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Thinking of extending? There may be a better & more cost effective solution

By October 4, 2022Home
Utility room. Real examples of how to nail the design of this room

Extending your home is the typical route to take for gaining additional space. However, there are certain situations where considering some separation from the main house might be a better and more cost-effective solution.

Exercise space

Exercise equipment is bulky and not altogether attractive. Unless you have a room where you can store it working it into your home can be a challenge. I remembered a project a few years ago where we had to incorporate a treadmill into a brand new open-plan kitchen, living and dining space. Honestly, there was no elegant way to accommodate it. A much better solution would have been to relocate it to an area outside of the house.

Working out at home has grown in popularity since the pandemic. Many people enjoy the freedom of working out at home instead of having to travel or commit to a gym. 

A dedicated place to exercise means you’ll be more likely to be consistent with your fitness goals. Instead of extending consider investing in a Garden room. They make the ideal multi-purpose space perfect for a home gym. 

A garden room is exempt from planning permission as long as it is to the rear of your home. It should be a single-storey building, no larger than 25 square meters (270 Sq ft), with a maximum height of four metres for a pitched roof or three metres for any other roof. You will also need to leave 25 square meters of free space in your garden. Always seek a professional’s advice before building any property structure. 

Home Office

Home office

There are a couple of other rooms where garden rooms provide a better fit than extending to create a room in your home. The first is the home office. Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the most significant issues is distractions, especially when you have to work in a space others need to use throughout the day. 

A dedicated space to work form can make all the difference in terms of productivity and your quality of life. 

Houzz recently conducted a poll to find out what makes for the perfect remote working space. More than two in five stated a private space where they can be away from others as the essential factor. Having your office separate from your house creates a natural boundary between work and home. This kind of home working environment will also help to reduce distractions, allowing you to focus on work. 

Entertainment room

Another ideal use for a garden room is an entertainment room, den or teenage hangout. As a mum of 2 teenage boys, I am seriously considering this one. From providing space to play video games, hang out with friends or have sleepovers. A room separate from the main house is the ideal way to give your older kids some freedom whilst giving you peace of mind that you know where your kids are. Other uses for a garden room are a hobby room, studio or even sauna. We’ve just completed an outdoor sauna and workout space for a family in co. Wicklow. And an art studio for a retired couple in Blackrock.

Laundry room

Laundry takes up space and washing machines and dryers are noisy, especially in an open-plan living area. Sometimes there isn’t enough room in a house to create a designated laundry room. Especially one that’s large enough to dry clothes. A simple and cost-effective solution is to create an outdoor laundry room. 

It doesn’t have to be an elaborate structure. A shed close to the main house can work very well. It doesn’t have to be an eyesore either. Painting or cladding the structure to match a fence or wall in your garden will help it to blend in rather than stand out. The shed or room only needs to be big enough to take a washer and dryer and have some space to dry clothes. So you could go as small as 1200mm x 1800mm. 

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Optimise Home
Denise O'Connor

Author Denise O'Connor

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