Economics of garden rooms, Which ones are right for you?, House gardening structure

The Economics of Garden Rooms

9 January 2024

In recent years, particularly during the pandemic and the rise of remote work, homeowners have increasingly looked to their gardens as untapped spaces for expansion. While summerhouses have always been a thing on the periphery, it became popular among those that work from home. Once career and money was brought into the equation, many realised how much more economical it is to simply build an office in their garden.

Economics of garden rooms

This trend isn’t just about solely beautifying outdoor areas, nor is it solely about office space; it’s about practicality and making the most of every square foot, regardless of use case.

The Value of an Extra Room

Adding an extra room to a home can significantly boost its market value. Typically, an extra bedroom can increase a home’s value by around 15%. For a property worth £200,000, this equates to a substantial £30,000 increase, though it may depend on a few factors, such as the size of the room.

Interestingly, this value addition often surpasses the cost of constructing a typical UK garden room with integrated shed. We don’t necessarily weigh up whether to move house or buy a garden shed, but maybe we should… Many consider moving home for more space or an extra room, and the costs of this are considerable. Not least because a home with an extra room may be £30,000 more, but because moving itself can easily cost £20,000, depending on the agent used and stamp duty.

The Cost of Building a Garden Room

Constructing a garden room is not only an innovative solution, but also a cost-effective one. For instance, the average cost of a mini garden office is about £5,250, and a medium-sized log cabins—a popular choice for its aesthetic and functionality—costs around £6,500. Given the small footprint of many UK homes, this is staggering value.

These garden rooms, including variants like log cabins, are often available for self-assembly, making them accessible for many homeowners. Alternatively, companies offering these structures typically include installation costs in their pricing, with the average labour cost for a garden room project being under £1,000.

The lifespan of a log cabin is, of course, shorter than a room in the house, so it’s not a completely fair comparison. However, with long guarantees and typically a multi-decade lifespan, the average person moves home in the time it would take for a well-maintained log cabin to degrade.

Office Spaces and the Garden Room Alternative

While most log cabins aren’t designed to be offices, it’s worth considering this use case too. Renting office space in major UK cities can be expensive, with costs ranging from £245 per person per month in Birmingham to £523 in London. Co-working spaces are cheaper, but can still run into the hundreds per month. These figures, along with the commuting costs, highlight the economic benefit of a garden office, not to mention that this added value is reflected into the property when selling.

In conclusion, whether it’s for a home office, a recreational area, or just an extra room, integrating a garden room with a shed or opting for a log cabin can be a smart investment. It not only adds value to your property but also provides a versatile, cost-effective solution compared to the alternatives of moving or renting office spaces.

Comments on this The Economics of Garden Rooms article are welcome.

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