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The latest property news from in and around Henley

Time For a Man-Cave or She-Shed?

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It may or may not have anything to do with David Cameron’s £25,00 shepherd’s hut he bought to write his memoirs in earlier this year, but shed companies have reported 35% increases in sales in the South East in 2017.

Whether you’ve extended your home every other way you can or if moving simply isn’t an option, a garden room is a smart way to gain more floor space. Bear in mind that when you come to sell your home, the garden room space is included in the floorplans and the total square footage of the property. Estate agents estimate that a top spec garden room can add up to 25% to the value of the house, so as long as it’s well-built and attractive, you’ll see your money back – and potentially a lot more.

With so many people working flexibly and starting up their own businesses these days, the extra space a garden room provides can become an office, workshop or treatment room – somewhere vitally separate from the home but within shouting distance of the kitchen for those essential coffee breaks.

For growing families, the garden room can become a kids’ den, a parents’ retreat or a spare bedroom for visiting friends and family – or even a granny annexe. A simple structure in the garden can be made into a yoga studio or a she-shed (the alternative to the man-cave), a studio, music room or home gym.

And don’t panic – it needn’t cost £25k. But compared with the cost of loft extensions, side returns or stamp duty it would still be money well spent if you did go all-out. The former PM’s pimped-out shed has a traditional wood burning stove and sheep’s wool insulation, but you could go for conventional under floor heating if you fancied something special without quite the same price tag.

Chris Hodge of Shaackdelic.co.uk says: “you can be so much more creative with a garden room than with your house,” he says. “It’s a bit like building a posh den or Wendy house – my clients have asked for turrets, neon walls and space to hang a hammock.”

The good news is that garden buildings do not require planning permission unless you plan to use them as self-contained sleeping accommodation – or your home is listed. They can only be a single storey high and must not exceed 50 per cent of the total land around your home. If your garden room is less than 2 metres from the boundary of the property, the maximum overall height cannot exceed 2.5 metres from existing ground level. Go to planningportal.co.uk for more information.

If you’ve recently extended or added a multi-purpose shed at the end of your garden, we’d love to value your property. Call us today on 01491 411066

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