Category Archives: Investment

Garden Room Ideas


Returned from travelling, my mind is full of new ways to make timber framed buildings; rigid, durable forms; from my experiences in New Zealand and Efate, a little coral island in the south pacific ocean.  My good friend, also a master carpenter, lives on the island and was keen to show me around and explain those timber framed methods of building which withstand cyclone seasons and earthquakes.
Our UK garden rooms market is a little stagnant at the moment.  I watch companies down grading their studio build quality in order to keep their profit margin high.  Against rising manufacturing and transport costs, it is one option that many have chosen.  I’ve decided not to do this.  I want to offer really solid, durable buildings.  Investments for a lifetime.  If I was creating a garden studio for my own family, I would steer away from the EPS or polystyrene and OSB structurally insulated panel; if it’s not what I would choose then how could I expect clients to be happy with it?  No, clearly those seeking quality like myself want either the tested and approved panel system or something just as strong with added value. My journey has shown me new possibilities in building and allowed time for reflection on how to bring this to the UK garden rooms market at an appropriate price.  
Listening to clients, like I do every working day, I need to tailor products so they are relevant to my customers.  Consumers need innovation to inspire and develop their own plans.  With our company strengths in design and construction knowledge and the opportunity we have of a constant flow of enquiries, I am excited to have developed a robust alternative to our top line, all singing – all dancing approved range of buildings but at a more competitive price.
I’ve added a few personal pictures of various timber constructions from my travels.  Our new range will be online in the following few weeks.


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May Garden Studio Splendour.

Garden Studio for life, with integrated garage and art space for painting, designed by Studioni Ltd.

Garden Studio Rooms for Life.

August may feel warmer, October more mellow but May is bursting with blossom and hope.  The may pole has been well and truly circled in our village, celebrations held by all, the birds are singing and Chelsea looms imminent.  Garden studio enquiries get more and more interesting as clients become adventurous with their designs.  The air resonates with the feeling that summer is coming and we are compelled to get our gardens ready to impress and enjoy.

The edges of the fields are embellished with underskirts of hawthorn blossom, whitebeams and formal rowans are in their fullest costumes, I marvel at the greenness of the grass.  My window frames a scene that looks like a Photoshop image with the vibrance turned up full.  I’ve allowed the native plants in my garden to ramble right up to my garden studio.  The ferns have to be my favourite.  Their browning fronds have given a canvas to the frost and snow all winter and spring.  They now dominate with spectacular spirals of luminous freshness, ancient in form, magnificent in design.  Against the cedar of the studio, the contrast is heart warming every time I catch it.

This month, I will be staking my sunflower seedlings.  This year I have opted for a contrast between the darkest chocolate and the lightest ice varieties.  The bluebells, in all their colours, have naturalized and created another full layer of interest along my driveway.  Against the developing lady’s mantle and solomon’s seal, they provide a misty hue to the border.  My lilacs are sweetening the air, after rain, and the sage plant I grew from seed has outdone itself this time.  Having quadrupled in volume, it is about to explode in a purple frenzy.  It’s closest neighbour, the hanging rosemary is in full bloom again but tends to retain its modesty more.

With strawberries ripening, the summer is surely just around the corner.  My garden has rakes, trowels and brushes to hand these days as I take 10 minutes to further the tidiness throughout my working day.  The growl of distant lawnmowers pervades the air and reminds me to do the same.  If your garden requires a little help to entice you out this summer, maybe a garden studio is just the thing to consider.

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George Clarke writes on Choosing a Garden Studio, for The English Garden.

With the current fashion for garden studios reflecting lifestyle aspirations, garden studio rooms can transform the way you use your home by providing extra, detached living space.

Needing a contemporary design company to contrast the extensive traditional options for their readers, The English Garden magazine contacted Studioni about inclusion in a feature written by the architect George Clarke, from ‘Restoration Man’ on Channel 4 and author of ‘Home Bible’, published by The Orion.

George advises clients to consider with care the detailing, proportions, scale and integrity of their proposed garden studio as it reflects their personal taste and views on traditional or modern design.  When dealing with garden studio specialists, he writes, ‘The design consultation will often be part of the service, and it gives you some peace of mind that the company has a record of delivery and build, so it will come in on time and on budget.”

Ecologically, few companies have really embraced the concepts of sustainable buildings but there are more eco elements coming through in terms of options for clients and public details on how environmentally the companies operations actually are.  PU SIPs structures provide strong, durable FSC timber studios but some companies compromise on glazing and frame quality to compensate for the expense of the SIPs panel.  Depending on your ground conditions, tiny concrete pads are usually a sufficient foundation, but have it properly assessed by an experienced groundworker on behalf of the company.  Damp-prone sites may require a raft foundation.  Some pre-formed concrete feet foundations have to protrude beyond the edges of the room and remain a permanent visible sore all around your studio, difficult to disguise.  Other systems allow your studio to be neatly and directly finished to the ground with cedar plinths.

Enhancing the surroundings must be a consideration when choosing a design or having a design made up just for you.  The appeal for working closely with a design from scratch is that it will be the only one in the land, with your own ideas incorporated.  An exceptionally well designed and made garden studio can be life enhancing and are worth the investment when uncompromised, ready for return when you come to sell.

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Wealth Management for Women and How Garden Rooms Work as Investments.


Understanding the aspirations of professional and entrepreneurial clients takes experience.  Some clients are cash rich and time poor, requiring an empathic grasp of their needs to ensure that their property assets are correctly enhanced and secured.  Other clients prefer active involvement in all decisions and expect a complete range of service options tailored to suit their needs.  Such diversity is difficult to find at present as there are a glut of small garden rooms companies trading with a narrow variety of products and a small select few business owners with the necessary skills and experience in this sector. Helping professional clients, of all ages, achieve lifetime goals is a relevant aim.

The active professional female must be an expert at delegation with many hats to wear through her working week. Her wealth management team may have advised shifts in investment in order to safe-guard after her interests after the unprecedented falls in stock over the past 18 months. Property is not such a concern in this bracket as values have held fast but sales have slowed throughout 2008 and 2009 as interested parties look for something exceptional for their money. The addition of a detached garden studio suite to a property in this upper valuation bracket will clearly awaken curiosity in potential buyers.

Adding an appealing, sympathetic garden building which also enhances lifestyle is a valuable way in which to secure a return on property investment. These additional assets are tax allowable if used for business entertaining or as creative thinking spaces. However, I would recommend requesting open access to the garden room designer or architect for peace of mind that you will get the quality of work that you envisaged, with a long-term service guarantee. Garden suites are versatile spaces but are best designed with a purpose in mind: lakeside retreat, pool and spa area, games room, beach house, painting studio, entertainment suite or quiet working office.

Professional clients choosing to purchase garden buildings benefit from intelligibly adding value and interest to their property investments. The immediate payback enjoyed is lifestyle-enhancing, dedicated personal space for elevating clarity of mind in preparation for the next level in business or altruistic pursuits. Sustainably sourced, thermally efficient garden buildings will attract the discerning customer who seeks to reduce her impact on the environment and enhance her own credentials. Suites start from around £25,000 and by encompassing high -tech upgrades can be quoted up to £100,000. The client can expect to improve her property’s value proportionally.

Jewel Gallagher

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Garden Offices Add Value to Homes.

Having a home office or garden office can increase the value of your property by at least £25,000. Homeworking values Research was carried out by Enterprise Nation and Homefinder UK and showed that it really does pay to work from home.

A comparison of house prices across the UK confirmed that increases in property values ranged from the smallest differential of £2,450 through to a whopping £80,000. This is an £80,000 difference in the amount being offered for two similar houses located in the same area; one with a home office and one without. The same value-added applies to having a garden office with an estimated 3-5% increase in the value of your property, if you have an office at the end of the garden path.

Sustainable, highly efficient offices added more value than the lesser models as did those with a lengthy insurance backed guarantee.


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Garden Room Customer Questions Answered.

From reading through forums and speaking to customers, these questions keep coming up:  which room will keep my papers dry, which one is warmest, which is cheapest for best quality and which garden room company did a good job for you.  Here are a few pointers.


We’re talking wall construction and insulation here.  A good quality room which is as well insulated as a new build home will be constructed from a proper sips panel press, with a core of xps insulation.  That  will give you maximum internal volume.

That will ensure your room will retain heat well in winter.  The flip side is that it retains a cool atmosphere in summer, assuming you’ll be fitting blinds on the windows.


The sips press with xps framed building will keep papers dry.  Condensation is related to ventilation and there needs to be another opening in the room, besides the door.  Trickle vents are required for condensation control.


If you have a tight budget but want a high quality room, there may be another option.  Especially if you have carpentry experience or know someone who does.  Try asking if you can buy a flat-pack version of the design you like.  That will cut out considerable labour costs.


I have a vested interest here so I won’t comment beyond the obvious basic advice:  look at different sites for testimonials and openly available content, like prices, specification, offers and experience.

How Do Garden Rooms Represent a Greener Working Policy?

There is a quiet revolution in working practises, a change in the way desk-bound jobs are carried out. Businesses are keen to cut their expenses and their carbon footprint. Under increasing pressure from the government’s green pledge, companies will be obligated to reduce their emissions and the easiest way is to address work associated travel needs and building maintenance. These factors are responsible for most carbon emissions but,as you will read here, most energy waste is due to using a poorly insulated office with no natural light.

The Kyoto Protocol states that 45% all carbon emissions are from buildings. Most of that figure – a staggering 40.5% ALL carbon emissions – are produced to heat our homes and offices in winter, cool them down in summer, light them and run our multiple appliances within them.

There’s something here all businesses can do, something which will improve the working environment and reduce carbon emissions in one delicious purchase. IBM and British Telecom are on to this idea already. These Corporates have two of the most forward-thinking senior management boards in the UK. Not only do they permit flexible working, they actively promote their employees to work from home. It’s not a revolutionary idea, not even new, but home working is the sustainable lifestyle of the future.

Why are large national and international companies so invested in this concept? Three reasons: money, carbon and the feel-good factor.

With more employees working from home, companies save money on business rent and rates space, hot-desking and desk-sharing schemes and the secondary carbon associated with running and maintaining large offices. With fewer employees having to commute, less carbon emissions are produced from travel and, again, there is less expense incurred.

Employees appreciate the elevated trust and flexibility that modern technological communications support and respond with increased productivity and company loyalty. The boards were quick to respond to employees’ early gripes about taking up valuable living space at home by investing in sustainable garden offices – detached rooms which are assembled in the garden and moved when the homeowner sells.

This home-working concept can benefit every business, from the single self-employed woman who struggles to work from her dining room to the graphic design partnership which rents the space above the travel agents. Moving into a garden room gains her a professional working environment, and provides them with a rent-free tax-allowable business asset.

This formula extends to Directors and Senior Management Personnel throughout all industry sectors in the UK and Ireland. Having a sustainable, dedicated work space at home offsets the need to travel to and from work. Even if the facility is only used on 2 or 3 days a week, there is enough value in that commitment to constitute an investment in our future and a proud environmental policy for each company involved.

Jewel Gallagher

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