The rise of the garden outbuilding

The rise of the garden outbuilding Cheslyn Building Contractors

The growing trend in the UK to construct substantial garden buildings to provide valuable extra space for a home office, gym or social area continues to be extremely popular. The rise of the garden outbuilding is here to stay as we utilise and enjoy our outdoor storage.

A room in your garden is a great way to create space for activities that you may not be able to accommodate in the main home. Many people find that for practical (and financial) reasons they cannot extend their property, but have plenty of room in the garden to create the added space they need.

Types of Outbuildings

Many different types of structures fall into the outbuildings category including:

  • Sheds
  • Garages
  • Carports
  • Greenhouses
  • Summer houses
  • Annexes
  • Garden enclosures for swimming pools, hot tubs and sauna cabins
  • Garden rooms, a garden office or garden studio


These all have a common purpose in that they cater to the domestic needs and enjoyment of those living in the house. Outbuildings usually fall under Permitted Development, and should therefore not need planning permission, providing they comply with the requirements.


To be covered in your Permitted Development rights, 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);
  • Have no verandas, balconies or raised platforms
  • You can also not cover more than 50% of your garden with buildings (this includes sheds and extensions)



Think carefully about the location of your new outbuilding, although in a smaller space your options may be limited.  Try not to locate it in your only sunny spot or place it in a shady spot that doesn’t have a lot growing in it.  It may be a good opportunity to hide an unattractive fence or finally stop being overlooked by a neighbour.  Wherever you locate it, make sure you leave suitable space around it for access and maintenance.

Will anyone be living in your garden building?

With more than 25% of young people living with their parents, some families have constructed or renovated sheds, garages and summer houses as living spaces for their young adults. This is a convenient way for adult children to retain their privacy while staying at home, as well as to minimise inconveniences to the family, such as coming and going at late hours. This however does require planning permission, as sleeping accommodation is not covered under permitted development.

How much value does a garden outbuilding add to your home?

Garden rooms are usually notably cheaper than traditional extensions in terms of construction cost. Research from leading property experts estimate that  garden offices add 1.5 times the construction cost or a 5-15% increase on the total value, making it a worthwhile investment in your home.

If you want to create your own garden outbuilding, we provide expert advice – please contact us here.