An ‘outroom’ is the new must-have property feature as the hottest summer on record saw Britons enjoying their gardens like never before. Creating an ‘outroom’ has become an increasingly popular move amongst home owners and interiors influencers, extending the use of properties and adding value to homes without a structural extension.
The number of British homeowners looking for outdoor furniture traditionally only found inside the home has hit a record high. Online searches have spiked for terms such as ‘outdoor rug’ (34%+), ‘outdoor cushions’ (33%+) and ‘outdoor sofa’ (18%+), due to the increasing popularity of the outroom. In the last 12 months alone, searches for ‘garden sofa’ have soared by 125%, with more and more people bringing interior trends from the living room out into the great outdoors.2
This new room, located in the space between the home and garden, is created through the installation of folding, sliding doors. According to Palmer Research, the sale of bi-folding doors will increase by up to 28% from 2017 to 20211, as Brits increasingly adopt the trend for an outdoor living room.
A recent survey conducted by Origin, one of the UK’s leading door and window brands, among its customers, showed that 94 percent of homeowners use the space differently in their properties after installing bi-folding doors.3
To demonstrate the value an outroom adds to property price, experts from Emoov, a leading online property agent, were asked to place a value a property plan with and without the inclusion of an outroom through the installation of bi-folding doors. According to Emoov, the property with the outroom was valued at up to six percent more than the house without bi-folding doors.
Commenting on the trend, Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, said: “An outroom can add a huge amount of functional living space to a home, whether that’s an additional seating area, dining room or even a second kitchen. While approximately 90 percent of homes in Britain have a garden, the time spent actively living in this space is limited.”
Founder and CEO of Emoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, commented: “A combination of unaffordability and uncertain market conditions has seen an increase in the number of people building up, down and out, rather than upsizing to a new property.
“While basements and loft conversions are an obvious way to add value and space to your property, they can be expensive, so extending into a garden space can also help boost your property potential, creating a stylish living space in the process.
“Living space commands a greater premium than bedroom space and using cost-effective tips such as bi-folding doors to create an outroom is an affordable way to add value to your home. While it is unlikely to push you into a higher price bracket, it can help you stand out from the crowd and if done correctly, could add up to 6% to your property’s value.”
The term ‘outroom’ was first used in the 17th Century by poet Ben Jonson but has since dropped in popularity and is rarely used in modern English. Originally describing an outbuilding or outhouse, today homeowners, as well as influential interior designers such as Hygge for Home, are adopting the word to describe the living space created by the installation of bi-folding doors.
Ben Brocklesby continues: “The average Origin customer said they spend between 11 and 20 hours a week in this space, compared to the majority saying they spent less than hour a week enjoying the space before the doors were installed. What’s more, 98 percent said it has made their home feel larger. Considering the average UK home is 85sq m and has five rooms, this traditional layout is set to change with the introduction of this new room in the house. Homeowners are now using outrooms to increase the square footage of their properties in a way that hasn’t been done before. We believe this space deserves recognition on modern floorplans and Origin is calling all estate agents and online housing websites such as Right Move to include outrooms on property details.”