Before You Buy a Garden Room – Have a Look at This.

Investing in a garden room is a major purchase for many home-owners.  Whether planning to use the project in place of a garage conversion or home extension, there will always be a budget in mind.  With so much choice out there here are 8 concise areas to explore which will guide you towards the best value and quality currently available.

1. “What kind of panel do you use?”  There are many types of construction available. With SIPS (structurally Insulated Panels) growing increasingly popular amongst garden room suppliers,   it’s worth noting the differences between the two main types.  Polyurethane panels (PU or XPS) offer 40% greater thermally efficiency than Polystyrene (EPS) panels, for the same thickness of material.

2. “Do you have BBA accreditation?” Attaining BBA approval is a rigorous process but ensures your room will be fire safe, energy efficient and well made, compliant with construction industry standards and built to last for decades, if not a lifetime.  This generally comes at a premium price as the panels are quite exclusive and so much more expensive to source.

3. “Is the glass building reg standard?”  Door glass close to the floor needs to be special safety glass as does window glass closer than 800mm to the finished floor level.  Also, consider maximising natural light to reduce the need for artificial light with plenty of high quality glazing.

4. “Is the warranty actually insurance-backed?”  Company warranties are worthless to you if the company goes into administration.  Insurance backed guarantees protect the customer’s purchase against defects for the full term, regardless.

5. “Do you provide an electrical certificate on completion of works?”  A Compliance Certificate is required by law to prove it meets the required standards of Building Regulations Part P.

6. “Can you create a one-off project for me and is that design service free?”  You’re testing their experience and ability to create a design which complements your site.  Bespoke jobs are not every company’s forte as they have invested in mass producing certain models only.  Those who can, generally do it well and may charge extra for the service.  It’s worth asking about charges because some companies will do it for free.

7. “Do I need planning permission or building regulations before the project starts?”  Depending on your precise property and location, the rules vary.  Some suppliers will be able to guide you through the rules for your home, however the onus will always rest on the home owner so it would be prudent to double check for yourself.  Some suppliers will complete the application for you, free of charge, whilst others will charge up to £500.

8. “Do you quote a fixed price for the complete job?”  Once a written quotation is in your hand, that is your price for the specified work and rather like a contract between both parties so there can be no extra charges for the quoted work.  Estimates are just that – an estimated price which could go up.  Check the delivery charge and the VAT as it may not be included.

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