Cairn offers €20k garden office option to new home buyers

Interest grows in pods that physically separate home life from work

Sales of the garden office – a separate space that draws a physical line between home life and work – have soared. Two providers, Shomera and Garden Rooms have seen an exponential increase in sales. Housebuilder Cairn is getting in on the act too and offering the option of an additional garden office pod to new home buyers.

The firm has partnered with Kingspan, which already supplies the timber frames for its homes, and installed garden pod examples at its developments in Mariavilla in Maynooth and Gandon Park in Lucan.

A separate home office is also part of Cairn's sales pitch at its newly launched Graydon scheme in Newcastle, Co Dublin, where prices for the additional garden pod – sold through Kingspan – start from €20,000.

In Lucan the only remaining property in the 214-home scheme is the three-bedroom showhouse, which is for sale complete with garden home office seeking €435,000.

Despite plenty of interest they haven’t quite yet taken off, says Sarah Murray, director of customer at the firm. “Buyers are asking lots of questions but it’s not part of getting them in the door.”

For those who buy and have a change of heart Cairn has already future-proofed its Newcastle properties by bringing the electric connection and Cat cabling through the homes and outside to the back wall, ensuring decent wifi and minimising future disruption.

“The fact that this is part of Cairn’s offer puts the garden room on the map,” says Garden Homes managing director John Sherry, who Cairn had talked to early on about delivering the units. “It means builders and buyers are considering it as essential a space as a utility room.”

He has seen a new customer base emerge comprised of director-level members of tech and professional services industries for his bespoke designs, which start from €25,000.

“The director-level interest has been a game changer. They’ve had a taste of working from home and their work/life balance has improved. The garden has become valuable real estate.”

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors