Enhance Your Propety With a Garden Room/Outbuilding

Matthew Charlton's avatar

Matthew Charlton | 21/04/17

A popular way of extending your home, garden rooms/outbuildings can offer you the extra recreational space you require.
Generally falling within Permitted Development (PD), a garden room/outbuilding is a non-habitable building in the grounds of your home, which can be utilised in a number of ways. 

Garden Room/Outbuilding Uses:
Some of the popular choices for a garden room/outbuilding usage:

  • Office
  • Gym
  • Games Room
  • Snug
  • Storage
  • Studio

To increase the usage of your garden room/outbuilding connection to electricity would be beneficial as would insulation and heating system. 

Garden Room/Outbuilding Location:

The shape and space available from your garden will partly dictate the location of your garden room/outbuilding.  In addition, the reason for your garden room/outbuilding could help determine its location within your grounds.  

If linkage to utilities is required then it makes sense to place the building near to the house.  Should you be planning on utilising the space for relaxation or work purposes you may consider having it away from the house to reduce noise levels.  In addition, you may decide to locate the garden room/outbuilding away from the property if the idea is to use it as a snug/den for the children so you don't have t worry about the amount of noise they make  - do consider your neighbour's properties when locating your garden room/outbuilding!

Garden Room/Outbuilding Planning Permissions:

In order for your garden room/outbuilding to be covered under Permitted Development rights it cannot be used as a residence, meaning unless planning permission is gained the garden room/outbuilding cannot be used as self-contained accommodation, or as a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen and will have size limitations enforced (listed homes require full planning, homes within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Conservation Area or specially designated and have limitations on building garden rooms/outbuildings) . 

Garden Room/Outbuilding Size:

To be covered in Permitted Development rights the garden room/outbuilding must be:

  • Single storey
  • Have a maximum eaves height of 2.5m
  • Have a maximum overall height of 3m (or 4m on a dual pitched roof to the highest point)
  • If within 2m of a boundary then the height limit is 2.5m (meaning a flat roof may be best)
  • It's worth noting that no more than 50% of your garden can be covered with buildings (this includes sheds and extensions).

Designing a Garden Room/Outbuilding:

Flat roof and a contemporary design are popular, this design adheres to the height limitation if you are building near a boundary.
Some clients wish to emulate the style of their existing property. Bear in mind matching materials can be a time consuming and costly exercise.

Windows and Doors for Garden Rooms/Outbuildings:

Consider the accesibility of your garden room/outbuilding.  Sliding doors are a good option, as they eliminate space wastage that you may encounter from inward or outward facing doors.  Increasing the number of windows and glass areas within your garden room/outbuilding can increase the heat inside, therefore, consider installing some opening windows to gain a flow of air throughout the building.


Garden rooms/outbuildings can come in a number of shapes, designs or be individually made to your specifications.  Consider adding a garden room/outbuilding to your existing home build requirements, it is an easy addition to any existing building work you're undertaking or a stand along project. At Upright we're always happy to discuss your home build ideas and options.  Contact us on 01737 245040 or visit http://www.uprightconstruction.co.uk for inspiration.

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