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Timber Garden Rooms V Traditional Extensions

When homeowners are looking for more space, they often consider moving or extending their current home. However, these are both potentially costly and time consuming options. There is a third option that is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, and that is installing a timber garden room. 

The right solution will be different for everyone, and it is usually a matter of weighing up requirements and particular circumstances. Here a look at the pros and cons of a traditional bricks and mortar extension versus a contemporary garden building.

The cost

A timber garden cabin will typically be more cost effective than a traditional extension to your home. This is because an extension to your home will need to be individually planned and designed, and must also meet building regulations. The materials involved will generally be more expensive and require more transportation and labour to construct.

In contrast, timber buildings can be partially constructed off-site, meaning that the installation process is faster and requires less labour and transportation. They also require less preparatory groundworks. Timber is an affordable material and garden buildings are often constructed to standard formats, reducing the costs involved considerably.  


Timber is a sustainable material when responsibly sourced, and a garden room will have a much lower embodied carbon footprint than a bricks and mortar extension. 

Construction time

A traditional extension will usually take at least six months to complete, when you take into account the planning and design phases. There will usually be excavation and foundations to lay, which can be noisy and disruptive to both your household and the neighbours. 

The structural work of bricklaying and roofing is also a great deal more time consuming than constructing a timber garden room. Furthermore, in some cases planning permission and compliance with other regulations may be required, which can be bureaucratic and time consuming. 

Furthermore, the construction process can be delayed due to delays in the delivery or availability of materials, shortages of labour, or bad weather conditions. 

A timber building will usually not need planning permission, and unless you plan to use it for overnight accommodation, it will not need to comply with building regulations. This means that it is a much more straightforward process that will not require specialist engineer’s drawings or to be signed off by a building inspector.

A timber building can be installed in a matter of days. With minimal noise, mess and disruption.

Impact on the property

A traditional extension will alter the footprint of the property in a permanent way. Even if the extension is approved by planners, the character of the building will be changed and it may be difficult to achieve a harmonious blend of the old and new. 

In contrast, a timber garden building does not alter the footprint of the existing property and easily blends in with its surroundings. The building can be an asset that can add value to your home, while taking up less of the existing outdoor space and being less of an intrusion on the existing structure.

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