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5 Things to Consider Before Building an Outdoor Room Back to Blog

5 Things to Consider Before Building an Outdoor Room

No matter how large your home is, it always seems as if there just isn’t enough space for all the things you’ve gathered over the years and there is always that one room that is too congested to move about in. Whether you are being cramped out of your family room or there is one too many kids for comfort in the number of bedrooms you have available, there is always a need for that extra bit of space that would really make life easier. You may be toying with the idea of building an outdoor room and if so, here are five things to consider before building that extra living space.

1. Purpose of the Room

Before you go any further, you need to consider the purpose of the room. Every other consideration is inextricably linked to the purpose of the room. For example, you have four kids all under the age of 13 and they have outgrown their space in just 2 bedrooms. Much of what you do next depends on the fact that all are young with the oldest being only 13 come his next birthday.

2. Attached or Separate

Since the oldest will probably get that extra room, you may want to consider building a room that is attached to the house. Safety is going to be an issue and if you add a detached garden building to function as a bedroom, for example, there will probably not be an adult in close enough range if a problem should arise.

3. Building Permits

Whether you decide to do a DIY project or hire professional contractors to build your outdoor room, you will most likely need a building permit. This is especially true if you plan to wire it for electricity or to be protected by your home’s security system. The law is pretty strict about enforcing permit violations; If a friend or neighbour should tell you don’t need a permit, don’t listen! Most of the time you do, so plan on applying for one as soon as you’ve finalised your plans for the outdoor room.

4. Licenced Contractors Required by Law

Some types of DIY work you can do safely without the need for a contractor but other types of work, most often electrical work, can be dangerous left in the hands of a layperson. Know which parts of the building you can do yourself within the confines of the law and which aspects you will need a licenced contractor for.

5. Lighting

Lighting is important for your outdoor room to ensure that you will get most use all year round. A few questions to consider include:

What type of lighting will you need for the space?

Do you need overhead or ambient lighting?

How will you be connecting power to the outdoor room?

For outdoor lighting ideas take a look at GKT’s gallery or this gallery from SLG.

6. How Much Will It Cost?

If you are still bent on doing the work yourself, or at least a part of it, cost will probably be a consideration. This is why many people want a Do-It- Yourself project but since some parts of the building you won’t be able to do, why not do what you can in order to save money and leave those bits that require a licenced professional to the experts?

Most families do eventually need that extra bit of space so consider what you want to do with it, find out if you need planning permission and then go about deciding if cost is an issue. If not, hire a pro but if you need to keep costs low, do some of the labour yourself and use the experts where you need them. One final tip is to always leave electrical wiring to those who have been fully trained and licenced – one wrong move and your dream room could all go up in smoke.

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