Working from home has become increasingly popular in recent years, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become the new normal for many people. As a result, many homeowners in the UK have considered building an office in their garden to provide a dedicated workspace. But can you build an office in your garden, and do you need planning permission? And most importantly, will it add value to your property?

Firstly we are home designers, and please get in touch if you are considering a home office. We can review with you, your renovation wish list for your home. It may be that the direction for the home office in the garden is not right for you and your family. We recommend a home office in the garden is part of an overall solution for your home. Connected thinking in terms of expenditure, timeline and what you are trying to achieve overall for your family and your home. Working with our Architect we can make clear what are the drivers for the project, what’s mos important to you and how does the home office fit inot the bigger picture for your family dynamic.

Do you need planning permission for a garden office?


In terms of planning permission, it’s essential to understand that the rules and regulations surrounding garden offices can vary depending on where you live in the UK. In England and Wales, garden offices are considered ‘outbuildings,’ meaning they are subject to specific planning regulations. In Scotland, outbuildings are generally classed as ‘ancillary buildings,’ and different rules may apply. It’s always best to check with our team to ensure you comply with the rules in your area. You may be building in a conservation area, special rules may apply. For instance your home may be considered outside the local residential boundary, for whatever reason the planning department locally may have decided your permitted development rights have been removed for your area.

You can build a garden office without applying for planning permission in England and Wales, provided it meets specific criteria. We don’t advise proceeding without getting lawful development consent as a minimum. In principle we do not charge extra for a full planning submission as Permitted Development can be a minefield of misunderstanding, confusion and disappointment in our experience. Under PD rules, the office must be less than 2.5m high (or less than 4m high with a pitched roof), less than half the total area of land around the original house, and not used for sleeping. However, it’s important to note that different rules may apply if you live in a conservation area, a listed building, or a flat – or a host of other criteria, we did say the system was a minefield!

Do garden rooms add value to a house?


Building an office in your garden can add value to your property, however that should not be the prime concern or driver for your project, but if asset value is on your mind then it’s important to ensure that it’s a quality structure. A well-built, insulated garden office can provide a versatile space for working, but a poorly constructed one may need to be revised to maintain the overall value of your property. It’s also essential to consider the impact on your garden space. If you have a small garden, building an office may limit outdoor space and affect the overall aesthetics of your property. We don’t advise building a home office in the garden in terms of adding value to your property, in general this must be something that will address a need in your family life and be worthwhile for you.

Another consideration when building a garden office is its connection to your home. If you plan to use the office year-round, connecting it to your home’s utilities may be necessary, which could be costly. Alternatively, you may need to install a separate connection to the mains supply or main sewer system, which may require planning permission and other related consents.

Building an office in your garden is a great way to create a dedicated workspace and potentially add value to your property. However, it’s essential to ensure that you comply with planning regulations in your area, and that the office is well-built and complements the overall aesthetic of your property. If you’re considering building a garden office, it’s always best to ask us for professional advice to ensure that you comply with regulations and that the office design fully meets your needs. With our dolls house process we can show you how to maximise the layout and value of your home, it may be that you don’t need a garden room after all!



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