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As thoughts turn to preparing gardens for spring, visitors to our yard are increasingly purchasing timber for garden renovation projects – new fences, BBQ areas and decking. Since the pandemic, we’ve also seen an increased interest in building a room in the garden. Not only are people looking to adapt to home or hybrid working, it can also attract buyers and be a cost-effective way to increase your home’s value if you’re considering making a move.

Yes, you can build a garden room without permission

Whatever you choose to call it – home office, garden shed, outside kitchen, Wendy House – they don’t normally require planning permission, so long as:

Size – they are single-storey, less than 15 sqm and do not take up more than half of your garden area. A ridged roof up to a maximum 4 metres must be at least 2 metres from the boundary, a structure with a roof of 2.5 metres can be as close to the boundary as you choose (we’d always recommend a chat with any neighbours too)

Use – they must not be slept in or used as living accommodation. See below for considerations of how you plan to use the outside space before you start to construct one

Placement – they must not be built in front of your house and you should be considerate to any neighbours, thinking about proximity to boundaries, loss of light and your chosen design

I want to build a garden room, where do I start?

Before you start searching for styles and wonderful ways to give you an extra room outside, consider how you will use the space. Is it a relaxing space where you need to work, somewhere to have fun as a family or simply for storage?

Offices – to work seamlessly from home connectivity is key. An electrician will need to set you up with lighting, plug sockets for charging devices and ensure you have a strong Wi-Fi signal. If you want to include a kitchen or toilet and basin, you’ll need to consider plumbing (and related permissions for this). Do you want a window for extra light and to enjoy those garden views? You may also choose to insulate so it is warm enough to be used year-round including those cooler winter months, and not just a fair-weather office destination.

Family fun – if the thought of a man cave is too exclusive and the whole family wants in on the action, why not consider an all-weather family room based in the garden? A perfect solution to sheltering from that British summer rain on BBQ days and a great space to spend time together, you could add a table tennis table for a fun screen-free activity.

Storage – perhaps you just need somewhere watertight and safe to keep equipment. From bikes and lawnmowers to garden furniture and paddling pools, they all need to be stored preferably outside of the main home. Ensure that your contents insurance covers any items of value which you store in an outside space.

Still looking for clarity on planning for your outside space? Check out this guide or speak to your local council. For those who’re ready to dive on in, see the timber products we stock for building a garden shed, office or log cabin – they’re the best on the market.

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