What I'm working on at the moment...…Bi fold challenges
I love giving a few sneaky peaks on what's on my drawing board / screen at the moment, and its increasingly includes bi fold doors. Clients are getting in touch as they have extended into their garden, created an amazing inside open plan living and dining area, installed the bi fold doors, brought the inside in - and then find themselves stuck. What about the garden? I can see my garden now - How do I get into it now from my new beautiful space? Not sure it matches my new interior? Fuchsias, petunias and Crittall doors...…..not really a thing is it?
A selection of the common questions I get asked - shall we just put a few steps down in the middle? I don't want railings, how can I make my entrance to the garden safe? shall we just make it the terrace? - How much????
So here are my Top 5 tips to think about when you are planning to extend (and ultimately, modernise) your home.
Plan Early. Think about the garden at the planning and stage. Your garden is part of your home. I'm guessing that as you are going it see it more, that you will use it more. Planning any changes at this stage will in the long run will save you money, time and hassle.
Be honest. You are restyling your home - does your garden go? Don't know what to do - ask a garden designer, its what we are for. As an Architect is needed and helps you build the perfect internal space, a Garden designer (with many similar skills and training) does the same for your outside space. And yes, it does cost money.
Budget - if you don't plan, many people just run out of money. They over spend on the internal work (totally understandable) and find themselves with no money left, but still want the perfect garden. Be realistic please, Garden rescue isn't real life. Garden Designers are not miracle workers - nor are good landscapers. We both have to earn a living. Good design and workmanship costs - but it also adds to your life and ultimately your homes value. Look at your space and budget approx. £350 for the first 50m2, and then approx. £150m2 for the next 450m2. If you are lucky enough to have a garden bigger than this, approx. £50 per m2 for the rest.
Spread the work. You will find that Garden Designers are more than happy yo be part of a 2/3 year development. Better to spread the work and get what you want, than rush in, and find a few years later that you have to dig things up and make changes as you hadn't planned for the cabling for the lighting you want...
Tardis syndrome. Be realistic with your space and needs. If you have a small north facing courtyard garden then an outdoor kitchen, hot tub, play area, bar and dining terrace isn't just going to fit. Trust your designer. They will help and together, you'll produce the perfect outside "room" to enjoy for years to come.
My current project - a garden that connects the new extension to the garden and creates multiple usable spaces for all the family.