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Garden rooms are an innovative and creative way to create more space for you and your family. Need an office to work from home in? A garden room could be the answer. What about an at-home gym? A kids playroom? A workshop? A bar? Home cinema? You’ve got it, a garden room could be the solution to creating more usable space for a variety of purposes.

It can seem a bit of a minefield of legislation when you think about developing areas of your home and property. So what about the rules and regulations for this kind of build? Do you need planning permission for a garden room?

Here at Stop Digging, we are very familiar with the guidelines for garden rooms, as it is one of the most popular uses for our ground screws. So here are a few quick FAQs when it comes to building your garden room.

Commonly asked questions about garden rooms:

  • Do I need planning permission for a garden room?

In short, it really depends on what kind of room you would like to build, but generally garden rooms do not require planning permission if they come within development guidelines. They need to classify as an outbuilding, and so must not have sleeping arrangements and have to be within a certain size within your property.

  • How high can a garden room be?

The maximum height for it to classify as an outbuilding is if it is single storey and less than 3 metres high (4 metres with a dual-pitched roof). The eaves must be within 2.5 metres high.

  • Can a garden room be attached to the house?

No, as it then would not classify as an outbuilding, but an extension and would require planning permission. The garden room can’t be in front of your house and the total area of any buildings around your house must not take up more than 50% of the “original house” without planning permission. “Original house” means the house as it was on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). It’s worth checking that no previous owner built an extension you might not be aware of.

  • How big can a garden room be without planning permission?

If you don’t want to have the hassle of getting planning permission your garden room needs to be less than 15 square metres internal flooring area. Between 15 square metres and 30 square metres you will not normally need to apply for approval, as long as it does not contain sleeping accommodation and is either at least one metre from any boundary or is constructed substantially of non-combustible materials. If you live in an area termed as an area of natural beauty, the maximum size would be 10 meters squared. Anything more than this you would need to speak to an expert about planning permission.

  • Can a garden room be used as a bedroom?

It would need to have planning permission as it would not fall under the category of an outbuilding now. If you just want to pop a sofa in and have guests sleeping there occasionally then that’s fine, but if you want to sleep there regularly or turn it into self-contained accommodation then you would need to meet the building regulations and apply for permission.

  • Are there any exceptions to these guides?

If you live in a listed building then any change to your home or the surrounding area would need planning permission no matter how small. It might not be as complicated as you think though, and with Stop digging ground screws you are more likely to get permission as they are less invasive foundations than your normal concrete. If you would like some more information on this, see a previous blog post: Can you build in a conservation area?

Garden rooms are a relatively stress-free way to enhance your life and help you make the most of the space you have. If you would like some more information on how ground screws could be the best way to set up your new room then feel free to contact us on: SALES@STOPDIGGING.CO.UK or 020 3970 3979