Garden baby room ideas

Garden baby room ideas

Recently, I welcomed a new life into my family and it got me thinking about how garden rooms from us and other manufacturers are often thought of as sanctuaries, spaces or offices for adults. But what about the children? I wanted to share some of my top garden baby room ideas with you.

In hindsight, I actually find it a little odd that we don’t consider the younger people of this world when discussing rooms in the garden. If you’re anything like me, you will constantly find yourself treading on toys and tripping over building blocks that haven’t been packed away. It can really get on the nerves of some parents, so perhaps we could use the spaces in our respective gardens to provide an indoor area for our children to play, develop and make a mess whilst also allowing us to reclaim our home space. What do you think?

garden baby room ideas

 

Baby Room Décor Ideas

At the age where you have to make decisions for your child, it can feel a little daunting to say the least. Some may think that a newborn baby won’t necessarily need much, but there are a lot of garden baby room ideas you can use to help nurture their development whilst providing a stimulating space that the child can use. It is also important to remember that the room layout and features will need to adapt as the baby grows.

wallpaper for a garden room

Wallpaper that your child can colour on could be a great idea. We found this one at Resurface

 

Soft Rug or Play Mat

Firstly, you can start with a soft rug that’ll provide a comfortable place for your baby to continue doing what it’ll spend most of it’s early months doing: Lying on it’s back. Eventually, this will lead to what many like to call ‘tummy time’, followed by crawling and, finally, their first steps. One additional thing you can also do is spread out several rugs made from various materials around the room in order to provide your baby with different sensory experiences.

baby play mat for a garden room

This is 3cm thick play mat found on ebay.

 

Mirrors

Whilst your baby is spending lots of time of their back or tummy, you should also place mirrors just above the skirting boards, so they are able to see themselves and interact with the mirrors. This is actually very entertaining for the baby and the benefits of this simple object include facial recognition, speech development and an overall sense of self.

garden room baby mirror

Those mirrors are safe for children. Found on Perspex Sheet UK.

 

Images of Loved Ones

Along with being able to recognise their own face, many parents, myself included, look forward to the time when their baby can recognise mummy and daddy. To hear those words for the first time is a memory almost all parents will hold forever. Perhaps your baby garden room ideas can include pictures of special people and animals involved in your child’s life? Of course, I do not recommend traditional photo frames with glass screens, as that could get very dangerous. Instead, consider laminating some photos and using Velcro to attach them to the walls. The Velcro means that your baby can pull the images off the wall if they wish, which helps to develop their physical development.

soft photo frames child garden room

Those soft frames are child safe and found on Etsy.

 

Cosy Corner and Bookcase

As parents, we obviously want to be involved in the life of our children, so the next items to explore in your garden baby room ideas would be a cosy corner and bookshelf. This allows the baby to relax in a cosy environment whilst you read to them and develop your bond further. As stated before, you should always consider your child growing and how your garden baby room can adapt to that. So be sure to purchase a bookcase that is low enough for a slightly older child to peruse and take down books when they reach that age. This same thinking can also be applied when installing shelving units to store toys. You want your baby to be able to access those toys themselves.

This little corner is available at Cuckooland

 

Garden Baby Room Ideas

We often think of garden rooms as a place for adults to indulge in hobbies or operate businesses, but a baby room could be as much or maybe even more of a benefit to you. It could be time for you to start thinking about garden baby room ideas in order to reclaim your living room and avoid treading on any more toys. I’m hoping these ideas will spark some inspiration for you when developing your ideas for the room. Parenthood is a magical time and the one thing all parents have in common is wanting to give their baby the best start in life. Could a specific space dedicated to their development be the answer for that?

Have you got any garden baby room ideas that you want to share? Please leave a comment below or contact us directly to let us know. We genuinely want to hear your ideas. Or if you think a garden baby room sounds like a good idea, why not book a free site survey with us?

Cladding options for your bespoke garden office or summer house

Cladding options for your bespoke garden office or summer house

When we’re dreaming of our garden office or summer house, we start by thinking of its use. We start to imagine ourselves sitting or working surrounded by all the creature comforts we need and looking out onto our beautiful garden. When we think of walking towards it… it becomes more nebulous. We might think of garden paths or decking, but the actual building itself can take a little longer to smooth into focus.

Our design team will help you with this at our initial site visit. We’ll look at your garden and current buildings and will find something that fits effortlessly with them.

What we will also do is to take you through all the options that you have to make sure that the exterior of the building is something you love to look at as you’re walking down that beautiful path and walking through the perfect door.

The majority of garden building are finished on the outside with cladding. But ‘cladding’ is no longer restricted to a fake stone facade or basic wooden slats. Take a look below to see everything that’s on offer today.

 

wallpaper idea for garden office facade

Outdoor Wallpaper

Yes! You have read correctly! There is now an Italian company that has been designing and creating vanguard wallpaper that you can use for outdoor walls. It’s resistant to rain, yellowing and even has anti-smog properties! The maker is the well-established Wall&Deco’, should you want to go and check out their designs. The beauty of this product is that you can either choose between their beautiful creations or we can help you design a unique one. The price per square metre will be the same! Also, there is no a minimum order, so you can decide to cover the whole of your garden room or just use the wallpaper as an accent. At A Room in the Garden we got quite excited when we discovered this product and all its possibilities!

 

garden building facade idea cement particle board cembrit

Cement Particles Boards

Cement Particles Boards are perfect for those who like ultra-contemporary design and love new technologies. Thanks to their high resistance to all weather conditions and biological attacks, cement particles boards are ideal for outdoor buildings. It’s worth noting that there are a few companies that produce cement particles boards and the price can vary quite a lot. We will always make sure we find the best product and the best value for money for you.

 

garden summer house facade idea

Viroc Cement Wood Boards

Thanks to its resistance to atmospheric corrosion, insects and moisture, Viroc cement wood board can be used indoors and outdoors. They are panels made of composite materials, composed of a compressed and dry mixture of pine wood particles with cement. This use of wood fibre means that you get a a non-homogeneous appearance, giving a more natural look. You can choose from 6 different colours: white, yellow, grey, black, ochre and red.

 

canadian red western cedar cladding on garden summer house

Wood Cladding

So here is the cladding you’re probably thinking of, but did you know how many different looks you can achieve with simple wood?

We have finished several of our buildings using what you could call a traditional wood cladding. However, due to the modern technology that’s used to create these boards, they are anything but old! All our cladding is weather and mould resistant. You won’t need to treat the wood constantly to maintain its quality.

There are a wealth of different woods you can choose from, not just your typical oak or pine (though both oak and pine can result in absolutely beautiful effects!) You can get lots of different colours and might choose to use a glossy, varnished finish, or go with a more the more natural matt. One of the nicest things about working with wood is that the building blends effortlessly with the natural world around it.

We’ve used wood here and here, and you can see the different results from this one material.

 

metal cladding on garden building

Metal Cladding

And here’s the thing that’s often overlooked. You can use metal cladding! Not only is this beautiful, modern and sleek in its own right, but we have also used it to create very unusual, completely personal designs. Take a look at our rabbit hole. Here we have taken out a silhouette out of the metal and backed this with a stunning piece of stained glass. It’s fantastic to know that nobody has a building that looks quite like this!

 

brick cladding for a garden building

Brick

And we end here with what is probably the most traditional material of them all; brick!

Even though bricks are one of the oldest technologies, it’s very clear from looking around in the streets to see why this is! Brick buildings last a phenomenal amount of time and continue to look good even after they have aged a little. These days you get to choose between different colours and sizes too. The only thing that you need to remember about building with brick is that the material is more expensive than the other options, and it will take us much longer to install, so there will be additional cost there.

 

So there you have it. As always, this list is not exhaustive. You might have seen someone else’s building and thought, ‘That’s a great look!’ We’ll always do our best to find a material that fits the vision in your head. We just wanted to create a few more visions for us to play with.

Here’s hoping we can find the most beautiful material for you during our free, one-hour site survey. Book now!

Can you connect water to my garden room?

Can you connect water to my garden room?

One of the most common question we get asked when meeting with potential clients is: “Can you connect water to my garden room?”

The answer is yes!

Although there are a few things that you do need to consider depending on what you want. You may want to install a washing machine or have a sink with cold water. But perhaps a toilet and a shower would be handy for your garden gym…

Let’s explore the different possibilities one by one.


Installing cold water

Cost: from £1500+

connecting water to garden room

If you simply want to have a sink for washing your garden tools, or maybe even a washing machine for your laundry, all you need is to have cold water reaching your garden room. The first step will be identifying the nearest cold water, mains connection in your house (for example a kitchen or toilet sink). Then we have to create a system for the water to flow in and out of your garden room. One pipe will bring the fresh water in and another will take the dirty water out.
The pipes must be buried a minimum of 750mm underground. To do this, we have to build a small trench to accommodate the pipes. If we are digging through soil, we can do this simply by using a narrow spade. Things get a bit more complicated if we need to go through concrete. Of course, it’s still possible, don’t get me wrong, but it may take a bit longer which increases the final cost of the build.

Once we have sorted out how to get the clean water to the garden building, we then have to work out how to get rid of the dirty water. If there is an existing soil drain point (not a rainwater drain), we just have to add a connection and bring a stub soil stuck into your garden room.
But if that is not possible, we have to create a flow from the garden room to an outside drain. To do so means installing a pump station. The bigger the distance between the garden room and the outside drain, the bigger the pump station you will need. Another factor to consider is whether the pipes are going uphill, horizontally or downhill. The cost for a pumping station starts at around £400.

Garden Buildings are Permitted Development and do NOT require planning permission as long certain criteria are observed. To learn more about it read our article 7 garden office or summer house planning permission rules to keep in mind


Installing hot water

Cost: from £300+

can you connect water to my garden room

To avoid of having to deal with all the regulations that come with installing a boiler, we highly recommend using an electrical shower (cost starts from around £50), which will generate its own hot water. You can also install a small hot water heater under a sink, which provides you with 7 to 10 litres of hot water (cost starts from around £50).


Installing a toilet

Cost: from £2000+

connecting water to garden room

If your garden office or summer house is right at the back of the garden, you may want to consider the possibility of adding a toilet. To do this, we will need to install a macerator, which will reduce the waste to a pulp, and then we need to gain access to a soil pipe to take the waste to the main sewer. If there is no soil drain near the garden room, we will need to fit a macerator pump station which has a foul water or sewage pump that can cope with solid waste. Another option which would definitely help you to keep the price down would be installing a chemical toilet, like those used for a camper van.

Depending on your requirements and the intended use of your garden room, you may need to apply for building regulation or planning permission, but that is a whole other article!

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Garden office and summer house foundation: the screw piling system

Garden office and summer house foundation: the screw piling system

A very important part of building a garden room, no matter if a garden office, a summer house or simply a small storage room, is to make sure that the foundation is solid, strong and long lasting.
The traditional way to prepare the foundation for a building is using concrete, but, thanks to the continuous improving of technology, new ways are now available: Ground Screw, Screw Pile, Pads and concrete. All valid ways but here at A Room in the Garden we have opted for the Piling System.

There are several different good company selling screw piles in the UK but we have decided to go with UK Helix simply because their screw piles, in addition to be of a very high quality, can be easily adjusted in length depending by the size of the project and the kind of soil.

UKHelix warehouse
Paalupiste warehouse in Finland

I am here today with Rin Gamble, CEO of UkHelix, who very happily agree to meet me for a coffee and answer all my questions.


I: Hi Rin. First, thank you very much to join me for a coffee. First question, as always, please tell us a bit more about your company, UK Helix.

R: Hi Ivana. The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for inviting me!
UKHelix is an authorised sole distributor for Paalupiste screw piles, a leading quality screw pile manufacturer based in Finland. They have been designing and building screw pile since 2001 and they are considered a well-recognised and forward-thinking company. Always trying to improve their products and their offer. All the production is made in Finland to the highest standard and it is backed it up by an ISO90011 quality certificate and ISO 14001 environmental management certificate.
We are very proud to be their exclusive distributor in the UK!


I: The use of screw piles as foundations is well used in the Scandinavian countries, while here in the UK still seems to be a novelty. Is that correct?

R: Yes and no. The screw pile or piling system has been used in the UK for quite a long time now but mostly in the commercial constructions or in general in the construction of big building, which require a big excavation or where concrete is not a possibility. A perfect example is the Fishbourne Roman museum in Chichester. To preserve the Roman Villa a museum was built on top of the archaeological funds using the screw pile system. Also, a lot of projects in London are now done using screw piles due to the limited access, which makes it sometimes impossible for the concrete TIR to get there.


I: So, the novelty is that now screw piles are more and more used in the private sector and for smaller projects.

R: Yes. The screw pile system is getting more and more common. It is a perfect solution for garden rooms, fencing and elevated paths. But also, for houses and house extension. At certain scale, it is often cheaper, easier and faster and less messy than concrete. But not always. There are several options available now and what is good and more cost effective for one it is not necessary for another one.

 

Screw piles

 

Fence built using screw piles

 

Summer house built using screw piles

 

House built on screw piles foundation

 

I: One of the limitation of concrete is the weather. If it is too cold or if is raining the concrete can’t be applied. Is that the same for screw piles?

R: No. one of the many advantages of the pile system is that it can be installed with any weather condition. In addition, while with concrete you have to wait for it to set, with the screw piles you can start building straight away. Making the all process way faster!

 

Screw pile foundation frame

Screw pile foundation frame

 

I: How long does it takes to put a screw pile in the ground? And, will you do the installation?

R: This is actually another unique point of our product. We can send our team to install the screw piles but in all honesty is so simple that anyone can do it. Especially if you take our installation kit (£12). I have tried myself with my husband simply using a crow bar and I managed fine! And, how you can see, I am quite petite!
One screw pile will take around 10/15 minutes to install! And even less to unscrew it! And they can be reused!

Installing a screw pile

Helix Screw Piles explanatory video

 

I: So, no more breaking the back to excavate the ground to prepare it for the concrete! No more breaking the back for taking the concrete away if you decide to redesign your garden!

R: Exactly! Pile screw are especially good if the new building is located on a slope! Instead of wasting time and energy excavating the ground to make it flat you can simply adjust the height of the screw piles. And job done! Our screw piles go from 70 cm to 3 metres long. And if 3 metres is not enough we have extensions that can be added.
There is no slope that we can’t tackle!


I: And what about if you hit a rock? Or a tree root, cable or a pipe?

R: Like any other digging job the ground has to be inspected to make sure that there are no cables or pipe. If you hit a rock, as when you excavate to prepare the ground for concrete, you can try to dig it out first. If that is not possible you can simply reposition your screw pile. In the unlikely situation that you hit another rock you can use a special drill which will go through it.


I: The pile system seems to be much more environmentally friendly than concrete.

R: Definitely. You do not disturb the vegetation at all!


I: Are the screw pile long lasting?

R: They will last forever! All other companies galvanise their product with a layer of around 80 to 100 microns. Our screw pile, including our cheaper range, has an average of around 200 microns. Technically, it takes 1 year to go through 1 micron… quite a simple calculation. And this is without considering the steel factor.


I: I have seen your screw pile. While the screw piles sold from other company have the shape of a giant screw yours have a smooth surface with a helical head at the bottom. Why is that?

R: To prevent any frost to get attached to the pile. In Scandinavian countries temperature often drops very low causing frosting. In any kind of foundation, you must consider the frost factor. If your foundation is above the frost level when the winter comes the water in the soil will freeze and expand. This will lift the foundation and cause the soil to move underneath. In summer time, the water will defrost and shrink back but the foundation will not be able to get back to its original position. We are talking of a lift of millimetres each time, but over time that will cause a problem to the whole construction. Because the smooth shape of our screw piles the water does not have a surface to get stuck to, preventing the formation of frost. The important thing is to make sure that the helical head is installed below the frosting level.


I: What about costs?

R: The price varies. As I mentioned before, every project is unique and we try to give to each client the best cost-effective solution. But as a guide line the price for a screw pile goes from 45 pounds up to few hundred pounds per set.


I: Thank you Rin for your time today. After our chat I feel even more confident about the pile system.

R: Right!

It is faster
It is cheaper
It is cleaner
It is more environmentally friendly
And it can be installed in minutes under any weather conditions

 

 

garden buildings offer

How we build our garden rooms

How we build our garden rooms

Garden offices or summer houses are becoming more and more popular. In addition to being an easy and cost effective way to add space to your home (with a few rules to be respected, but generally no planning permission is required) they often represent a good investment for homeowners. But for an investment to work well, you want to make sure that what you’re getting will serve you for a long time without any problems.

Many of our clients – especially those who are more technically orientated – like to know how we build a room in the garden, and what materials we’ll use, before spending their money with us. This knowledge often allows them to confirm their choice.


Foundations

Every garden building requires stable and reliable foundations. In our case, we mostly use ground screws. These are about 1 metre in length and are screwed right into the ground. This provides a perfectly levelled foundation, even in the most uneven garden.

The advantages of using the screw system are:

– You get a lasting garden building: the mounting plate is around 5cm higher than the ground allowing ventilation below the floor level, therefore protecting your garden room from humidity.
– There’s no damage to grass, tarmac or paving: only the small area where the screw is to sit will be disturbed.
– It will save time: the screw will be installed in just a few hours and we can start building straight away
– There’s no damage to the surrounding area: it will be clean and tidy with no mess or mud.
– It saves money: it’s a smart and efficient way to build foundations.
– They can be installed all year round with no delay for rain or snow.

Garden room foundations

 

Main construction

To build the main frame of your garden building, we use SIP construction boards (Structural Insulated Panel). They provide amazing insulation, are sturdy and long-lasting, and allow us to build quicker than a traditional timber framework. The main walls and roof are often ready within the first 2 days of the build.

SIP panels come in various thicknesses. As standard, we use 100mm boards, which will provide 78mm of insulation. No other product on the market gives such great insulation value at this thickness. This makes your building larger inside, warmer in winter, and cooler in summer.

The floor, walls and roof are all constructed using SIP boards, effectively creating a thermos. We want to be sure that your room in the garden conserves as much energy as possible, so you won’t need to use much heating, even when you’re working in the middle of winter.

Garden room external wall

 

Floor

Your garden building floor is also constructed from SIP panels, which provide very sturdy support for desks and chairs. Again, it’s all fully insulated to make a much warmer room.

On top of the SIP panels, we put floor underlay, and on the top of this, we install the floor panels. Our standard designs come with Luxury Vinyl Panels. They have a very nice wood-like finish, but because they are made entirely from plastic, they will not absorb moisture like MDF boards, so you get a perfect floor for years to come.

But the possibilities are endless, and depending on the use of your new garden room, you may prefer engineered wood, ceramic tiles, a hard-wearing metal floor or rubber (perfect for a home gym).

Garden room floor

 

Internal walls and ceiling

Each of our buildings is finished with moisture resistant plasterboard, smoothed and painted, which creates a perfect finish; just as you would expect from a wall in your home. We spend a lot of time making sure that your building is utterly perfect for you. In the long term, it’s definitely worth getting this part done right.

Garden room internal walls

 

Roof

The roof will be made using 150 mm thick SIP panels covered with a EPDM RubberCover. This offers superior quality and gives a durable membrane, which offers 50 years’ of life expectancy. This type of solution also allows you to choose an optional green roof if you would like to.

Garden room roof

 

Lights, sockets and internet

All our garden rooms come with lights and electric sockets, complete with USB ports, which are installed by our certified electricians. The number of them depends on your needs, and if you would like to change them to chrome plated, just let us know. Depending on the size of your building, we will make sure you have plenty of light and several sockets. We position them based on your needs.

To make sure you have an internet connection we will also run an internet cable to your building, alongside the electric cable. This will insure you have good connection even far from home.

 

External finish

Depending on the model, or your imagination, we use various external finishes, from traditional British redwood cladding, to special facia boards such as cement particles panels.

Before any type of external finish is applied, your entire building will be wrapped in a breathable membrane, which will protect the main construction, and add additional wind and water protection.

 

Windows and doors

All our doors and windows provide you with great insulation and ease of use. Depending on the model you choose or your preferences, we install uPVC, aluminium or wooden doors and windows. They are all certified, and are exactly the same as those installed in all modern buildings.

garden buildings offer

Bespoke garden rooms – colourful wood paint experiment

Bespoke garden rooms – colourful wood paint experiment

After a series of articles looking at the more serious side of garden room planning, such as Can I claim a garden office as a business expenses and How to fund your garden building and 7 garden offices and summer houses planning permission rules to keep in mind I decided it’s high time we have a step back into the happy world of designing and imagination. While I was doing some colour testing for a small, bespoke, garden room, I thought what a wonderful thing to share with our readers!

I decided to widen my colour testing and came up with a small experiment to see how the colours that appear on the charts compare to those you see when they’re applied. So, then I went (actually I sent Lukas) to our local paint shop to buy 24 different colour samples and a paintbrush and then I asked him to cut 24 small pieces of the cladding we usually use for our garden rooms.

For my little experiment, I used Sadolin Superdec Satin, simply because it has a wide variety of colours, and it is the one we usually use in our garden buildings. To make it more accurate, I first applied a light grey base-coat and then two coats of the chosen colour.

Please be aware that the colours on a photo will always differ from the ones you see in real life. My intention is simply to establish the colour chart reliability.

 

X8530Y Blancmange*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colorful wood paint

RAL 6018*
Perfect match!
Colourful wood paint

Apricot*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly darker than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

14 E 51
Perfect match!
Colourful wood paint

12 E 53*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

22 D 45
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

RAL 3009*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Sandbank*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

S7243T Cocktail Time
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

H8284K Crazy Daze*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter and brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

12 C 33
Pretty good match! Although it does not show in the photos, the colour on the cladding is slightly lighter.
Colourful wood paint

Red Pepper*
Perfect match!
Colourful wood paint

Grey Umber*
Pretty good match! The difference between the chart colour and the painted cladding is less evident from the photo. The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

RAL 7038*
Not a very good match. The colour on the cladding is lighter and with less yellow in it than the one from the chart.
Colourful wood paint

U7123W Tokio Bay*
The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter and brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

M3383R Tallulah*
Considering that blue is the most difficult colour to reproduce, this is a pretty good match! The difference between the chart colour and the painted cladding is less evident than from the photo. The colour on the cladding is slightly darker than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

K1572M Water Fight*
Not a very good match. The colour on the cladding is lighter and with less green in it than the one from the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Berberis Blue*
Not a very good match. The colour on the cladding is lighter and less greyish than the one on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Stratus*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

18 C 35
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

P0115Q Mutiara*
The colour on the cladding is much brighter and with less grey in it than one on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Bright Blue*
The colour on the cladding is much brighter and with less grey in it than the one on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Blue Peter*
Considering that blue is the most difficult colour to reproduce, this is a pretty good match! The difference between the chart colour and the painted cladding is less evident than from the photo. The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter and with less grey than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

All in all, I am quite happy with the result of my experiment. I can confidently say that the Sadolin Dulux Superdec colour chart is pretty accurate, with the exclusion of a couple of colours. Be aware though, this article was simply meant as a guideline. Always try a sample of your chosen colour before starting painting your garden room.

To make things easier for our clients, after you’ve selected one or several colours, we’ll always bring you a sample applied to the cladding so you can be sure of what you will get.

garden buildings offer