How to Build a Garden Room in 11 Steps

A garden shed in the middle of a grassy area.

Most homeowners savor the beauty of garden rooms because you can turn them into whatever you like.

If you choose to build a garden room, you can use it as a:

  • Yoga shrine
  • Kid’s play zone
  • Outdoor office
  • Relaxing area, etc.

Yes, anything you like! It can also be the perfect summer room when indoor temperatures are unforgiving.

But where do you begin with this kind of project? Which materials do you need and what are the steps to build one?

What is a garden room?

As the name suggests, it is a shade homeowners build in the garden or yard to serve multiple recreational purposes. It is also known as a sunroom or summer room and usually stands separate from the main house.

Most garden rooms are made of wood, and a blend of natural materials that match with the floral environments these structures stand on.

Many homeowners add large windows to have an excellent view of the surrounding environments. Also, most of them have an open layout structure and hardly go beyond two rooms.

Homeowners furnish their sunrooms with windows, doors, furniture, and matching flooring materials to achieve unique designs based on their preferences.

Lastly, while some states require building permits for this kind of structure, others may not, as is a standard for most structures under 2.5 m tall.

Tools & Materials to Build a Garden Room

Though tools and materials may vary by project, below are some primary requirements to construct a sunroom:

  • A carpenter’s toolbox
  • Screws and bolts
  • Windows
  • Vapor barriers
  • Digging equipment
  • Window panes
  • Timber
  • Concrete blocks
  • Insulation material
  • Plasterboards
  • Door
  • Electrical/wiring material
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Always feel free to consider other materials after discussing with your contractor or an expert (if you are doing it alone)

How to Build a Garden Room

For such projects, you can go DIY or hire a contractor to build a custom sunroom. Still, if you choose to do it alone, it’s best to work alongside an experienced handyperson.

Follow these steps to construct a sunroom:

1. Check Your Building Permit

It’s important to check your state’s laws regarding the building permission. Different states may have different rules. Many times, whether or not you need a permit depends on the size and height of the structure.

Nevertheless, always confirm permit matters before choosing a design.

2. Choose a design

Once you’ve understood the building permit needs for your project and done all due diligence, it’s okay to choose a preferred design. Compare various designs and discuss these with your contractor to make an informed decision.

3. Build a foundation

A solid foundation ensures your structure stands on firm ground. When building a foundation:

  • Remove any unwanted plants and roots
  • Level the ground
  • Choose the material, i.e., slabs, concrete blocks, pillars or rafts,
  • Dig out the structure’s footings
  • Fill the footings with gravel
  • Level all the blocks to achieve a flat surface

Lastly, add some concrete on top to secure the slabs, blocks, or rafts in place.

Build a Garden Room - floor
Build a Garden Room – floor

5. Add a floor frame to the floor and place insulation material

Place beams on top of the concrete and secure these with metal straps to achieve a solid structure. After building a rigid floor frame, add insulators all over the floor.

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You can also place a vapor absorber on top or use foam insulation to keep your floors dry throughout.

6. Erect the wall frames

The next step is to erect wall frames. For this process, start by adding frames on the three sides (the two adjacent sides and the back) of the house and fasten these accordingly.

Before installing frames for the front wall, decide on the door/window placements and find a way to build these into the design.

Build a Garden Room
Build a Garden Room

7. Install the roofing frame

After you have erected solid wall frames, proceed to the roofing process. First, build a rigid roofing frame using timber or metal to support your roof.

You can also proceed to finish the roof by adding moisture protection and cover with preferred roofing material.

8. Fix the doors and windows

After you have achieved a perfect frame for your garden house, build all the windows and doors into their frames.

Your design should indicate the number of doors and windows to include and where to place them.

9. Add claddings to the wall

Before adding any insulators, place claddings around the structure. Also, ensure the claddings cover the entire length of the building, from the foundation to the roof.

10. Proceed to electrical wiring, add internet cables, etc.

Today’s structures are not complete without these basic amenities. Complete the electrical wiring, add sockets, internet cables, and any other infrastructure you’ll need before insulating the building.

11. Insulate the garden room

Next, insulate the walls just like you did to the floor. You can also insulate your garden room’s ceiling.

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Before adding insulation, remember to add a moisture protector. Or, if you like, use an insulation material with vapor absorption properties.

12. Finish the walls and floors

Lastly, you can finish the walls and floor. For walls, use plasterboard and then paint to a preferred shade or palette.

To finish your flooring, add readily available material, like laminate, on top of the vapor barrier or foam insulator you placed earlier.

Final Words on How to Build a Garden Room

Before embarking on a sunroom project, share your idea with an expert contractor or home makeover artist. These experts will help you make an informed decision and avoid costly mistakes that may hamper your project.

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