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A Studio for Your Garden

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 6 Mar 2010 | comments*Discuss
Studio Garden Garden Studio Studios

Putting a studio in a garden is an excellent idea if you have a hobby or even a craft-based business that needs to be in a separate room. For crafts that can be messy or smelly, like painting, pottery or dyeing clothes, a studio in the garden can not only give the space you need but improve the situation for the rest of the family as well.

Light and Glass

Most people's idea of a studio involves a building with a lot of light, and that's probably the biggest difference between a studio and say, a home office. Depending on the orientation of the garden and the available space you have for a garden building you can opt for large windows, rooflights, or a combination of both.

Think carefully about the direction that the light comes from though. If you put large windows on the south side of a studio you may find yourself looking into the glare of the sun for most of the summer. Consider small windows on the south side and larger ones on the east or west. You can achieve light from all directions using rooflights but make sure they have blinds so that you can control glare in the summer.

Heat and Insulation

Remember that every window or roof light that you put in will make the studio colder in winter as glass doesn’t insulate as well as walls. Most commercially available garden rooms or studios (as opposed to sheds) can be ordered with double-glazed windows and doors, which will help a great deal. The answer is to insulate the walls and roof as much as possible. Consider cladding the inside of the walls, particularly is the studio is being made by converting an old outbuilding that only has a single skin of brick or block. Note also that glass windows in summer will make your studio very hot too!

Get the Size Right

A studio should be large too. It would be really annoying to put up a garden studio and then discover that you can't make large pots, sculptures or paintings. You will also need enough storage space to keep all the paraphernalia associated with your work. It's worth thinking about double doors too. This will make it easier to get large items in and out and also enhance the enjoyment of working in the studio during the summer months.

You will almost certainly need to get an electrical supply and lights out to the studio and for some crafts a water supply too. If you have a tap and sink you will need to think about drainage too, although a small soakaway should suffice if you can't get easy access to the drains.

Final Points

There are a couple of points worth making about garden studios. The first is that many manufacturers or retailers will provide studios for use as music rooms. But a studio with a lot of glass won't be very soundproof and if you want to avoid annoying the neighbours, smaller windows and lots of insulation would be a better bet.

The second point is to be careful when browsing for garden studios. Some manufacturers are echoing the use of the word 'studio' by estate agents and property developers to indicate a very small property. So it's common for 'studio' to actually refer to the smallest garden building in a manufacturer's range, rather than useful building for arts and crafts.

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