Garden Room Location: 4 Tips for Energy Efficiency and Plant Health

The pandemic has caused a global increase in home gardening activities due to food security concerns. People have been buying more seeds, studying home food production, and dedicating spaces for gardening in their houses. 

Some people have invested in garden rooms. By making this home addition, it allows you to grow your own food, as well as increase your property value. 

Interested in building a luxury garden room? There are many factors to consider to help assure the health of the plants and crops grown inside the structure. Below are some things to account for when planning the location of your garden room.

 1. Lighting 

Lighting is the most important factor to consider in your garden room. You want a south-facing garden so plants receive as much sunlight as possible. The sun rises in the east, so the south side of any house will see the most hours of sunlight in the day, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Having plenty of sunlight streaming into the room allows you to grow a bigger range of plants and flowers. Even if you’re not planning to use the room for gardening, the abundance of natural light allows you to use the room during the daytime without the need for artificial lighting. This helps reduce your energy consumption and expenses. 

Make sure to position your windows and doors strategically to let in the sunlight. You can install window treatments to control the amount of light and heat that the garden room receives. Blinds and shades are helpful if you’re planning to grow plants that don’t like a lot of sunlight.

 2. Size 

The size of your garden room depends on your budget, required internal space, available space, and building control constraints. First, check with your city’s building code ordinances if you need a building permit for a detached accessory structure. Find out if there is a size limit or any other restriction you should know about before proceeding with the construction. 

Second, measure the amount of space you have. You can build a garden room anywhere on your property, as long as the land is flat and dry. Most homeowners prefer to have their garden room in the backyard to give it some privacy. But there are also garden room designs that would work for your front yard if your house is set far back. 

Third, you want to consider your budget, not just for the construction, but for maintenance costs as well. The larger the garden room, the more expensive it will be to operate since you’ll need more water and resources. Explore various garden room designs to configure a solution that suits your available space, internal usage needs, and estimated budget. 

plants

3. Privacy 

You don’t want neighbors peeking into your garden room, especially if you’re planning to convert it into a home office or gym. 

There are multiple ways to increase the privacy of your garden room. You can install blinds or shutters, plant trees outside the room, or position the windows away from the neighbors’ property. Find a spot on your property that provides the most privacy. 

4. Proximity to Facilities 

You want your garden room to be near your garden shed, especially if it’s small and doesn’t have enough storage room. The proximity makes it easier and more convenient for you to do your gardening tasks. 

If you want to convert your garden room into a sitting room or meeting area, you also want it to be near facilities like the lavatory. It’s also a good idea to have the garden room close to the kitchen, so you can easily serve refreshments to your guests and clients. 

Planning the location and position of your garden room can be complicated, especially when you consider the plumbing and electrical work. It’s best to get the guidance of a professional greenhouse builder to ensure maximum plant health and energy efficiency. 

Luxury Garden Room Builder in Minneapolis 

As expert greenhouse architects, Conservatory Craftsmen brings functional and comfortable garden rooms and greenhouses that capture your vision. We build residential structures that allow you to enjoy the lifestyle you want. Combining high-quality materials with advanced technology, our designs balance function, aesthetics, and energy efficiency. 

Get in touch with us today to discuss your garden room vision.

Work-At-Home Idea: Set Up Your Office in Your Garden Room

The uncertainties and difficulties brought on by the pandemic continue to bring stress to so many people. A lot has changed since COVID-19 spread around the world, from the way we dress (wearing masks is now considered part of dressing etiquette) to the way we socialize (face-timing instead of meeting up with friends in bars after work).

One of the biggest changes we’ve had to do is to shift from working at the office to working from home. This has become the new norm for people working in corporate setups, BPOs, and other industries that are mostly Internet-based. Rather than put workers’ health at risk by requiring them to come to the office, employers allow their employees to work from the comfort and safety of their homes.

The Problem with Working from Home

Working from home is convenient and necessary, but it also has some disadvantages. Some of them, ironically, are health-related.

Staying cooped up in your bedroom or indoor office — tucked in the deepest, quietest part of the house — all day, all week can be detrimental to your health.

  • There are days when you don’t get direct sunlight at all.
  • You breathe in stale, recycled, indoor air all the time.
  • The isolation is making you sad, depressed, worried, and anxious.
  • Your eyes are strained from spending many consecutive hours staring at the computer screen.
  • Work and relaxation hours merge, leading to mental, emotional, and physical fatigue.

These are varied issues that cannot all be solved with one solution. However, we can offer a way to alleviate some problems while giving a solid answer for specific issues, and that is to use a garden room as an office.

Got a Garden Room? Turn It into Your Office.

The purpose of garden rooms is to bring you closer to nature or to bring nature into your home. This is why when we design garden rooms, we develop an enclosed structure that matches the architecture of the property. Our garden rooms have glass walls and roofs and special features (e.g., heating and cooling, automatic watering systems) that create an environment conducive to plant growth. You can, therefore, have a conventional greenhouse or a fully-functional sitting room filled with flowering shrubs and potted greenery — the perfect garden room office. 

Working Amidst Nature: A Healthy Way to Cope with Remote Work Stress

A widely cited study was conducted about the impact of indoor plants on the health of office workers. The two-year experiment involved 60 office workers, who were later observed to have symptoms like headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, cough, eye irritation, stuffy nose, and skin problems.

The researchers placed plants all over the workspaces of half the subjects: small plants on window sills and large plants on the floors near desks. They then switched the arrangements after a year, removing the plants from the first group’s area and transferring them to the second group’s workspaces.

The researchers then compared the symptoms the two groups manifested when the plants were present and when the plants were removed from their workspaces.

The results showed that office workers experienced less of all the symptoms above when they were surrounded by plants. Cough symptoms had the highest reduction (by 37%), followed by fatigue (30%) and dry throat (25%).

This study provided evidence that working amidst nature, or at least having plants near your workplace, can vastly improve your working conditions health-wise. Many recent studies also reinforced these findings:

An Investment for Your Health and Well-Being

If you’ve been contemplating adding a garden room to your home, whether attached or a standalone in your property, now is the best time to make it happen. The COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to die down soon, so you can look forward to more months (or years) of working from home. It will benefit you to have the option to work surrounded by nature and still enjoy the comforts of a formal office.

Talk to our designers at Conservative Craftsmen, and let’s make your ideas for a garden room come to life.

The Best Styles for a Garden Room that Suits You

Garden rooms are luxurious focal points, a beautiful space that promotes relaxation. The design of this retreat will not just improve the aesthetics of your home; it can also contribute to the quality of your time spent there.

Planning the design of your garden room requires time and thorough planning. There are many factors: colors, windows, roofing materials, and doors. Plus, how do you plan to use it? Will your garden room double as an entertainment spot?

If you’re still uncertain about what you want, brainstorm for style ideas or consider the following suggestions.

First Consider Colors

Express your style with colors on the walls. Or choose to pull in color through the flooring, the furniture or the accessories in your garden room.

White is a fresh and airy indoor color choice, whether it’s the paint you choose for the walls or the entire color scheme of your furniture. White gives any room a light and open feel, as well as makes the space look and feel bigger.

If you want a more natural-looking garden room, paint your walls with warmer hues so that it enhances the natural color of any timber.

Go Country Traditional

This theme is ideal for a dining set-up, especially if you use a traditional wooden table and chairs and complement the room with flowers. The country style adds a rustic charm to any room. Enhance the comfort of your garden room by adding soft and cozy sofas wherein guests can lounge. With a country-style room, you may enjoy warm summer evenings or the occasional BBQ party with loved ones.

Try Minimalistic Modern

If you’re after a clean look, go minimalistic. Create a stylish and modern space with minimalistic furniture, bold prints, and clean, bright lines. A quick trip to your local furniture store will provide the inspiration you need for furniture in muted colors.

Once you’ve selected the muted shades for your furniture pieces, add splashes of color with ornaments, cushions, and artwork that can brighten up your garden room.

Check out Shabby Chic

This design is ideal for smaller and cozy extension spaces of your garden. A white interior can give your garden a chic look. Mix and match furnishings with painted, stained, and distressed finishes. Add some frilly lace curtains, reclaimed garden furniture, and floral cushions. You’ll enjoy the comfortable décor in this design approach.

Consider Sports Bar

Garden rooms can also serve as a restful man cave for the men of the house. With walls painted in the color of your choice and the room decked with sports memorabilia, you can transform your garden house into the go-to place for sports enthusiasts such as yourself. Complete your sports bar-themed garden room with a mini-fridge and a wide-screen TV — aka THE essentials for every big game.

Transform the Look of Your Garden Room

A few alterations transform any garden room into your garden retreat. Drape fairy lights around the room, change the color of the blinds, or explore different color schemes — you can do anything to inject your personality into the room’s interior.   

Here at Conservatory Craftsmen, we believe your garden room can be anything. Whatever you wish your garden room to be, our expert designers and craftsmen can build it for you. Your imagination is the only limit.

Achieve your dream garden room with Conservatory Craftsmen. Talk to us today or view our featured projects to see what we can do.

Window Treatments for Greenhouses: Are They Worth It?

Greenhouses rely on their structure to get the appropriate amount of sunlight, humidity, and other growing conditions for the plants. With the right design and material, a greenhouse should control how much of these external elements penetrate the building.

But even double-paned greenhouse windows may not be enough to withstand the changing seasons and fluctuating temperatures. This is why many homeowners invest in greenhouse window shade covers, blinds, and other treatments.

Before we go into how window treatments improve the energy efficiency of your greenhouse, it’s important to understand how these structures lose, gain, and transfer heat in the first place.

Greenhouse Design and Energy Efficiency

The type of greenhouse you have can make it more difficult for you to control the temperature inside the structure and your home. For example, a lean-to greenhouse, or one that’s attached to your house, leaches and transfers heat to the adjacent structure. Compared to a freestanding greenhouse, it’s more energy efficient when it comes to heating.

However, a lean-to greenhouse encounters one problem: shadowing. The house casts a shadow over the structure, which leads to reduction of sunlight. This is why most greenhouses of this design are set up on the south-facing side of the building.

Regardless of the design of your greenhouse, the entire structure remains susceptible to sharp drops and rises in temperature. The sun shifts throughout the day as well, exposing some parts of the garden to sunlight more than the other areas.

This is where window treatments come in. Shades, covers, blinds, curtains, and film reduce heat absorbed by the greenhouse by blocking a percentage of the sun’s rays.

Greenhouse Window Treatments

You have several options when it comes to window treatments. They vary in application, purpose, and price. Evaluate your needs first before making a decision (and we’re happy to help answer any questions).

Curtains

The main function of greenhouse curtains is shading and energy savings. They affect light, temperature, humidity, and airflow, offering excellent climate control. Some curtains have light diffusion screens, which helps scatter sunlight more evenly through the greenhouse.

Shade Cover

This window treatment should be thick enough to prevent dehydration, but not too much that it slows down the growth of your plants. The shade cover you choose will depend on the type of plants you have. Sun-loving plants may need a thinner cover, whereas sensitive ones may require a stronger shade.

Whether you’ll place the shade inside or outside the greenhouse also depends on your type of plants. Shading on the outside offers better temperature reduction, but it exposes the window treatment to more abuse from external conditions.

Blinds

Blinds are the most aesthetically appealing among the three, although they’re pricier as well. The advantage of greenhouse blinds is their retractability. You can roll them up or down depending on the day’s weather. Greenhouse blinds are also the most durable since they’re made of hard-wearing materials, such as wood or plastic. Automated blinds are also available, so you won’t have to roll them up or down manually.

When assessing what type of window treatment to buy for your greenhouse, keep the needs of your garden in mind. Don’t forget to consider the position and design of your structure to ensure effective protection from excessive sunlight.

We are here as expert greenhouse architects to help you figure out what’s best for your situation. Unlike many US companies, we specialize in covering roof glass and slope-glazing – we know what we’re doing, and we have decades of experience that help us understand the best practices for glass coverings.

Luxury Greenhouse Builder in Minneapolis

Conservatory Craftsmen builds greenhouses, garden rooms, and other residential structures that allow you to enjoy the lifestyle you want. Using advanced technology, our greenhouses offer maximum energy efficiency balanced with aesthetically appealing exteriors.

Email us today to learn about our services and products.

Alternative Gardening Techniques for Garden Rooms

Garden rooms are a versatile addition to your living space, whether it’s attached to your house or a stand-alone structure in your back yard. It can serve as a sunroom, personalized home office, studio, den, or lounging area. Not only do garden rooms create more living space and functional square footage to your residence, but it can also increase your home’s market value.

A garden room need not be a plain enclosed space with potted and hanging plants. It can be a showcase of exotic flora and an alternative gardening technique, such as hydroponics. Let’s discuss this novel method of gardening that you can apply in your garden room.

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a centuries-old technique of gardening that entails growing plants in a pH-adjusted mineral nutrient solution instead of soil. The word itself is a combination of the Greek words for water (hydro) and labor (pono). The literal meaning of hydroponics is “working water.”  This technique was used by the historic Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and other areas where there’s little or no arable land or space. For those benefits alone, hydroponics can be a worthy option for your garden room designs.

Types of Hydroponics

There are six basic types of hydroponics, and hydroponic systems are usually variations or combinations of these types. 

1. Wick System

This hydroponic method is one of the simplest. It is mainly composed of a nutrient solution drawn into the growing medium from a reservoir with a wick. Instead of soil, popular choices for the growing medium are vermiculite, perlite, pro-mix, and coconut fiber.

2. Water Culture

The water culture hydroponic system is also called the “deep water” hydroponics. This method consists of a styrofoam platform that holds the plants, which floats directly on a nutrient solution. An aquarium air pump is used to supply air to an airstone that’s submerged in the solution, which in turn gives oxygen to the plant roots.  This method is best for water-loving plants like leaf lettuce.

3. Drip Systems

In a drip system, drip emitters are used to supply the nutrient solution to plants in containers with inert media like peat, perlite, coir, or grow stones. The containers are placed on the floor with gutters to collect the solution that flows through the containers, or collected in a reservoir for reuse.

4. The Kratky Method

This type of hydroponics is similar to the water culture method but is even simpler. The Kratky method consists of growing the plants in large containers or buckets, with their supporting structure fixed to the top of the container instead of floating. As the nutrient solution is consumed, the plant roots are gradually exposed to the air, supplying them with oxygen. The nutrient solution is placed at a level where only the bottom portion of the roots are submerged.

5. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

In this technique, water is pumped from the solution reservoir and through shallow channels. Plants in pots or blocks of inert media are placed in these channels, with a drain at the end. The plant roots aren’t submerged in water but grown within a thin film of nutrient solution that flows continuously through the entire system.

6. Aeroponics

Aeroponics is the most complex and technology-dependent type of hydroponics. This method consists of freely hanging the plants in a chamber without any media. The roots are misted periodically with water and a nutrient solution by automated pressurized nozzles.

Hydroponics can be an efficient method of growing flowers, plants, herbs and vegetables in your garden room year-round. When deciding on which type of hydroponics, consider your budget and the time and effort you’re willing to put into its maintenance. Contact us to know more.

Summer Greens: Edible Plants to Grow in Your Garden Room

Summer is here, and with it comes the opportunity to surround yourself with gorgeous plants – an act that can boost your mood and reduce depression and obesity. You don’t have to be outdoors to do this, either; with garden rooms, you can bring the beauty of greenery inside your home.

Garden rooms are ideal for growing edible plants, as these rooms provide the right conditions and the right amount of light indoors. You can grow almost anything in a garden room, but for summer, it’s better to tend to plants that can sustain the heat.   

Leafy Green Vegetables

It can be difficult to make the perfect home-grown salad when you have the juiciest tomatoes but dried up lettuce and spinach. Luckily, there are other leafy greens that can withstand the summer heat. Plants such as Chinese spinach, rhubarb chard, Malabar spinach, and sweet potato greens can be great substitutes for lettuce, spinach, and other salad greens. These plants can grow much faster in a garden room, where climate conditions are controlled.  

Strawberries

Fresh summer strawberries are among the most popular, most nutritious and refreshing fruits in the world – and you can easily grow them in your garden room. This plant loves well-lit, warm places, and are happy to grow in jars and hanging baskets. No matter where you plant them, strawberry plants can flourish as long as they are taken care of properly.

Parsley

Parsley is a popular herb that’s used in salads, sauces, and soups. It also often used as a garnish. Rich in vitamins A and C, as well as iron, this herb tastes good and is good for you. Parsley grows best in a cool and sunny area, planted in loamy soil with good drainage. It does well when planted in a container.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are fruits that require proper planting so that they can provide a plentiful harvest throughout the summer. They aren’t the easiest plant to grow, but they are one of the most popular.

Tomato plants need strong, direct light, so make sure you place them in the sunniest part of your garden room. Make sure that you plant them deeply in a big pot that you’ve filled with good quality soil. In the heat of the summer, you will have to water your tomato plants twice a day – the goal, though, is to keep the soil moist and not too wet.  

Eggplants

Eggplants are delicious, versatile vegetables that grow well in large containers. In order for eggplants to thrive and grow properly, you need to place them somewhere with full sun and good air circulation. You also need to keep their soil evenly moist so make sure that you provide enough moisture.

These are just some edible plants that can thrive in your garden room. If you don’t have a garden room to house your indoor plants and are looking to build one, turn to Conservatory Craftsmen. We can both design and build the luxury garden room of your dreams. Simply get in touch with us by giving us a call at 612-281-4985 or 888-345-7915.

Greenhouse Gardening: Top 3 Reasons You Should Try It

Gardening can be a rewarding activity, whether or not you have a green thumb. Cultivating and growing plants offers benefits to your physical and mental health. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, and lower blood pressure, among others.

With a greenhouse, you can enjoy this activity even further because you can do it year round. This is especially true of structures that feature smart technologies. Some greenhouses, for example, come with automated window shades and blinds, which let you control the amount of sunlight that enters the transparent structure.

Access Fresh Produce All Year

A greenhouse garden gives you access to fresh produce at any time. Since you grow your own plants, you’re sure that they are safe and have fewer pesticide residues. Organically produced crops can contain more nutrients, like vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus compared with conventionally produced products.

Additionally, having access to fresh food is a major cost-saver. You don’t have to buy ingredients that you can easily grow, such as tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, or herbs. You can also plant several herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of your dishes. The herbs you can grow indoors include:

  • Basil
  • Bay
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Pest Invasion and Extreme Weather

One of the challenges in gardening is dealing with pests. They can cause severe damage to your plants and ruin your garden. The most common pests you might encounter are the following:

  • Aphids – they suck out sap from plant tissues.
  • Cutworms – one-inch moth larvae that usually attack the stems of plants.
  • Slugs – they eat any garden plant mostly at night.
  • Scales – they can turn foliage to yellow, and drop off as well as suck plant sap and weaken plants.
  • Spider mites -they destroy a plant’s vitality by turning yellow, brown, or gray until they drop off.
  • Japanese beetles – these insects skeletonize leaves and eat the flowers.
  • Whiteflies – these insects weaken plant growth. They also leave honeydew that causes fungal disease on leaves.
  • Squash bugs – these pests are usually present in squash and pumpkins where they suck juices and wilt plants.
  • Squash vine borers – these feed on stems, causing plants to wilt and eventually die.
  • Tomato Hornworm – they eat the leaves of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes.

Each pest has different effects on plants. They have various ways of attacking, as well. That’s why the method of elimination may vary based on their characteristics. Preventive measures, however, will allow you to keep them out of your greenhouse.

In addition to pests, extreme weather can also affect the health of your plants. Some plants may thrive in cool weather while others require more sunlight than most plants. And then some plants can’t survive a cold temperature. It’s critical to learn which plants have a high tolerance for extreme weather patterns. In doing so, you’ll be able to provide each one with adequate care.

And the best way to ensure that your plants receive the right temperature levels at the right time is to build a smart greenhouse.

Protect Your Plants with a Greenhouse

Conservatory Craftsmen’s luxury greenhouses are designed with advanced technology that makes gardening manageable, and not just enjoyable. Our exquisite structures feature automation and climate control technologies, creating an optimal growing environment for your plants.

We’ll look after the entire process, from design to the completion of the project, to bring you a greenhouse that meets your standards.

Contact us to know more about our services.

KARE 11

Project Profile: Building the Queens Farm Museum Greenhouses Phase III

Long before we were able to bring the new greenhouses to the Museum, the old greenhouses had to be removed. Carefully, removing the remaining glass to avoid injury was a challenge. The competent crew of Conservatory Craftsmen got the job done without a scratch.

Dumpsters were filled for recycling the wood products and glass. Metal parts were carefully removed and cataloged. Measurements were confirmed again, and numbers were sent to the shop.

As window frames were produced, glass measurements were taken and tempered, safety glass, was put into production. Each opening had a location ID and a dimension of its own.

The roof glass became quite a matter of discussion. In the ‘old days’ greenhouse glass was lapped, like fish scales. Since large sheets of glass were unavailable, small pieces that lapped over each other fit the need. So, we had to come up with an efficient glass, that was strong and safe and could lap.

 

We designed a glass panel using 1/8″ tempered sandwiching two pieces of glass together over special lamination. This effectively made the glass in the roofs of the greenhouses stronger than the glass on the windshield of your car.

The installation of the glass, the step we call glazing was a blast from the past. We installed glazing putty (pretty much not used in glazing in 50 years) to set the glass. Then we used special, stainless steel brads with a unique tool to hold the glass in place. Finally, we used a specially formulated silicone to seal the glass from the exterior. Each step took a glazier about half an hour and there are 400 pieces of glass on each roof!

 

Roof vents were carefully designed to open with the gearing but close tight to seal and drain away water. In today’s world, that would be a simple matter with rubber seals. For historical purpose there are no gaskets of any kind on this project, each piece of the greenhouse had to be carefully fit to make sure water did not enter the greenhouse and it drained away from the greenhouse.

The project was also featured on Accoya.com, Click Here to read more.