At Green Retreats we believe in keeping things simple. We’ve compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions about our garden rooms, offices and studios. There is no question too big or small, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us.
Are your garden rooms warm enough to use in winter?
Yes, they are warm enough to use throughout the year as they are all well insulated and come with a free-standing oil filled radiator as standard.
Can I add a skylight to my garden room design?
We are unable to offer sky lights as our roof construction is so meticulously engineered for superior quality of insulation, longevity and quality that it cannot support a skylight. However, we are able to supply and fit ceiling mounted LED panel lights that are a great alternative.
Can I have a toilet and/or kitchen in my garden room?
Yes, you can. We will liaise with a plumber to ensure that any necessary openings are in place, ready for the plumber to connect the required services.
Can I have dividing walls / separate rooms?
Yes, we can install partition walls in any of our larger sized garden rooms. Please enquire for more details.
Can I have underfloor heating?
Underfloor heating can be installed as an optional extra, however the heat retention properties of the floor in all of our garden rooms are so efficient, that it is not essential.
Can I install a wood burner into my Green Retreats garden room?
Customers have previously fitted wood burners into their Green Retreats garden room, however it is not something that we recommend. We are unable to fit or prepare for fitting of a wood burner.
Can I live in a Green Retreats garden room?
Our garden rooms are not designed to be lived in as they do not comply to building regulations. Living inside a Green Retreats garden room would invalidate your guarantee.
Can I paint/stain the outside of my garden room?
The building will not need painting or staining, however if you would like to change the colour, you can paint or stain your garden room with a water based substance without damaging the protective properties in the wood.
Can my completed garden room be moved to a different location at a later date?
Whilst our garden rooms are temporary structures and are moveable. It is worth considering that the costs to move a building is chargeable to you and can equate to an amount that does not make moving the building viable.
Can you attach a garden room onto the side of my house?
Our garden room structures will need to remain free standing due to the nature of their construction. However we can build as close as 400mm to any solid obstacle (such as your house!) if your garden room building design is 15m² or less. For garden room buildings that are over 15m² we will require a 1m gap between the garden room and a solid obstacle.
Can you create me a completely bespoke garden room?
We do not offer bespoke building options. However, we do offer many different sizes and styles to suit your tastes and budget. You can start to design your building using our 3D configurator.
Can you design my garden room as a custom shape?
We are only able to construct buildings that are either square or rectangular within the Green Retreats range.
Can you fit solar panels to my garden room?
Currently, we do not fit solar panels to our garden rooms. Customers have previously retro-fitted solar panels to power their garden rooms, so there are external companies out there that may be able to help. Please be aware: Fitting solar panels the roof of your garden room may take your building height over the 2.5m permitted development tolerance to avoid planning permission. Also, our roofs are at a 4degree pitch – to get the most from your solar panels they are generally required to be at a greater angled pitch.
Can you give me the details of a garden room near me so I can go have a look?
A lot of our garden room buildings are built for personal use, so we are unable to give out any of our clients details. However, we have a showroom in Buckinghamshire with 12 buildings on site all in varying sizes and styles - greenretreats.co.uk/process/visit-our-showroom/
Can you soundproof my garden room?
We don’t offer a completely sound proof solution for your garden room. We do, however, offer an acoustic pack which reduces the transfer of sound to approximately -45db – however this is not ‘sound proof’. Although we use industry-leading acoustically laminated glass, this is the least effective component of our acoustic pack. Please bare in mind that the more glass you opt for on your garden room, the lesser the effect the acoustic pack will have.
Can your garden rooms be built as a ‘lean to’ against my house?
Our garden rooms must be free standing due to the nature of their construction, meaning we cannot build them as a ‘lean to’ extension. However, our construction methods mean that we can build as close as 400mm to any solid obstacle, such as your house.
Do I need to be present at my site survey?
We ask that all decision makers are present at the site survey. Our surveyor will look at the space available as well as your access and tell you what size buildings you can have. They’ll also complete a design consultation with you, placing doors and windows on the building and selecting electrical and internal options. At the end of the survey you’ll know exactly how much your building will cost and what work needs doing.
Do I need to get planning permission?
Planning permission is not normally required as our buildings fall under permitted development (built under 2.5m high externally). Most houses, even in conservation areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), have permitted development rights. Flats and listed buildings have no permitted development rights, so will always need planning permission. Don’t worry though, as planning is a relatively simple process for our garden rooms and we are on-hand to help with this process.
Do I need to remove trees and shrubs before my site survey?
Generally speaking as long as the surveyors can see and get to the boundaries to measure the area then there is no need to remove any trees or shrubs before your survey.
Do we pay separately for installation and the base?
Full installation including your base is included in the cost of our garden rooms.
Do you deliver garden rooms overseas?
Unfortunately, we only install our garden rooms in mainland UK and cannot deliver or install our garden rooms in other countries. We also offer free delivery within 100 miles of our factory & showroom (postcode HP18 0XB).
Do you offer discounts?
We don’t offer any discounts as we are transparent on our prices and will always offer our customer the best value for money from when they are first quoted.
Do you offer electrical connection from my house to my garden room?
We offer a complete electrical connection from your house to the garden room at an additional cost, which will be confirmed at your site survey. However, you are more than welcome to use your own preferred electrician for this.
Do you offer finance plans?
Yes we do! Check out our finance page for more details.
Do you offer painting?
If you should opt to have your garden room building plastered, you can either paint the internal walls yourself or have our professional painter do it for you. If you choose to paint the room yourself, it’s worth noting that there will be no flooring, skirting or electrics to contend with as we will install these elements after painting making it far easier for you to complete.
Do you offer plumbing?
We do not offer a plumbing service; however, we are more than happy to liaise with a plumber of your choice to ensure your building is correctly installed ready for water and/or waste services.
Do you supply CAD drawings for planning permission purposes?
We do. CAD drawings take usually a week to be supplied. We would ask for a £200 deposit to secure an installation date and a quoted price. This £200 deposit also secures your CAD drawings. This would be refundable in the event of planning being turned down.
Do your garden rooms come with a guarantee?
All Green Retreats garden rooms come with a 10-year structural guarantee based on the current National House Building Council (NHBC) guidelines.
Do your garden rooms come with heating?
Yes, all of our buildings come as standard with a free-standing oil filled radiator. We also offer a variety of heating options including wall mounted radiators, underfloor heating and air conditioning.
Does my quote include VAT?
VAT is included within the cost of all of our garden room buildings.
Does the area that I want to have the garden room need to be level before?
Not before your site survey. Our surveyor will be able to tell you how much levelling needs doing before the base team arrive.
How close can my garden room be built to a wall, fence, boundary or obstacle?
Our construction methods mean that we can build as close as 400mm to any solid obstacle. For garden room buildings that are 15m² and less in size, we will need a minimum of 400mm from the external walls of the building to any boundary, whereas garden room buildings that are above 15m² require a 1m gap from a boundary to comply with current fire safety regulations. Easy as that!
How close can you build my garden room to my house, fence or outside obstacles?
For garden rooms that are 15m² and less: We simply require a 400mm gap between your garden room and any solid obstacle (such as your house or fence etc.) for construction purposes. For garden rooms that are above 15m²: A 1m gap between your garden room and any solid obstacle is required to comply to current council regulations.
How do I get internet into my garden room?
We offer two solutions for internet connectivity. The first is called ‘Home Plug’: Simply insert one of the plugs into a wall socket and connect the included patch cable into your home router, then insert the other plug into a wall socket in your garden room. This method sends your internet signal through the power network of your home and replicates your home Wi-Fi in your building. The second solution is to run a full armoured CAT 6 network cable from the router in your house to the garden building. This will usually follow the same route as your main power cable and we can quote for this at your site survey.
How is my electrical quote made up?
The surveyor will talk to you about the different ways of running electrics. We run a cable from the fusebox in the house to the fusebox (consumer unit) installed in the garden. Our surveyors will also look to see if you have any spare capacity in your existing fusebox, or if you’ll need a sub consumer unit installed. The quote will include a part P certificate sign off by our fully qualified electricians.
How long does a garden room take to build?
The base will normally take between half-a-day to 1 day to install. The building itself will usually be constructed the following week where we allocate between 1 and 5 days depending on the size. If you require plastering or our acoustic pack then the process will take a couple of weeks longer due to the drying time of the plaster.
How long does the site survey take?
The site survey takes up to an hour.
How many sets of keys will I be given for my Green Retreats garden room?
You are normally given 3 sets of keys.
How much is it for a site survey on my property?
We offer free site surveys. If you would like to book one in you can give us a call in the office or fill out our survey.
How quickly can you build my garden room?
If you would like to know our next available installation date, please do give us a call on 01296 325777. Alternatively, please tell me your best contact number and we will contact you.
How secure are the doors & windows?
Our windows and doors are double-glazed to BS7412 specification and feature tough Pilkington K double-glazing which is both safe and thermally efficient. All windows and doors are fitted with high security (insurance grade) multi point locks and bolts with a 5-lever locking system.
How well insulated are your garden rooms?
U values:Glazing on Windows and Doors: 1.4 Walls: 0.31 Roof: 0.35 Floor: 0.23
I already have a concrete base in place, is this ok?
Yes; as long as the concrete slab is of the correct size, is free from cracks and is a minimum of 4” deep. If your pre-existing base is too high, the building will exceed 2.5m and require planning permission. Your site surveyor will be able to advise you on your base and if any work needs to be carried out.
I have a shed, do I need to get rid of it before I can have a site survey?
No, our surveyors can work around any sheds, decking, garages etc that may be in the way of where your building will go. We will just ask that you send a photo of the ground under the obstacle once you’ve moved it before your base installation.
I live in a conservation area, do I need planning permission?
If you live in a conservation area you would need to build behind the rear elevation of your house for the garden room to fall under permitted development. If your garden room falls within permitted development rights then you should not require planning permission.
I live in a flat, can I still have a survey?
Yes you can! However when it comes to booking a site survey at your flat or maisonette, we will require a refundable £200 deposit . Heres why: Please bear in mind that flats (including maisonettes) do not have permitted development rights, and as such you will be required to apply for planning permission. In order to apply for planning you will require CAD drawings. The £200 deposit will secure an installation date in our schedule that allows enough time for you to submit planning application. As a courtesy, we will supply you with CAD drawings at no extra cost, which is an integral part of your application process. In some circumstances, your planning may be denied and we will of course refund the £200 back to you. For more details on planning permissions for garden rooms and your property types see our general outlines on our Planning Permission page, or visit planningportal.co.uk
I live in an area with an Article 4 directive, can I have a garden room?
Yes! You will require Planning Permission in order to have a garden room on your property, but we can help with this! If you live in an area that has am Article 4 directive, this means that your local planning authority has removed Permitted Development rights for your area. If your property does not have Permitted Development rights then we can help you with your planning application for your garden room project.
My property or area has a restrictive covenant, can I still have a garden room?
Restrictive covenants set conditions in your property's contract or deeds to restrict certain actions, normally to preserve the aesthetics of an area. These can be for a limited time only and can apply to both new and old homes. Contact our sales team today to find out more about your particular circumstance if you have a restrictive covenant.
On average, what is the lead time for a site survey appointment?
Site survey lead times are typically two to three weeks but may take less time than this if we have a surveyor in your area.
On what days do you perform site surveys?
We can do Site Surveys Monday to Saturday during the day. If you would like to talk to us about booking one, please call us on 01296 325777.
What access do you need?
Our surveyors will assess the access to your property at the site survey. Our roof and floor panels come in solid one metre wide panels. A 3m deep building will typically have a panel which is 3-4m long, so we need to be able to walk this through your side access or house.
What are the exterior finish options for cladding?
As a standard our Green Retreats garden rooms are clad in Scandinavian Redwood, which is maintenance free. We also offer upgrades to a honey redwood, cedar and composite black cladding. Best of all, you’re able to configure your building to have different cladding on certain elevations.
What are the first steps?
If you are interested in one of our garden room buildings, contact us for a comprehensive brochure & pricelist, along with any additional queries you may have. A visit to our showroom in Buckinghamshire can help give you a better feel for our product and quality. We provide a free site survey service, allowing us to have comprehensive look at your location, land and access. During this meeting, you are provided with samples of the building, and together we can design the perfect garden room to suit your requirements.
What are the heights of your buildings?
Our buildings are built as standard at 2.5 metres externally. The fronts of our buildings are always the highest point of the garden room, allowing water to run from front to back into the rear guttering. Making the heights externally and internally:
|Ext. Height||Approx Int. Height Front||Approx Int. Height Back*|
|Extended height option||2.7m||2.4m||2.2m|
What are the next steps for me to order?
To order a building we simply require a £200 holding deposit to secure your installation date. Your £200 remains refundable until 6 weeks prior to your chosen base installation date. 6 weeks prior to your base installation date you pay 50% of the balance, which allows us to put your building into production. Upon build completion and sign off, we will require the remaining balance.
What are the U-values of your buildings?
Our garden room buildings are highly effective against heat loss. The thermal performance of a building is measured with a U-Value, with the lower the U-value the better the material is as a heat insulator. Our buildings have the following U-values: Glazing on Windows and Doors: 1.4 Walls: 0.31 Roof: 0.35 Floor: 0.23
What are your showroom opening hours?
The Green Retreats showroom is open 9am - 5pm during the week, 9am - 4pm on Saturday and 10am - 4pm on Sunday. You can drop in any time - no need to book an appointment. There will always be a friendly and knowledgeable member of staff on hand to help.
What comes as standard in a garden room by Green Retreats?
As standard all of our buildings are clad in maintenance free Scandinavian Redwood. Also included is a 2.3m French or sliding door set and an opening lozenge window. We also include a choice of four flooring options, three double plug sockets, a choice of internal lighting, an external light, 2-way consumer unit (fuse box) and oil filled radiator.
What groundwork is required before installation can begin?
We would require the ground to be cleared and level to within 200mm prior to the installation of your base.
What is the construction of your roofs?
Our roofs are exceptionally strong and, you’ll be delighted to learn, maintenance free. The composition of our roof is a 60mm - 95mm section of high density fire resistant insulation surrounded by 2 steel plates. All weather-exposed steel elements are coated in an epoxy resin to ensure 100% weather proofing and resistance to growth of organic materials. All interior steel panels are powder-coated in a soft-sheen white finish. The roof of every building is pitched with a slight 4 degree slope from front to back, allowing water to run-off easily to the rear guttering system and down-pipe.
What is the deposit to reserve my garden room installation date?
We require a £200 holding deposit to reserve your installation slot.
What is the finish of your walls? Do you offer plastering?
All of our buildings come as standard with a melamine finish, which is a UV stable, wipe clean, contemporary surface. However, we do offer plastering as an option, the cost of which will depend on your building size (please contact us for more details).
What is the kelvin of your LED panel light?
Our LED panel light is 4000k.
What is the largest building that you make?
We will build up to 30 square metres internally in many different dimension options.
What is the lifespan of a Green Retreats garden room?
Our garden room buildings are designed to last for over 30 years and come with a 10-year structural guarantee.
What is the smallest garden room that you can build?
The smallest building we offer in the Green Retreats range is a 2m x 2m Inspiration.
What is your flooring system like?
The floors of our garden rooms are engineered to sit off the ground, removing the risk of rising damp. Double steel backed 80mm polyurethane insulation is power coated on both sides for a maintenance free finish. For the finished interior product an underlay is fitted onto the steel and then your choice of flooring on top. Incredibly strong, the floors can comfortably hold a 220kg load capacity per square metre.
What maintenance is required on the wood cladding?
None! Our standard Scandinavian Redwood cladding is slow-grown and pressure treated, so will not require any maintenance. Over time the wood will start to silver off, however, if you want to change the colour then you can do so with a water based UV oil or wood stain.
What type of foundations do you offer?
We use a concrete pile foundation system with our garden rooms. This comprises of a series of piles in a grid system spanning your whole building. Our composite steel floor system is then laid on top of these. The concrete pile foundation system is included within the cost of your garden room.
What will happen at my site survey?
The surveyor will come to your house and usually start in the garden. They’ll look at the space you have available and tell you what size of building you can fit in your space. They’ll also assess the access and give you a quote for both electrical and network connection from your home to the garden room. The surveyor will also be able to show you samples of our building construction, complete a design consultation and answer any questions you have.
When do I pay my final balance?
We require the final balance once the building work has finished, and you have signed your garden room off as complete.
Where do you deliver to?
We deliver across the entirety of mainland UK. Delivery is FREE within 100 miles of our factory in Buckinghamshire (HP18 0XB). If you are outside of the 100-mile distance, then we will be able to quote for delivery.
Where is your showroom?
The Green Retreats garden room showroom is in Westcott, Buckinghamshire (HP18 0XB) and we are open 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday, 9am - 4pm on Saturday & 10am - 4pm on Sunday.
Will I be given a quote at my survey?
Our surveyor will be able to give you a price for both the building and the electrical/network connection at your survey. A complete price will be given with no ‘hidden extras’ at a later date.