Compare the cost of a Garden Living Annexe in your garden with a loft conversion or a single storey extension and you’ll find the former has simple planning requirements, happens more swiftly and brings financial benefits, says Richard Squire of Garden Affairs
Since 2020, families everywhere have been forced to consider the best way to arrange living space within homes due to several common considerations. Firstly, the rise in working from home has put pressure on the use of spare bedrooms and other living areas to be used as office spaces. Secondly, the number of adult children returning to live in the family due to a lack of financial resources and difficulty in finding rental properties is rising.
Richard Squire, founder of Garden Affairs says, “Rented properties are both expensive and scarce, leaving many young adults unable to leave home. For the older generation the prospect of moving in with family members offers security and companionship. “Furthermore, we see many families with parents who are selling the family home and taking the opportunity to reap the rewards of substantial gains over time and reinvesting those funds into a property with a larger garden, in which a mobile home can provide for multi-generational living without the need for both generations to share the same physical space.”
A standalone garden living annexe … can provide a very affordable and effective solution for generating extra living accommodation for family groups
A standalone Garden Living Annexe, legally known as a mobile home, can provide a very affordable and effective solution for generating extra living accommodation for family groups. There can be significant benefits too: potential savings on care costs for both the younger and older generation; and significant financial savings given the scope for efficient tax planning. One of the factors that most people are surprised to learn is that there is no need for complicated planning.
Jamie Wright, of Complete Building Regs Service says, “Because a mobile home is classed as ‘use of land’, rather than ‘developments’, all homes (including listed buildings and conservation areas), already have permission to site a mobile home, or caravan, as long as the use is directly connected to the main house – such as as an annexe for an elderly parent.
“A Lawful Development Certificate can be provided if the essential requirements are met; that the unit will be within the curtilage of the building; that it is constructed in the right way and that the use is connected to the main house”,
Financially, the cost of a mobile unit is most compelling compared to a traditional building extension, which has now become extremely cost prohibitive both in financial terms and in time.
There are practical considerations to take into account. Installing a prefabricated building in the garden is considerably faster and less disruptive than general building work within a residential home. All time and costs required for the build are highly predictable and there are rarely any surprises.
In addition, a Garden Living Annexe can increase the value of the house by more than its cost, if it is sold with the property. The annexe, as a mobile unit, may also be removed before a property is sold, if the owners wish to take it somewhere else. Garden Affairs can design and configure a bespoke mobile home to suit your needs. Visit their Trowbridge show site to sit down with a designer to start planning your new garden living annexe.