Build a Garden Room

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Introduction: Build a Garden Room

About: I am an engineer / designer interested in many subjects. I love cars, boats, planes, trains and one day would like to build another camper van. When not making things I enjoy mountain biking and canoeing.

We had an unused corner of the garden where the old play area, which my children had grown out of, was.

I researched Garden Rooms and decided to build one myself.

See my Pinterest board here for more ideas;

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/sherwood01384/cool-garden-rooms/

I had some lengths of timber left over from a previous roofing project

It took a few weekends to build, here is how I did it...

Supplies

4" Foam insulation under the floor

Assorted 3x2 and 6x2 pine timber for the frame - already owned

Plywood for the roof and floor

Western Red Cedar Cladding for front facing walls

Box Profile Polyester Coated Steel Sheet 0.5mm Thick for the rear facing walls

4 Oak framed double glazed doors - secondhand off Ebay

Rubber Sheet Kit for roof

Rough sawn old pine boards for internal cladding - already owned

Fibreglass Loft insulation for insulation in the walls and ceiling

Laminate flooring

Black Plastic Decking for the step

Assorted electrical sockets, switches, down lights and wire

Step 1: Step 1 : Prepare the Plot

The plot was cleared and levelled with sand.

I used old decking to frame the sand.

The shape of the room was determined by the fence, lawn and a large tree.

The sand was tamped down by foot to compress it.

I then laid 4" Building Foam Insulation on the sand.

This was then covered in 5mm plywood to protect it.

This method of construction has low enviromental impact as no digging or concrete is used.

Step 2: Step 2: Build the Frame

I built the wall frames on the ground using 3"x2" timber and wood screws.

They were then lifted up to the vertical and fastened together

I added a thicker beam over the doorway to take the roof beams

The 6"x2" roof beams were added, I ensured that there was a slight slope backwards to drain surface water

You can see a difference in height between photo 3 and 4, I decided that the room looked too high with the roof beams on top of the doorway beam, so I moved them to hang behind the beam on joist hangers

The grey sheet in the last photo is just a temporary tarpaulin

Step 3: Step 3: Fit the Doors

I bought the doors off Ebay, they were new and still boxed but not ideal as they were replacement doors for a bifold system that I did not have the track or frame for.

I bought a bottom running door track, most bifold tracks are top hung.

I had to make the frame and fit the track system to the doors. This was the trickiest part of the build and could be simplified if you bought a door set with frame and track included.

The design was made more complex as I decided to add interest by having one of the doors as a fixed pane around the side and a solid panel to the left of the doors.

I also wrapped the frame in a breathable membrane cloth that I had.

Step 4: Step 4: Clad the Frame

Western Red Cedar Cladding was fixed to the front facing walls with stainless steel wood screws hidden in the tongues. The cladding needs to reach the roof at the top and go down past the foam at the bottom but not touch the soil

Box Profile Polyester Coated Steel Sheet 0.5mm Thick was screwed on the rear facing walls with 38mm Wood Tec screws. These screws drill their own hole in the steel and then screw into the wooden frame. I used the driver shown in a battery drill to put them in. This is low maintainence and cheaper than the cedar but not as attractive.

Step 5: Step 5: Cover the Roof With Rubber Sheeting and Coat the Wood

I purchased a rubber flat roof kit which included a single rubber sheet, adhesive and trim and nails.

The rubber sheet is glued down to the plywood roof, it is then trimmed to size and the edge capping is nailed on.

I coated the cedar siding with Osma UV Protection Oil (Clear Satin) and the Oak Door Frames with Sadolin One Coat High Performance Wood Stain (Natural) to prevent water and UV damage.

The room was now waterproof

Step 6: Step 6: Adding the Decking Step

The decking step serves two purposes, it aids entry and exit but also covers the area below the windows.

I made up a frame using 4"x2" and secured black plastic decking to it, to match the black trim on the roof.

I also added an outside light.

We started using the room at this point,even though the inside was not fitted out.

Step 7: Step 7: Interior Fit Out

First I added laminate flooring

I then added fibrglass loft insulation into the walls and ceiling voids

I then clad the walls and ceiling with the rough sawn timber.

This wood was actually the flooring in the loft of our house, which I removed when I added thicker insulation and plywood loft flooring on stilts. The wood needed jet washing to remove the dirt and grime.

I fastened it on the walls in a diagonal fashion, partly for aesthetics but also to brace the rectangular frames.

I added a fuse box and lighting and power circuits

For lighting I inserted downlights into the ceiling as the ceiling is low

Step 8: Conclusion

We are very happy with the Garden Room

It was originally intended to be a Man Cave but has become the Family Gym!

We keep the exercise equipment in there and I have put a CD player and flat screen DVD player on the wall for aerobic sessions.

For relatively little cost we have turned an unused corner of the garden into a useful space that is regularly used by all members of the family.

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    36 Comments

    0
    alisonbutty
    alisonbutty

    Question 7 months ago

    Hi,
    Really like what you've done, I am researching getting my partner and son to do one for me. I have an old leaking garage on concrete base it is about 16 feet by 10ft, it has electricity and a cold water tap. I would like a girls grotto/ art studio, with a n A frame roof, a loo and a walk in cupboard accessed from out side I have a rough plan in my head. Can you give me any advise, my role would be supervisory!
    Regards Alison

    0
    sherwood01384
    sherwood01384

    Answer 7 months ago

    I cannot give advice but you can see how I built my room with a frame. I suggest that you do the same on your concrete base. Then just clad it inside and out and add windows and doors. Simples.

    0
    TweetForTheMany
    TweetForTheMany

    Question 9 months ago

    Hi there, love what you've done here and was researching myself.

    I'm in Sussex, ground is very clayey water doesn't drain that well - a builder was going to lay concrete but I think sand might suffice and was thinking of tackling the work myself.

    Reading you say that your ground was sandy to start with are you concerned about movement of the base over time or do you think structural rigidity and weight means it wouldn't 'heave' over time?

    Thanks, Sean

    0
    sherwood01384
    sherwood01384

    Reply 9 months ago

    Hi Sean, good question, I have not noticed any movement at all but I am on flat ground and did tamp the sand down well. The building is solid and heavy and screwed to the plywood, so I do not expect it to move.

    0
    Charls71
    Charls71

    Question 10 months ago

    Hey man! That looks awesome. I am looking to build a Garden Room myself, but I need some guidance, if you don't mind. The soil where I would like to put it is very soft. Would It be a great Idea to put it there? If so, would it be best to use Cement or Gravel for the base? I was also looking into Ground Screws.

    0
    sherwood01384
    sherwood01384

    Answer 10 months ago

    Hi, I cannot answer that question I am sorry. The foam spreads the load well, so there is no need for digging foundations on normal soil.
    How soft is soft? If you are planning to build on a bog it probably won’t work.

    0
    DRVBJ
    DRVBJ

    10 months ago on Introduction

    Wow, Great den for exercise and family get together. Just the information I was looking for. I live in sunny Manchester constant drizzle and add to my sins have clay soil - old cold mining area. Just doing the garden project flags and all and I have just the corner as in your garden. I made the hard base with gravel [not technical- old old and retired medic.] I will have a damp problem [I think]. I am thinking If I put put damp proof membrane down on the hard core I just put in [before I saw your creation ] and then insulation panels in thick garden plastic. Would you that or you think that will cause problem in future? Thanks in anticipation of reply....😺

    0
    sherwood01384
    sherwood01384

    Reply 10 months ago

    I am no expert but I don’t think damp will rise up through the 4 inches of dense foam. I suggest that you put a polythene barrier on top of the foam before placing the plywood on top of it, to be sure.

    0
    jamesbanda
    jamesbanda

    1 year ago

    Great info thanks, did you use a damp proof membrane over the sand ? And is it ok for insulation to sit on sand ? Does damp not rise ? I thought there should be an air gap ?

    0
    sherwood01384
    sherwood01384

    Reply 1 year ago

    The foam board I used has plastic sheeting on either side. I laid it directly on the sand. No sign of any damp yet but I do not live in a swamp.

    0
    djlucy
    djlucy

    1 year ago

    Amazing project and thanks so much for sharing! One question from a total novice - is there any problem laying the ground insulation straight on top of the sand foundation? I would have thought you might get some water seeping through? Thanks again!

    0
    sherwood01384
    sherwood01384

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, not that I am aware. The foam sheets are plastic backed on both sides so I think that would stop any water ingress. We are also on sandy soil so I don’t think there is any water under the house.

    0
    DavieIrwin
    DavieIrwin

    1 year ago

    Brilliant guide thanks for posting! I am looking to do just this type of project. Can I ask, did you screw in your ply floor to the insulation? Did the frame screw into the ply floor? Thanks again! Davie.

    0
    sherwood01384
    sherwood01384

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Davie.
    Thanks for the comments. Yes I screwed the plywood sheets to the foam and the frames to the sheets. This was more to stop them being kicked out of place during construction than for long term strength. Once built the weight of the house keeps it planted, also the side boards hang below the foam and stop the frame moving.
    Hope that helps.
    Chris

    0
    Wise Man
    Wise Man

    1 year ago

    Hi There. Great project.
    Quick question. The Rhino Vent sheets that appear in step 2 - is that the breathable membrane you mention wrapping round the frame?
    Cheers

    0
    sherwood01384
    sherwood01384

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes it is. I had some left over from when I re tiled my house.

    C94ABE18-405F-428C-A487-3C83FB4893B0.jpeg
    0
    chuckyd
    chuckyd

    2 years ago

    Since you did not mention preservative treatment for the wood, I assume there is none. You may find that problematic as the wood close to the ground absorbs termites and other insects.

    0
    sherwood01384
    sherwood01384

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for pointing out that I didn't mention the preservative treatment for the wood. I coated the teak siding with Osma UV Protection Oil (Clear Satin) and the Oak Door Frames with Sadolin One Coat High Performance Wood Stain (Natural) to prevent water and UV damage.

    IMG_1597.JPGIMG_1598.JPG
    0
    l.handy
    l.handy

    2 years ago

    love it