permission, it should be a single storey building under 2.5 metres in height if placed within two metres of the property boundary. If it is not within two metres of the property boundary, it should not exceed four metres in height for a dual-pitched Apex roof or three metres for a pent roof.
In either case, your garden room should not exceed 50 per cent of the total land area around your home and not be forward of the principal elevation of your property to be classed as a permitted development, and you should not be using it as a dwelling to sleep in.
The best-insulated garden rooms tend to be at the higher end of the price scale and range from thicker, more heat retaining logs (40mm and above) to rooms with added layers of man-made insulation on all sides. For added insulation rooms, you should always check the specification to find out how well insulated any product is before you buy it.
The specification sheet should feature a u-value, which measures the insulation performance of your garden room. This is calculated by combining the u-value of each element of the garden room, including the walls, floor and roof.
The lower the u-value of a garden room, the better its insulation will perform.
The best garden rooms this year
We've picked out four wooden garden rooms that we feel showcase a range of the best features that the market has to offer.
We hope these selections will inspire you on your search for a wooden garden room that will enhance your property for many years to come.
The Sigma Log Cabin
With a four-foot deep veranda incorporated into the design, we are hugely proud of our popular Sigma Log Cabin.
Its European softwood construction features high-grade 44mm interlocking planed and finished logs, ensuring maximum comfort and no risk of accidents on rough-edged boards.
The Sigma's draft-sealed double doors and windows make this a wonderfully cosy space all year round, and if you want to add an extra layer of insulation, we sell warm floor matting for all our sheds and cabins.
For fantastic all round build quality and stylish features at a lower price, products like the Corbetti 28mm Log Cabin are hard to beat.
Whether you're looking for additional space for a garden office, gym area, or a summerhouse to relax in, garden rooms like the Corbetti are ideal. The Corbetti features a striking pent-style sloping roof fitted with heavy duty green mineral roofing felt, which along with the room's high-grade 28mm interlocking planed and finished logs makes for a secure, insulated space.
Our Kerr log cabin offer similar benefits, demonstrating that the bar has been raised for standard garden rooms in recent years.
The Pitched Roof Garden Studio
While the trend for garden rooms in the UK tends to lean towards flat-roofed constructions, we think a pitched roof makes for an evocative blend of modern and traditional design on a garden studio.
The Procass 44mm log cabin is an absolute stunner and oozes contemporary charm.
With full-length glazed windows and doors, and the option to upgrade from heavy duty green mineral roofing felt to premium quality roof shingles, this cosy yet classy garden studio oozes charm and comfort along with suave sophistication.
Larger Garden Spaces
The Omega Cabin is a great example of a more sizeable, spacious garden room that adds to the square footage of your property at a comparatively lower cost to building works on your house.
As with all Tiger garden buildings, the Omega comes with a 20-year guarantee. The extra-large Omega Log Cabin is a remarkable long-term addition to any property, with its beautifully crafted double doors, three single windows and expansive double window.
The only limit to the uses that can be made of such a grand space is your imagination, and whatever you choose to use the Omega Cabin for you can rest assured that its four-way chamfered notch joint system will provide superior protection against damp and wind penetration.