Your garden building – too much red tape?

Exteriors, General

They really are all the rage these days – garden buildings. Whether we call them garden offices, granny annexes, man caves or craft rooms, those buildings in your garden are the perfect way to add space to your home and value to your house price. But do you need building regulations approval before you go ahead and build your new dwelling or can you just forge ahead, within certain restrictions?Your garden building - too much red tape?

Working from home is more popular than ever and it makes us happier too. A recent European study found that up to 15% of EU workers work from home for at least quarter of their working life and that in general people who work from home perceive their life as happier. It makes sense to note that working from a beautiful home office in the garden could improve that feeling of contentment even more.

So the idea of building an office in the garden could be the answer to the stress of travelling to work and getting there even when it is snowing or the trains are on strike. Even if your garden room is used for nothing more than storage, you will want to know the rules around the building and what is legally required.

Will I need planning permission?

Usually, the answer to that is no, as long as your outbuilding is:

  • Single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and a maximum overall height of four metres for a dual pitched roof or 3 metres for any other type of roof.
  • There are no balconies or verandas.
  • No more than half of the land around the house is covered.
  • The building is not in a protected area.
  • Positioned back from the house.

While this does appear to indicate that building an outbuilding is easy as long as you get the right dimensions and location. In fact, it is a little more complicated than that.Your garden building - too much red tape?

When buildings regulations approval is needed

Usually, the building is good to go if it is less than 15 metres squared of floor space and it does not have any sleeping accommodation. However, if you are splashing out and want a space larger than this you will need to get an approvals officer in to have a look.

They will want to check the foundations and the type of soil your outbuilding is sitting on and whether these might affect any other structures nearby. They will check for trees that might impact the building (especially the foundations) and any drain and sewers that you might be covering up. The floor will be checked for structural integrity and the windows and insulation checked to make sure the building will be warm enough. Finally, any electrical installations will need to be okayed.Your garden building - too much red tape?

You can have a beautiful building in your garden for much less than the cost of an extension and you might just appreciate being away from the house for all that peace and quiet you need.

To find out more, you can take a look at the planning portal mini guide for outbuildings here:

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