We often get asked whether a garden room adds value to a home and are seeing more people looking to build one as soon as they exchange on a property. So, we’re turning to experienced estate agent Grant Letts – Partner at Curchods – to get his take in this guest blog.
Grant, who runs Curchods’ estate agency office in Weybridge, started his career as an estate agent in 2001 and has a highly respected and established understanding of what appeals to buyers.
Curchods has seen a steady increase in the number of properties featuring a garden room over the past few years, as well as growing buyer appeal.
We recently marketed four comparative properties for sale and the only one featuring a garden room sold first. We also had two houses within 50 yards of each other on the same street. One of the properties had a small garden studio and sold for £30,000 more than the other home despite being the same size, condition, and location.
The growing desirability of garden rooms
As home working becomes more established, people are looking to create a better physical and mental separation between their work and home life – making a working space outside of the home appealing. Once people know what their working life will look like on a more permanent basis, we expect to see even more willingness to invest in a quality garden room and pay more for a property featuring one.
There’s also a wider trend around people expanding their living space at home to accommodate how they want to live. These evolving lifestyle choices often include having a home gym, games room, emotional escape room, teenage den, creative studio, hobby space or even a spa.
Plus, multi-use garden rooms are flexible. They can be used for more than one purpose and there’s complete freedom around how to fill the space, which can continue to be changed over time.
Buyers love the idea of having extra space outdoors in the calm of their garden and are drawn to the attractiveness and ‘wow’ factor of a luxury garden building. As well as beautifying an outside space, it also means their gardens can be used all year round.
Adding value to your property
Buyers are increasingly appreciating, and prepared to pay more for, homes featuring a quality garden room. But how much value does a garden room add to your property?
Here at Curchods in Weybridge, we estimate the added value to be around 1.25 times the cost of the garden room build. So, if you pay £50,000 for a quality garden room, you can expect to see an increase of around £62,500 to the value of your property.
Making a property you love work
Luxury garden rooms are also a great solution for buyers who love a home, but who feel the space within the property doesn’t quite work as it stands. Rather than walking away, or considering a costly and disruptive extension, we’re seeing potential buyers instead choosing to add a quality garden building to get the extra space they need to accommodate their lifestyle and make the property more appealing.
To this point, Into the Garden Room is currently working with a number of clients to design garden rooms before they exchange on a property so that the build can be pre-scheduled to start as soon as they receive the keys.
Choosing between an extension, loft conversation, conservatory or garden room
I often get asked how the added value of a garden room compares to other options like an extension, loft conversion or conservatory.
It’s important to highlight these are all very distinct propositions, driven by entirely different lifestyle goals. High-quality garden rooms are about creating a living space away from the house that wouldn’t otherwise be used in the same way – making the very most of the space you own.
There are also big differences in the cost, how quickly your new space is ready and whether you need planning permission (under permitted development rules, most garden rooms do not). If you can gain the extra space you’re looking for with a garden room for a budget of £50,000, versus an extension or loft conversion costing around £200,000, then you’re saving a lot of money and avoiding a year of chaos.
As for conservatories, we no longer see them adding value to homes. They aren’t comparable to a high-end garden room; they’re expensive, cold and don’t create extra space away from the house. If your aim is to extend the property itself, then an extension or loft conversion are better value-driving options.
In fact, garden rooms are also proving beneficial to buyers choosing to undertake house extensions, building works and remodelling. They provide a functional space while the building work is underway. What’s more, in some circumstances, a garden building can avoid the hassle and expense of having to move out during this time.
The importance of garden room quality, craftsmanship & suitability
A garden room is only a good investment when it’s chosen and installed properly. It doesn’t pay to cut corners and should reflect the same quality, look and feel of a property. It’s therefore important to work with a reputable garden room company that pays attention to the finer details.
Buyers recognise and appreciate state-of-the-art design and quality, just as they do when viewing a kitchen or bathroom in a prospective home. Both play an important role in the uplift in value, so it’s important to invest in a garden room built using quality materials and superior craftsmanship to ensure it stands the test of time.
It’s also important to consider an appropriate size for your garden building. If it occupies too much of your garden, it can be off-putting for some buyers. However, having a smaller-sized quality garden room is rarely a problem – people are still generally willing to pay more for extra space away from the main house.
Finally, there are also practical points to consider. Does your garden room have easy access from the house, good viewpoints of the garden, will it benefit from natural sunlight, and is the planned location overlooked by neighbours?
Making space for how you aspire to live
The growing desirability of garden rooms is being driven by evolving lifestyle aspirations and circumstances, and how flexible they are. Investing in a quality garden building can add to the resale value and appeal of your home, while also accommodating how you aspire to live day-to-day.