Grand designs for garden renovation? Find out the best things to consider when planning your ‘outside room’.

They say that an Englishman’s home is their castle, but what about their grounds? The garden has quickly become one of our nation’s favourite home renovation projects, so where can you begin to plan the perfect natural space? Read on to see how you can develop the ‘outside room’ of your house.

Think of your garden as the ‘outside room’

Just as you would inside, thinking of your outside space as an extra room of your house and creating zones that have clear uses can be an incredible tool when planning your garden as an extension of your home renovation. As with open plan properties, clear zoning is an effective method for successful developments.

How will you use your garden?

What do you plan to use your outside places for? Perhaps you’ve dreamed of using your garden as a sun-drenched dining room, or an exciting green space for children to play? We can help you to de-sign and execute your perfect natural sanctuary, but there are some things to first consider:

A good place to start is always at the beginning – with the sunrise. How does light travel through your garden across the day? Remember that the sun is lower in the winter and this may restrict where natural light falls in some areas on the shorter mid-winter days. Will this affect how you want to use your garden and what time of the year your plans are best suited for?

The second thing to consider is how any hedges, trees, buildings and boundaries can cast shade or create barriers to your outdoor space. Being aware of this can help identify the best locations for sheltered and sunny corners, optimising the periods in which you can relax outdoors. This can be a real treat on those chance sunny days that may be early or late in the season.

Be aware of your outside privacy and boundaries

if you have pets, children or grandchildren, your garden will need to be safe and secure. This creates an opportunity for soft hedging or screening using trellis and climbing plants, that can be both beautiful and practical. Think of your garden boundaries as part of your home: functional, but also a great canvas for your desired decoration.

Depending on sunlight and the condition of your soil, you could even think about interesting boundary planting, such as something that flowers, smells divine or blooms long into the winter? Fruit-bearing plants are also a popular choice that can provide a delicious benefit.

Another simple project you can try is painting fences and trellis. There is a wide range of specialist products available to help you apply a fresh, splash of colour to your garden structures. Try combining this with a selection of climbing plants for a real treat. Need inspiration? Try Cuprinol to find your perfect garden theme.

Make the outdoors fun for kids

If you are lucky enough to have the space for a garden play area, then why not maximise the fun? Chose a corner with natural shelter and shade. If this area is somewhere that has previously been difficult for plants to grow in, all the better. Is the grass patchy? Then maybe consider using play bark as a safe and natural flooring. With new possibilities appearing, perhaps you can even see the perfect spot for an arts and crafts table, or a lazy day reading nook.

How can you make those outside evenings even cosier?

There’s a rustic, inviting quality that we love about internal wood burners and open fires (if safely monitored). What better way to enjoy a cosy evening outside than with a heated seating area? A carefully and well considered fire-pit that’s away from any trees or vegetation will extend your evening enjoyment and provide a focal point for conversation. You can find some ideas on the best option for you by visiting  Which and navigating to their ‘best fire pit’ section. It could be the perfect accompaniment to an otherwise chilly sunset!

Go bigger than a BBQ

There’s nothing quite like open air cooking. Whether you want to toast marshmallows or prepare a sophisticated feast, the fact is that many of us love to cook and eat outdoors. Could you benefit from an upgrade from your trusty barbeque to an outdoor kitchen development that could elevate your dining experience? If this sounds like your dream addition, get in touch – we would love to help you grow your own, perfect garden renovation at home.

 Our expert builders at A. Mann Building Contractors are here to discuss your building project in Kent and Sussex. Please call us on T: 0330 128 1021 or email: