Darren Cashford of Garden-Getaways designs and builds bespoke garden rooms, garden kitchens and undercover seating areas. Formerly a builder of timber framed properties, twelve years ago Darren built a garden room for his home – which he wanted to be an area his family could use all year around – as he says, he wanted ‘something that felt like an extension but positioned away from the house, and finished to the same standard as a new build home’. As soon as Darren had completed the building, friends and family sat down inside, everyone immediately fell in love with the concept and his new company was born. Here we discuss the typical Garden-Getaway customer and their individual requirements…

C&B: ”Darren, we love the idea of a garden escape that’s much more than just a posh garden shed – it could be used as a study or yoga room or spa area; what’s your typical client profile and what are they looking for?”

DC: ”Generally our clients are professional people who want something nicer than the flat-pack other companies offer, and something built to cater to their particular style and needs, a completely bespoke build; you’d think after covid they’d be looking for ‘working from home’ offices, however our clients are definitely more drawn to full blown bars and entertainment areas…” 

We have a partnership with the Smart Home Garden in which one of our garden rooms and kitchens sits in a beautifully designed garden by Laura Anstiss, a garden that combines smart technology, award-winning garden design, and meticulous craftsmanship and is in the CEDIA EMEA smart tech award finalists this year…”

Darren Cashford, Garden Getaways

C&B: ”Who is it that designs the structures? You, or the customer, or a bit of both or do you offer a range to select from?’

DC: ”We work very closely with the client to design something with them, generally they’ll look at our portfolio of previous works and pick different aspects from those they like. We’ll build something with that in mind, we always let the buildings evolve as they go along and changes can be made as the client gets a feel for the building…”

C&B: ”It’s nice to know that changes can be made as the building progresses because designers often find that new ideas pop into their head as they see a scheme evolve, or the client remembers something essential ie the exact placement of windows to view the sunset, or lighting sockets in the correct position for a new lamp they’ve purchased… when it comes to the size of the building, what is the maximum space you work to?”

DC: ”We can build any size /shape or design the client desires; under 30sq metres generally requires no planning permission – as long as it’s not in a preservation area – anything over 30sq metres then planning permission is required…”

Most of our new business comes through recommendations and we also get many enquiries through social media…”

Darren Cashford, Garden Getaways

C&B: “How protected against the environment are the buildings and are they high maintenance? What sort of care do they generally require?”

DC: ”We build onto a concrete base as we feel it gives the room a robust feel; generally we build using timber frames, all fully insulated and plastered, cladding in cedar or composite with aluminium doors and windows, hot and cold air conditioning. Maintenance of the building is minimal although some materials do need a little attention, so it really depends on the materials used – for example, cedar wood requires an oil every few years to keep it’s lustre.”

C&B: ”What facilities do you install in the buildings; do they generally have a loo, kitchen, fireplace, music system?”

DC: ”Yes, you can have all of those although planning is required for any toilets; any living quarters need planning permission; cinema rooms and music rooms are becoming more and more popular…”

C&B: ”How do you price the structures?”

DC: ”As all of our buildings are bespoke they’re priced with clients budget and specification in mind; no two builds of ours are ever the same and that’s what we love about what we do…”

C&B: ”How many Garden-Getaways are you currently building per year?”

DC: ”We produce between 20-25 a year, we only build one at a time so each client gets our full attention – it’s very important to use that our clients feel looked after every step of the way and that we’re there with them, start to finish…”


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