Home: Gar­den stu­dios help many space-starved house­holds.

Flex­i­ble back­yard stu­dios are prov­ing a pop­u­lar choice for fam­i­lies look­ing to spread their wings, writes CHELSEA CLARK

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

We could all do with some ex­tra space. Whether it’s a home of­fice, chill-out zone for the kids (or par­ents), a mu­sic room, art stu­dio or just a pri­vate space away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the main house, some­times ac­com­mo­dat­ing these spa­ces in a ren­o­va­tion just isn’t pos­si­ble. En­ter the back­yard stu­dio. The rise and rise of the back­yard room tells the story of home­own­ers who love where they live and are fu­ture-proof­ing their homes rather than look­ing else­where for more space.

They might want to ex­pand their floor space with­out com­pro­mis­ing their main abode or just need some ex­tra multi-use stor­age space away from the house.

The con­cept of cre­at­ing ex­tra space in the back­yard isn’t new — granny flats have been around for years.

But with coun­cil per­mis­sions get­ting more com­pli­cated — and ex­pen­sive — many are now choos­ing to ac­com­mo­date adult chil­dren or el­derly par­ents in the house and in­stalling a pre­fab­ri­cated back­yard stu­dio to make ex­tra space for liv­ing or a home of­fice.

“Back­yard space is be­com­ing more pop­u­lar be­cause it is a great way to ex­pand a fam­ily’s liv­ing space,” says Tony Atkin­son from spe­cial­ist stu­dio builder In Out­side. “Of­ten an ex­tra room is needed in houses, espe­cially if a new baby ar­rives or an el­derly re­la­tion moves in.

“It tends to be the of­fice that has to go so putting that of­fice in its own ded­i­cated space in the back­yard ap­peals to many.”

More man­u­fac­tur­ers are now in the busi­ness of pre­fab back­yard stu­dios, so even if your out­door space is small, you may still be able to find the room to in­stall one. Aside from the ob­vi­ous chill-out zone or home of­fice, back­yard stu­dios are use­ful in a num­ber of sit­u­a­tions.

“From man caves, she-sheds and tra­di­tional work­shops to ever-pop­u­lar pool side ca­banas, the dif­fer­ent us­ages that we hear about from our clients are many and var­ied,” says John Ch­ester­field from the gar­den room com­pany Mel­wood.

How­ever the main use con­tin­ues to be a home of­fice.

Ja­son Fremder from Har­wyn, which man­u­fac­tures a range of ar­chi­tec­turally de­signed pre­fab pods, says cre­ative in­dus­tries espe­cially have a lot of peo­ple work­ing from home of­fices.

“Some of our clients are video edi­tors, mu­si­cians, lawyers, con­sul­tants, ac­coun­tants or de­sign pro­fes­sion­als,” he says.

As most pre­fab de­signs by these com­pa­nies are por­ta­ble, tak­ing your of­fice with you if you move house is sim­ple.

See: in­out­side.com.au; har­wyn.com.au; and mel­wood.com.au

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