Frequently asked questions
Where can I locate/site a Retreat?
The Retreat may be positioned on any land that has planning consent for a Residential/Holiday Caravan pitch or elsewhere where a Caravan is sited, with permission/certificate of lawful use, and needs to be replaced.
- On a lodge/caravan park?
Yes. If you would like to purchase a Retreat on an existing caravan/holiday/residential park, we can provide details of park locations where they are available. You can also find out park locations that currently have Retreats sited here…Retreat sites under the heading In search of a Retreat?
- In a field or in Open Countryside?
Yes. But you will almost certainly require planning permission of some sort. We recommend contacting your local planning office for further information.
- In my garden?
Yes, and you may not need planning permission if the Retreat is ancillary to the main dwelling house. However, we would always advise checking with your local planning office.
If you are looking to use a Retreat as a permanent residence you will need to ensure that the Park/land has planning permission allowing full time residence.
A customer in doubt as to whether their proposed Retreat meets the proper planning requirements should seek professional advice.
If I have my own land can I live in a Retreat permanently?
Yes, however, you will need to ensure you have the relevant planning permission allowing permanent residence. If you are unsure contact your local planning office for advice.
Can Retreat Homes give me advice on planning?
We can give you very general advice, but we will always advise you to seek professional advice from either your local planning office or a planning consultant.
With the issue of planning resolved, the Retreat can be installed in a matter of days and requires only a simple concrete slab to support it. Consequently, it does not need expensive foundations.
Is a Retreat built to Building Regulations?
No. We are governed by the National Caravan Council (NCC) who set and control the standards in this industry. All our retreats are constructed to and exceed British Standard 3632, which is the residential standard. This means our retreats are a home and can be used 12 months of the year with no costly upgrade.
Is the Retreat a caravan?
Yes and no. Technically the Retreat is classed as a caravan as all lodges are because essentially it is a transportable building with a chassis and wheels. However, this is where the similarity ends; from the chassis up we build a timber framed house. The method and materials are exactly the same, so you can see that the retreat is so much more.
How is a Retreat made?
The Retreat is constructed in our factory at Kirkbride, by time served joiners to the highest standards.
There are two types of lodge; the size determines what sort you have. There is a single unit which is constructed on one chassis up to 14ft (4.2m) in width. We can go to a maximum of 15ft 6ins (4.7m), but transport of something this size would require a special licence and escort and can be costly. Or you have a twin unit which is constructed on two chassis together then split for transport and siting.
Both are constructed with the same timbers in the same way a timber framed house would be. All the fixtures and fittings are standard sized, which in years to come can be refreshed or replaced as with a house. No coated linings or plasterboard are used, we use an MDF V-groove board as standard giving strength and durability to the internal finish.
Are there any restrictions on the size of a Retreat?
Yes. There are restrictions on the size of a lodge – in England, Scotland and Wales the maximum length is 65ft (20m) and maximum width is 22.3ft (6.8m).
However, this is never an issue; you can comfortably fit three bedrooms in a 42ft x 22ft lodge.
Is there VAT on a Retreat?
No. A lodge built to BS3632 residential standard is zero rated as a new build would be. However, you will pay VAT on the removable contents of the Retreat. This includes appliances, carpets and furniture should you opt for a furniture package.
How much does a Retreat cost?
Each Retreat we create is designed individually for our customers. This allows you to design the lodge you want to your specification and budget. With this in mind we rarely build two Retreats the same, please contact us for a quote for your tailor made design solution.
Our Retreats usually cost anywhere between £60,000 and £143,000+ depending on size and specification. We are happy to help, so just let us know what you are looking for and we will take things from there.
What is included in the price?
The cost estimated will be our manufacture price, meaning the cost of the home at our factory gates. Retreat Homes can provide a quotation for and arrange the transport and siting of your home.
The manufacture cost is for a complete lodge – this includes a fully fitted kitchen, bathrooms, flooring plumbing and electrics. We do not include furniture and soft furnishings, but can offer these as a furnishing pack.
Can I get finance?
Yes. Although this depends upon where the Retreat will be sited. If you purchase a Retreat on a holiday/residential park it is likely that the park owner or developer will be able to offer finance on the home. However, if you wish to place the Retreat in your garden or on your own land, you will probably need to approach your own bank for finance.
Does the Retreat come with a warranty?
Yes. Such is the confidence we have in the Retreat, it is supplied with a ten year manufacturer’s warranty as standard. Terms and conditions apply.
Will my Retreat stand the test of time?
Yes. If you maintain it correctly it should last a lifetime and beyond. The Retreat is constructed as a traditional timber framed building. It can therefore be refurbished in years to come. The kitchen accommodates standard sized units, which can be added to or replaced. The rooms accommodate standard size furniture (not undersized items), which can be replaced. Unlike the majority of other manufacturers, we do not line the walls with coated panels that cannot be repaired. Consequently, a Retreat used for rental purposes can be refurnished every 5 years rather than replaced. Thus cost-savings can be considerable, as well as sustainable.
Can a Retreat be relocated once it has been sited?
Yes. It is not ideal but a Retreat can be moved once it has been sited. Unfortunately this is not a service we offer but we may be able to put you in touch with companies who specialise in this.
What does buying a Retreat involve?
If you are buying your lodge through a park you will need to contact them regarding their payment and contract procedures. The first part of the process to getting your Retreat is to develop and agree a design and specification; once this has been done we will assign a production slot. From the date we begin to build your Retreat it can take 8 to 10 weeks to complete.
When the Retreat is complete it will be made ready for transport. For a single chassis retreat this involves simply loading it onto a low loader. However, for a twin chassis retreat this means splitting the lodge, weatherproofing the open sides of each half and loading the sections onto separate low loaders ready for transport.
On site the lodge sections will be decanted and maneuvered onto a pre-prepared concrete foundation (we can email you a PDF information sheet regarding the foundation base). A siting team from Retreat Homes will then take 2-3 days to re-join and finish the Retreat. Once all is completed you will need to engage a local company to fit decking and skirting to the retreat and someone to connect and commission your services or if you are buying on a park this is usually included in your package and provided by them.
How quickly can you build us a Retreat?
Here at Retreat Homes we build to order. This means your lodge is not a stock item, it is hand crafted specifically for you. With this in mind we may sometimes have a waiting list depending on the volume of orders we have received at that time. We can take a production slot deposit to secure a date for production to begin; this would then be deducted from your final invoice. Let us know when you want your lodge and we will do our best to accommodate this. Once a production slot is allocated it usually takes between 8-10 weeks for a Retreat to be completed once construction begins.
What other costs do I need to consider?
The estimate we give you for a Retreat is the manufacture only cost. Other costs you will need to consider are the foundation base and services to the site; we recommend getting a quote for a local tradesperson for this work. Then there is delivery and siting, delivery can cost between £2,000 and £5,000 depending on distance and access. Siting is completed by us and costs £3,000 plus accommodation, this sum is in order to finish the Retreat on site making it ready for use.
Finally you have the connection and commissioning of services and the skirting and decking of the Retreat, again we recommend you use local tradesmen to carry out this work.
If you are buying a Retreat on a park these costs are usually included in the price.
Does a Retreat need foundations?
Yes. The National Caravan Council (NCC) who govern BS3632 give guidance on the recommended foundation base for a residential lodge. We have put this guidance in an information sheet which we can email to you if you require it.
Can we make your designs bigger/smaller to suit our needs?
Yes. We are bespoke manufacturers and as such can design a Retreat to meet your needs, specification and budget. Give us a call or email us to discuss options and pricing.
Can the Retreat be used by the mobility impaired?
Yes. Although a wheelchair user may require some modifications to be made. It is our policy to make modifications to any Retreat design to suit the individual requirements of the user. Please contact us with your requirements.
Can I specify the external finish?
Yes. The Retreat is supplied with a standard finish, which comprises of 18mm Western Red Cedar (No 2 clear and better) installed with secret fixings and treated with a high performance protective coating. Other timbers/materials are available at extra cost, such as Larch, Thermowood etc.
What options are available for interiors?
We offer a wide range of interior options from standard to luxury fixtures and fittings, the choices are endless. Producing a detailed specification for a Retreat can be an exciting and busy process. We advise our customers visit us and spend a day going through all the elements with our design consultants. Here at the factory we have samples and the Retreats in production for inspiration, as well as numerous years experience designing Retreats to suit our clients.
Have a think about what it is you want before we start the design process, as ultimately we are designing a house for you. We are always here for advice so any questions please do contact us.
Are there any optional extras?
Yes. Clients have an extensive choice of extras to add to their lodge including, a log burner, hot tub, sauna, wooden flooring throughout, window fitments, furniture pack, choice of internal and external finishes etc…
We will be happy to discuss these in more detail with you during the specification of your Retreat Home.
Can I have a log burner?
Yes, and many of our customers do. What we usually do is provision the roof for the flue of the log burner and a supplier of your choice would fit and certify it once the Retreat is sited. We find this is much more cost effective for the customer. Just let us know who your supplier is and we will liaise with them.
Where can I stay in or buy a Retreat?
There are a number of places across the UK where you can stay in or buy a Retreat. Check out our ‘Experience a Retreat’ page from the Design page for further details. If you find a park that you like but it does not currently provide Retreats talk to them about what you want and get them to contact us.
Can I come and see how the Retreat is built at your factory?
Yes. You are more than welcome to come and see first-hand how a Retreat is manufactured. Just send us an email or give us a call to arrange – especially during these current times. We are open five days a week Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:00 and a visit on the shop floor will take around 45mins to 1hr depending on how much information you wish to gather.
Is furniture included with the Retreat?
No. We do not include furniture in the cost of a Retreat, the reason being that everyone’s taste is different and what one customer may like another may not. More often than not a customer wants to use their own things in their new Retreat Home. With this in mind we do offer furniture packages for customers who require it.
Should I care about sustainability?
Yes. In due course we will all have to consider the environmental implications of our actions. The government has set a target for a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions. Currently, the construction & occupation of buildings accounts for 50% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. In the future it is likely that buildings will all have to be ‘eco-rated’ and taxed accordingly. Using sustainable materials now will ensure that we are all planning ahead. The use of timber as a building material is central to such planning.