Portable Superior Garden Studio

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Granny Annexe

Alex and I recently visited Yvonne in Cardiff (see her Granny Annexe above). Yvonne has a 18′ x 9′ (5460mm x 2730mm) LoLine QC5 installed for her Father. Her Father is quite poorly, often in Hospital, and now in a wheelchair. Before having her garden studio, visiting Yvonne’s house was very difficult because of the narrow house doors with high thresholds and no access to a downstairs toilet. Yvonne decided to install a garden studio for when her Father can get out of Hospital, and she ended up (after a month of research) using Booths to install her garden studio.

Alex and I do a quick tour of her garden studio (starts in the dark sorry:-) in this video…

In this video, Alex shows the ramped decking which does not have a step – this makes it very easy to get a wheelchair onto the decking. The decking is quite wide and with a handrail for extra stability. The garden studio also features a wider door than normal, with  a low threshold – this means a wheelchair has simple access to the garden studio. Once in the garden studio, this theme continues with the wet room door which is also wider than a normal door with a low thresh. Yvonne also handled the planning application for her garden studio – she had an existing garage on the plot which made things a bit more straight forward – she got permission within a week (a record!). She discusses this in this video here...

We now have a compact shower & toilet design which has superseded the wet room. Alex and I discuss it in this video here...

Yvonne handled the planning for her small Annexe herself, although we provided some drawings at no cost, to help her with this. Yvonne got permission within 5 days which is very fast for a planning application as they normally say it will take up to 8 weeks. The fact that she was replacing an existing Garage with her Annexe must have helped with the speed of this application, and well done to Cardiff planning for being so efficient:-) The planning application for most Garden Studios is usually straight forward so you can easily handle it yourself.

Yvonne also discussed how she arrived at using Booths Garden Studios for her garden studio here…

Yvonne did over a month’s research to find the company to supply her garden studio. She says she wanted a garden studio which:

“went up quickly, looked good, was good quality, and then I didn’t have to touch it after that..and that’s exactly what I managed to get”
“The thing that kept coming back all the time was that there was just no maintenance required.”

Decking Ramp installed for smooth Wheelchair Access

The excellent Garden Room Guide interviewed Alex discussing the Future of Garden Rooms & Granny Annexe…

Do you think a garden room or granny annexe will be part of the house of the future? If so how and why?

”Absolutely – not enough houses are being built and they are expensive with mortgages often requiring large deposits. On top of which, people are living longer and having a parent in a care home is very expensive. Also, having a parent in your own home isn’t always ideal. Having a small Granny Annexe with a small Kitchen, Toilet and Shower at the bottom of your garden can be a great solution for a fraction of the cost.”

For people buying a Garden Room or Granny Annexe today, what elements design and material wise do you recommend for the building to look good and be functional in 10, 20 years time?Granny Annexe With Hand Rail For Safety

“There’s 2 elements to this – the lifespan of the Granny Annexe and surprisingly – Portability. People want a long life Granny Annexe which doesn’t need any maintenance – like your house really. If you had to paint or stain your house every couple of years it would be a real pain – not to mention the cost of having to do that.
Houses are usually brick built but this is expensive. The best Timber option is something like Red Wood Cedar which doesn’t rot – but it does lose it’s look and to maintain that look, your back to having to stain it again. We get round this by using a Plasti-coated Leatherette embossed Galvanised Steel which comes in Green or Grey. This needs no maintenance for at least 25 years and it’s a fantastic product.  This surprises a lot of our customers as we are the only supplier in the UK doing this.
We stopped supplying Timber buildings in January 2012 for exactly these reasons. Timber’s lovely – but you have to look after it.

    Yvonne Happy In Her Garden Studio: Annexe

The portability seems in an unimportant factor but it’s very important. If you have spent say £30k on a Granny Annexe for your Father – he uses it for say 10 years before passing away – you then have a Granny Annexe which you can sell on if you have no use for it. You could recover £15k of that after 10 years, so your 10 years of use has only actually cost you £15k, which is incredible value for money. If your Granny Annexe is not portable, this option disappears. You can end up with a £30k shed at the bottom of your garden.
All of our Garden Studios are portable and the more you spend – the more important this factor becomes. Portability means it remains an asset for you – you could even take it with you if you moved home.”