Wedding Gazebo at the Hog’s Back Hotel

Room with a view

We have just completed the installation of a wedding gazebo for the Hog’s Back Hotel and Spa in Surrey which has the most amazing backdrop and setting. The hotel wanted to have the gazebo painted in white in line with the wedding theme and we have also supplied a cedar shingle tile two tier roof. The gazebo is sited in the hotel’s garden which has an amazing view over the surrounding countryside.

Already the hotel has hosted a few outdoor ceremonies in the wedding gazebo and it is certainly now a major selling and marketing point for them – especially as the summer months are now upon us.

These type of wedding gazebos are now proving to be increasingly popular at wedding venues up and down the country and typically the venue will see a return on investment in their first couple of seasons. And when not being used as a wedding gazebo, they can of course double up as a relaxation and seating area, outdoor meeting space or even an outdoor and events bar!

We can offer a variety of sizes and shapes (octagonal and oval) in order to suit budgets and spaces and are able to customise with a comprehensive range of options.

For further information on our wedding gazebos, please contact us on 01865 858982 or email:

wedding gazebos

sunset behing wedding gazebo

Glamping Workshops

Launch of ‘Glamping Business Workshops’ Programme by Kate Morel

The first in a series of glamping business workshops will be held in the UK on May 18th

The Glamping industry’s Kate Morel hosts the first of her ‘know-how’ glamping business workshops on May 18th, to be held at Stanwick Lakes in Northants, UK. The workshops aim to give those who are considering, or about to, set up their own glampsite, the information and guidance needed to create a successful enterprise, including first-hand experience from existing glampsite owners. They’ve been called ‘workshops’ because they will be practical as well as informative, those attending will be able to apply the topics to their own projects and ideas. As such, allocated numbers will be limited to facilitate time and space for discussion and questions.

Kate adds:

“The glamping industry is developing fast with new structures, facilities and dedicated services entering the market every year – not to mention a shift in guest expectations. It’s an exciting time, but it can be a tricky labyrinth for the uninitiated to navigate so I wanted to do something ‘hands-on’ rather than the usual seminar format. Topics can be directly applied to each person’s own project, with questions and discussion throughout”.

If you’re interested in this, or future workshops which will be held around the UK, please email, and visit


The Graddy Annexe

I read an article recently in a national newspaper about the rise of the Graddy Annexe – we are all by now familiar with the concept of a granny annexe in the garden to be used as ancillary accommodation for elderly relatives but this “graddy” annexe is intended for university leavers who are having to move back to the family fold because they cannot afford a deposit for a property of their own, they cannot secure a mortgage as a first time buyer or they simply cannot afford somewhere half decent to rent…especially in that place called London. And that’s not forgetting the fact that the average debt a student is straddled with after leaving university is a dizzying £44K!

A true sign of the times indeed so it is hardly surprising that these young adults are still withdrawing from and are partially reliant upon the Bank of Mum and Dad… which in terms of net lending is almost up there now with the major financial institutions and banks.

So prevalent is this problem that we have now coined numerous expressions to describe this trend – the Boomerang Generation, Generation Y, Generation Rent, Bankers of Mum and Dad etc

But let’s look at the good news bit. Inter-generational living does have its benefits in that not everyone wants their children to finally vacate the family nest and any time that is spent back home is a plus. They can help with the general chores in the house and pay a rent (subsidised no doubt!). And from 2013, our Government decreed that these type of annexes would benefit from a 50% discount in council tax as long as the resident was a family member.

No wonder therefore that in the past two years, 9330 annexes have been built in England and Wales which represents a rise of 39%.

Let’s face it we all like our independence and space and everyone living under the same roof could test the stress levels and patience of all those concerned. So that is why we have seen a phenomenal increase in enquires for our Hideout House garden or granny annexes – or should I now say Graddy Annexes to use the parlance of the day. These are units which are built to conform to the mobile home and caravan act and so as a result, in the majority of cases they do not require planning permission and are exempt from building regs and VAT. They typically have a bedroom, kitchenette, WC/shower room and a living area – what more do you need? And with prices starting at £25K, they are within the financial reach of a lot of families.

And there’s another benefit. When Generation Rent finally does move out, you can always either then let Granny move in or rent it out as a spare room on popular platforms such as Air BnB. This is truly the caring and sharing economy we’ve all been told about.

For further information on our range of garden and granny annexes, please visit


How To License Your Venue For a Wedding Gazebo

unspecified3Since the introduction of the Marriage Act 1994, couples no longer have to get married in either a church or a registry office and as a result of this legislation, this has considerably widened the net for a far greater choice of venue – namely hotels, golf clubs, civic halls, stately homes, theatres, restaurants etc. And a lot of these type of venues are increasingly offering wedding gazebos for conducting outdoor civil ceremonies.

And why not – if your establishment benefits from amazing natural surroundings and a beautiful and romantic setting, licensing your venue for a wedding gazebo can be a very lucrative venture for any business. One of our clients has recently told us that his whole wedding business is now based around his ability to offer an outdoor ceremony and which always gives him the edge over his local competition.

Also you don’t necessarily have to be in this business already or be able to offer reception facilities for example. A lot of venues simply just offer ceremonies only.

In order to apply for your license, you need to approach your local registration office at the council but ensure first that you have the correct planning consents in place (as the council will want to know this). For your premises to be licensable, any outdoor structure must be fixed and permanent (so not tents or marquees for example). It also must be a minimum size of 3m x 3m or equivalent and capable of hosting six people including the registrar’s table and chairs. If you click on wedding gazebos you will see that we give sizes showing this stipulation.

The wedding gazebo must also be in keeping with the dignity of the civil ceremony – I think they mean nothing too crass in this instance!

Also remember that this is the UK and we have something called rain which tends to happen quite often. You therefore need to ensure that if Mother Nature does decide to literally rain on your parade, you have the ability to be able to offer a suitable alternative – such as an internal room – which is large enough to cater for all of the guests.

Quite a few councils also now actively help in promoting your venue once licensed – although you have to pay a set fee for a license for a period of years – a lot of them publish lists of all of their licensed venues which you will be included on and any other promotional opportunities such as the web, flyers etc

And one last thing to bear in mind. When you are not using your wedding gazebo for civil ceremonies, it can easily double up as a quiet relaxation and seating area or even somewhere to conduct meetings.

For details on the range of wedding gazebos from the Hideout House Company, please contact us on 01865 858982 or email us

oval outdoor wedding gazebo

Oval wedding gazebo


The Granny Annexe Care Home in the Garden


Your very own care home in the garden is now here as we have formed a strategic partnership alliance with Helping Hands to provide a unique way to care for the elderly.

What do we do with Granny?

It is a question we will probably all have to ask ourselves at some point in our lives. And with average fees running at £29,250 for a residential care home (rising to £39,300 if nursing care is necessary), it is therefore not an issue to be taken lightly. But there is now a viable alternative for families with elderly relatives who are seeking care for their loved ones.

The concept of the self-contained granny annexe in a residential garden setting is by no means new or revolutionary. In fact, properties with an annexe to house a family member have increased by a third over the past two years. The underlying reasons for this growth are undoubtedly a mixture of factors which include rising property prices, the soaring cost of long term care, an independent living solution coupled with the desire to have an elderly relative close by.

But for all of these desirable aspects, it is still a big responsibility for family members, who simply cannot be on hand the whole time to ensure that their elderly relatives are always safe and well even though they are living so near (especially as they get older and perhaps are in need of more specialist care).

To address the above issue, the Hideout House Company have developed a granny annexe which has a remote, non-intrusive care monitoring system which allows you to measure movement and temperature in the building– so it can let you know for example if there is a lack of movement, perhaps suggesting a fall.

But mitigating circumstances might eventually dictate that even more home care is required and so the company has therefore teamed up with Helping Hands who are one of the UK’s leading at home care specialists. Helping Hands is an award-winning provider of bespoke live-in care and hourly visiting care. The domiciliary care Helping Hands delivered is tailored to the exact needs of your loved ones. Regardless of the condition they are affected by, with the right carer and level of tailored medical support, people can receive care at home without having to go into a care home. Helping Hands is fully regulated by the Care Quality Commission and is a founder member of the UK Care Home Association.

This partnership arrangement therefore represents numerous benefits to a family who are considering the option of having a granny annexe in their garden. Backed up with a specialist home care package, they need not worry about the safety and care of their relatives as they can easily tailor make a programme to suit them.

As the granny annexe is a pre-manufactured mobile building, it is constructed in just two days eliminating a whole load of stress, mess and delay. It may not even require planning permission and in most cases our granny annexes are not subject to Building Regulations or VAT which saves even more money within the overall budget. And as it is built to conform to the definition of a mobile home/ caravan, it can easily be removed or sold on at a later date if so required as well as potentially increasing the value of the main property.

So what do we do with Granny? It has now become a far easier question to answer.

For further information on our range of granny annexes, please contact the Hideout House Company on 01865 858982, email or visit Hideout House Granny Annexes


Garden Annexe for Airbnb, Granny Annexe, Spare Guest Room and for the Boomerang generation

granny annexe

Granny annexe

Our company has seen a significant rise of late in the enquiries we have received for our buildings to be used as a garden annexe for a whole host of applications and reasons. All of them perhaps represent a sign of the times. The most common uses are as follows:

Airbnb accommodation unit

Airbnb is now the established on-line platform where you can rent out a room in your house or garden annexe to paying guests. Since it was set up in 2009 and whose first guest stayed on an airbed on the floor of a San Francisco apartment (hence the airbnb), the company has enjoyed tremendous growth and today, there are over 2 million listings in more than 34,000 locations. But the growth isn’t just about numbers. Airbnb shows that the sharing and caring economy is here to stay and its growing community of both hosts and guest demonstrate the power of a group dedicated to hospitality and unique travel experiences. Traditional businesses such as hotels etc should be and are worried by this recent trend.

But rather than have someone stay in your house, we are providing another solution which gives both parties complete independence. And that is our garden annexes which are essentially a hotel room which shower/bath/WC and small kitchen area (for the breakfast bit!). When they are not rented out to paying guests, our customers then use them as a spare guest room. We can even do the business plan for you to show you your potential return on investment.

Granny Annexe

As we are now living longer, a lot of us at some time in our life will be faced with the important issue of what we do with our parents as they get progressively older.  We have the following options – put them into a care home, buy a property in a retirement village, have them live with you in your home or organise at home care. These options all have their various advantages and disadvantages of course and a lot depends on the financial circumstances, age and existing mental and physical capabilities of your parents.

But there is another alternative which is becoming increasingly popular and that is the granny annexe in the garden. It is a very viable option because of the numerous benefits it can bring as per below:

  • You save on care home fees which can typically run at £29,250 per year for a residential care home and rising to £39,300 if nursing care is necessary (the average time spent in a care home is four years)
  • Offers an independent living solution whereby you have total peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are near to you in a safe and comfortable environment but everyone still maintains their privacy and independence.
  • A granny annexe is a building and therefore an asset that stays with you rather than an independent third party such as a care home and could increase the value of your home
  • The building can be used for other means when so required – more guest room space, somewhere for the adult children to live before buying or renting a place of their own or even to rent out as a B&B unit
  • You get more space in a granny annexe building than you would in a typical care home
  • If your parents ultimately require special help as they get older and are not capable of looking after themselves, you can always have at home care but it is on your doorstop as it were which gives you absolute peace of mind too.
  • We have formed a strategic partnership with an at home care provider who can tailor make a personal service for your relatives – from coming in for an hour to day to say hello and making a cup of tea right up to full nursing care for dementia etc

The granny annexes we sell have a lot of competitive advantages in that due to way they are constructed and built, they are exempt from VAT and building regulations. And they may not need planning permission too (although we always recommend that we or you apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use for re-assurance). And we also offer a special unobtrusive care monitoring system which allows you to measure movement and temperature in the granny annexe – so it can let you know for example if there is a lack of movement, perhaps suggesting a fall. The system gives you the comfort that your loved ones are safe and well. Therefore a care home in your own garden.

Our granny annexes are also built as transportable “mobile” homes so on-site time is minimal – like days not weeks or months so there is minimal inconvenience to our customers.

The Boomerang Generation

This can best be described as children, returning home from university or college, who can not yet afford to rent or buy somewhere so return to the family fold. But they don’t necessarily want to live under the same roof (and probably neither do the parents!) so our garden annexe buildings are ideal. Both parties then get to have their independence but they are still close to each other and can therefore help each other out. And the “boomeranger” gets to save up some money to eventually move out one day.

Our company offers many different types of accommodation units which can be used as garden annexe buildings – mobile lodges, pods, shepherd huts, tiny homes, pod lodges etc – and we can advise on all facets of planning and siting.

It is obviously the way the world is turning and we just need to embrace it!

For further information, please contact the Hideout House Company on 01865 858982, email or visit


Review of glamping lodges at Swiss Farm


We recently received a very nice review from a major lifestyle and travel blogger about the glamping lodges at Swiss Farm Holiday Park – nice to see that they are thinking along the same lines as we are in terms of what the public wants from this type of holiday or short break.

Please see review on glamping lodges and pods


How To Increase Your Holiday Bookings With Hot Tubs

Hot tub building with bifold doors

Hot tub building with bifold doors

Like all businesses, in order to succeed and be profitable you need to have or offer something special about your company which sets you apart from the competition. Your unique selling proposition (USP). This doesn’t necessarily have to be revolutionary  – for example, you could simply offer an exceptional customer service which gets people talking, gets you fantastic reviews on Trip Advisor, gets social media buzzing etc. There is a lady who runs a popular B&B business in our village and she has a little mini bar fridge in each room with a couple of bottles of beer, a half bottle of wine plus a bar of chocolate. When the guests come to leave and settle their account, they tell her what they have consumed from the mini bar but she always says, oh don’t worry it is on the house. She always intended for it to be free but if you look at her positive comments and ratings on Trip Advisor, a lot of the feedback is about the free bottle of beer! Simple but very effective.

hot tub buildings and swim spas are also a great way to strengthen the appeal of your holiday venture and to enhance that vital visitor experience. Hot tubs receive a huge amount of interest in holiday properties which offer them and as a result tend to enjoy a higher level of bookings. Why? Because they add a Wow! factor to your offering and guests enjoy relaxing in a hot tub because they probably don’t have one at home.

Research also suggests that more and more people search online for holiday sites or properties with hot tubs and are more likely to select those with one than those without. They also help extend out the rental shoulder seasons as they can boost out of season bookings because they can be used all year round. It therefore gives a real selling point when trying to promote those long winter months.

Hot tubs also help entice repeat bookings as guests will have enjoyed their stay, loved the hot tub experience and will probably book again. Think too of social media – pictures of a happy and relaxed couple or family sitting in a bubbling hot tub with a cold one in hand posted onto Facebook or Instagram will do wonders for your business.

When considering hot tubs for your business, you do also have to factor in breakdowns and breakages, maintenance issues, water testing and treatment etc and some excellent help and advice on this can be found on the link below:

But if you really want to be able to use a hot tub all year round and can use in all weathers, we offer a comprehensive range of hot tub gazebos which can either be open, half enclosed (open) or fully enclosed in an attractive range of cedar clad buildings or structures. We also offer swim spa buildings – think mini swimming pools where guests can swim against powerful water jets. But for a lot less cost than installing a standard swimming pool with enclosure.

For further information, please visit or call the Hideout House Company on 01865 858982 and email:

Spa building with hipped roof

Spa building with hipped roof


Planning Permission for Granny Annexes

Due to the fact that our granny annexes are built to conform to the legal definition of a mobile home or caravan (based on their size, mobility and construction method), in the majority of cases planning permission will not be required.

However we do recommend that you (or we on your behalf) obtain a Certificate of Lawful Development for peace of mind. Essentially this is similar to planning but you don’t have to submit plans and it confirms that the building is a permitted development by your local planning authority. You should be able to get this form and/or apply online from the planning portal website.

There are also some conditions which are attached to the above:

  • The granny annexe has to be sited within the curtilage of the main dwelling house – generally confined to a small area about a building or house i.e. garden or drive and not an adjoining paddock for example. There has to be an intimate association with the land
  • The granny annexe must also be used for a purpose “incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house” that is in addition to the use of the house but not as somebody’s separate dwelling
  • It cannot become somebody’s main residence
  • There must remain a relationship between the annexe and house so for example, meals could be taken in the house, have full use of house facilities etc
  • It cannot be rented out as a private residence or separate dwelling or business premises
  • If the use is not considered part of or incidental to the house, then a material change of use may have occurred and planning permission could be required

For further advice on the above and to receive information on our range of garden annexes, please visit or call us on 01865 858982 and email:


Why Granny Annexes Are A Good Investment

Having a granny annexe in your garden provides all sorts of real advantages for a family – loved ones nearby, additional company, multigenerational living etc – but it is worth looking at the financial implications as well.

So let’s first of all look at an alternative such as care homes. The average UK care home costs £29,000 a year in fees which can rise up to £39,000 if nursing is so required. This can easily go up depending upon the region and the level of care required.

Families of course will have no idea how long their relatives will need to be in the care home (or how they long they will have to continue paying the bills for) but residents spend an average of four years there. About 12% of people stay in care for eight years with two in four people spending more than £50,000 of their savings.

And we can expect to see some significant increases in the above fees this year of between 8-10% which is largely due to the rise in the minimum wage and having to comply with automatic enrolment pensions. And these fees can be levied annually by the care home operator even when your relatives are residents of their homes and it is unlikely that you will move them out as they will undoubtedly be settled there.

Currently if you live in England and have assets (capital and savings) of more than £23,500, (Scotland £25,250 and Wales £23,750) then you can expect no financial help from the state and you have to pay for all of your care. Below this threshold, the local authority will pay towards those who qualify for financial assistance.

In a lot of cases, these fees are paid for out of the proceeds of the sale of the relative’s property.

But if you then look at the proposition of having a granny annexe in your garden, our annexes start at £50,000 but most importantly this money is staying within the family (and if you look at this more realistically your inheritance remains with you rather than with a third party). The Government has recently U-turned on its decision too to impose a stamp duty levy on granny annexes as second homes which was a ridiculous policy anyway.

You, up to a point, will be your parent’s carers so you can save on third party care fees but we totally appreciate that there will come a point when your parents’ needs might demand more than you can offer….or indeed have time for. In this case, you can then use an at home domiciliary care service whereby you can choose the type and level of service that you require – be that a couple of hours a day right up to 24/7 live-in care. But this does allow for complete flexibility (and budgeting) on your behalf.

And then you must always consider that granny annexes can be used for other purposes such as an additional guest room, somewhere for the returning children to live, a B&B unit, teenhouse etc. And because our buildings are built as transportable mobile units, there is no reason why you cannot sell it second hand at a later date or take it with you if you move house! But our buildings are assets so they should be an investment for you as well as potentially increasing the value of your main home.

So plenty of food for thought…!

For further information, please visit our website below or call us on 01865 858982 and email:

Granny Annexe 40

Granny Annexe 40