Planning a Garden Room

Are you thinking of creating a new living space in your garden? Somewhere to work in peace, somewhere for the kids to make a noise, or maybe a gym or yoga space to work out and chill out in? We have lots of options available, but you’ll need to think carefully about a few things before you decide to go ahead.

Bearing in mind that your garden room legally cannot take up more than 50% of your total garden area, you will need to carefully consider what dimensions will fit into the available space. Visualising how big the room will be can be difficult – why not measure a room in your house to get an idea of how the space matches up, or peg out a rope in the garden to see what you can fit into the space?

Setting a realistic budget early on is very important. Garden buildings can vary in price from around £2,000 for a very basic cabin, to some that cost over £30,000. The solid log building kits we offer are effectively excellent quality detached extensions to your house with optional provision for high levels of insulation so that they can be used comfortably all year round, start at around £11,000 delivered (in 88mm logs, not including insulation).

Make sure you check whether the building you want needs planning permission or not. Some do not, but many will, and it’s of importance how close to your boundary you want to build, and what the overall height of the construction will be. As long as your home is covered by Permitted Development Rights, then you can build on up to a maximum of 50% of the garden, and up to a maximum of 4m (or 2.5m if it’s within 2m of a boundary) above the original ground level. You can’t build a granny flat for someone to live in, or an Air BnB, without Planning Permission, though – if in doubt check with your local council planning department.

If you’re looking to build an outdoor retreat that’s larger than 30m², you’re going to need Building Control approval as well as possibly planning permission. Even if it’s smaller, if you’re going to hire it out for any purpose or someone is going to live in it, then it will need Building Control approval. You’ll need to consider the type of foundations you need for your building – your supplier should be able to advise you on this. Remember to think about things like electrical supply for your lighting, sockets, and potentially heating (depending on what system you wish to install). There’s also a decision to be made as to whether you need a hard wired Internet connection, for example if it’s going to be a home office or a family room, or whether you want the digital world to be kept firmly out of your new sanctuary! Bear in mind how much light you need inside, as this will influence the size and type of windows and doors in the building.

Of course, it’s really up to you what you want to use your garden room for, but it’s worth considering future proofing it by adding in toilet and/or bathroom facilities e.g. a wet room right at the start. Working with your supplier on a floor plan can help you visualise just what you can fit inside this great new space. For example, our log buildings have a standard floor plan that we can adapt to suit you.

And finally, a great tip from a customer who built his own garden office/sauna with bathroom from a kit, for those who want to do the same – dig up the area immediately around the site for the building, and cover it with gravel. It makes it easier when you’re putting up the scaffolding to build it, and helps keep it mud free inside once you’ve built it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us, and happy planning!