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Garden Rooms: How to Adapt Them for All Seasons?

Garden room with bed

It is not a secret that your own summer house is a great way to change the surrounding environment daily and get away from the routine, at least for a short time. The truth is, many people still enjoy this advantage only during the summer, and, when the colder weather comes, the wooden house is left empty until the next season. However, specialists engaged in the production of garden rooms emphasize that it is not necessary to give up on the advantages of your private summer house in winter. By providing quality insulation, wooden houses can become not only a good reason to escape to nature more often but also a great place for celebrations where you can accommodate a group of your loved ones easily.

Garden rooms: quality insulation

It is a well-known fact that wood, as a building material, has excellent insulating properties. This means that it not only retains sound well but also warmth. However, if the log cabin is used not only in summer but also in the winter season, these properties are insufficient to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the house. Garden rooms uk which are used all year round, like any other building, require professional insulation.

Which insulation material to choose?

Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to insulate a wooden house, but one of the most popular materials for insulation is considered to be foam polyester. According to experts of wooden houses, foam polyester is not an insulating material, which ensures the highest quality of works (due to the lack of polyester tightness), however, the simple work process becomes a great advantage. During the insulation process, special panels are attached directly to the walls from wood.

Another alternative for insulation is polyurethane, which is characterized by extremely high quality and high elasticity. It is a durable and long-lasting material that, due to its structure, has the lowest coefficient of thermal conductivity and adheres well to any surface. Stone wool with lower thermal conductivity is also often used in home insulation, but polyethylene film must also be used in addition (to absorb water vapor that is harmful to the wall).

In summary, garden rooms like any other type of house can be insulated with a variety of materials. It is important to emphasize that when choosing a material for the insulation you should pay attention to the coefficients of heat transfer U and thermal resistance R. The first will allow estimating the thermal insulation or the amount of heat that can penetrate through the insulating material – the lower the U-value, the less heat will penetrate. In terms of thermal resistance, the higher resistance – the warmer partition.

When choosing an insulating material for your summer house, it is also important to assure the chosen material is breathable, does not accumulate moisture, and is resistant to the growth of microorganisms.

What do you need to know before starting insulation works?

First of all, before planning the insulation works, it is worth knowing that wooden houses should not be insulated immediately after their construction. According to the manufacturers of wooden houses, garden rooms UK usually settle and slide a bit during the first years after building, so there is no need to rush with insulation works. Practice shows that in the first year the walls of a wooden house tend to settle 2-3% of the height of the wall (for example, if the wall of the house is 4.5 m high, its height decreases by about 10 cm). If the insulation work is started prematurely, glued polystyrene, foam, or other materials will probably be damaged (it means the insulation will have to be partially re-done later). If for some reason waiting is not an option, we suggest you have a consult with specialists of the field before starting your works.

Another, no less important recommendation of specialists is to perform insulation works from the outside. The insulation of the garden rooms from the inside is seen as non-practical – requires a lot of demolition works, could create a perfect ground for rodents and mold if works are not performed well.

Insulation of windows and doors

According to general statistics, the insulation of a wooden house depends on whether the doors and windows of the house are insulated properly. Therefore, to make a garden house suitable for living all year round, it is worth investing not only in its heating. 

First of all, when buying a garden room, experts recommend not to save on doors and windows. If you decide to renovate an old garden house while maintaining its authenticity and style, you can increase the warmth by installing thicker window glass. A good result will also be guaranteed if you apply a special sealant in the places where the glass is attached to the window’s frame, which usually increases the insulation of the window. If the cracks in the window are visible to the naked eye, you can seal them with cotton wool or various types of scraps.

Well-insulated garden rooms also have high door insulation properties. This is not just about the main exterior doors, but all the ones that connect the house with the colder rooms. The way of insulating such doors is to seal all the small cracks. If cold air enters the room through the bottom of the door, special insulation brushes can also be attached to it.

 Garden room with glass window and studio

Why is it necessary to insulate not only the walls?

To ensure high-quality insulation of the house, you should look at this topic broadly. The truth is, a really warm garden room is insulated in every single part – it does not make sense to insulate only walls and ensure high insulation of doors and windows if the cold constantly enters through the roof or floor.

Roof insulation

The roof that protects the garden house from external influences, such as precipitation, wind, or sun, also has a significant impact on the overall thermal insulation of the garden rooms. As practice shows, an unattended and uninsulated roof usually releases about 30% (sometimes more) of the heat from the house as heat rises, so finding a reliable insulation solution is especially important.

One of the most commonly used materials for high-quality insulation is mineral wool, which not only retains heat in a wooden house but also reduces the overall heat consumption of the house significantly. It is also worth mentioning that garden rooms uk insulated with mineral wool are considered to be an environmentally friendly solution, as this insulation material meets all the ecological standards – is not harmful to the environment. It is worth emphasizing that both glass mineral wool and stone wool belong to the same group of materials. The main difference between these materials, which are most often used for log cabins insulation, is the technology of production.

No less popular material for roof insulation is polyurethane that is considered to be the most efficient technology as the same result can be achieved with twice the thinner foam board (in comparison with rock wool). However, polyurethane material for roof insulation will cost more – its price depends directly on the density.

Floor insulation

To ensure maximum warmth and coziness in a wooden house, it is worth not forgetting the floor of your garden room. The cold floor can be described as one of the main problems in wooden houses, rarely solved by carpets. Therefore, to create exceptional coziness and pleasant warmth as well as be protected from moisture problems (mold, fungus, bacteria), plan the insulation of the wooden house floor during the period of construction.

It is worth mentioning that floors of garden rooms uk are usually insulated with materials such as stone wool or expanded polystyrene, which have a relatively good price-quality ratio. If you decide to insulate the floor of the summer house with polyurethane foam, you should pay the most attention to the fact that the new insulation layer should be supported on the wall by 10-15 cm at least. It allows avoiding cold bridges that often occur during floor insulation.

When considering whether polyurethane could be the most suitable material for your floor insulation, it is important to know that this material not only combines heat, waterproofing, and sound insulation. It is also homogeneous, so the floor does not require additional sealing. This material is also known as adherent to the insulating layer and its density ensures load resistance.

Another material that can be chosen for the insulation of the floor – stone wool. It has high insulating properties and hygroscopicity – can easily absorb a very little amount of moisture from the air (if the relative humidity is 90%, stone wool absorbs only 0.004%). When choosing stone wool for log cabin floor insulation, it is important to know that all the work should be done on a fairly smooth and dry surface. In terms of smaller bumps, stone wool boards adapt perfectly and fill them without any extra effort.

Heating system

In case you prefer to use garden rooms all year round, they must have an integrated and high-quality heating system. According to the experts, there is no single best way to heat a garden room, which would be recommended as the most suitable for all types of houses. The decision on the type of heating is usually determined by many factors, such as the type of construction and insulation of the house. 

Before deciding, it is worth considering how much time you plan to spend in your summer house during the cold season. For example, if you plan to visit the log cabin only occasionally, it is recommended to choose a system that ensures minimum heating needs without requiring large investments. Such a heating solution could be an electric heater with a power of 70-80 W/m² if the winter is not very cold and the house is properly insulated.

A fireplace can be one more effective solution to ensure a comfortable and cozy home warmth on less frequent visits. If you install an additional warmth distribution system in all rooms – you will warm the whole house quickly and inexpensively. The main disadvantage of this solution is that when the fire is gone, the rooms cool down quite quickly. So, in this case, the proper insulation of the building is necessary.

If you decide to invest more in heating and install an electric heating system, experts advise not to save on a thermostat, which helps to ensure maximum heating efficiency. Depending on the temperature recorded by the sensors, the heating will switch on or off automatically. This will not only make the heating system more efficient but will also save a lot of expenses.

Insulated water supply system

If you are interested in the topic of garden rooms uk insulation, it is not difficult to understand the importance of water system insulation. The truth is, the extreme cold during the winter affects not only the walls of the house but also the pipelines, which cannot withstand low temperatures. If summer houses are used all year round, the topic of proper insulation of the water supply pipes becomes even more important – it is the main reason you can use water in the house when the temperature drops below zero degrees.

It is important to emphasize that even the best layer of thermal insulation does not necessarily guarantee that the water system will be fully protected during the winter. Therefore, together with increasing the thermal insulation of water supply pipes, one more solution could be applied. Special cable for heating pipes is a very common choice for avoiding the problems related to pipes and ensuring the possibility to use water in the garden room all year round. The special cable has extremely low power consumption and ensures excellent results. It is also important to mention that the using process is especially simple – it does not require special knowledge, and the temperature in the pipes is regulated itself.