Do I Need Planning Permission To Build A Garden Office In My Home?

Are you looking to add a garden office to your home but not sure if you need planning permission? You aren’t alone. With more people working from home, the building of garden offices has increased. And the need to check for planning permission has escalated.

A garden office is a way to create a nice and comfortable working area while working from home. It also boosts your productivity, helps you stay focused, and can add value to your property. 

However, it is best to verify whether you need planning permission before you start building your garden office. 

In this post, you will find out if you need planning permission to build your garden office and the requirements that exempt you from applying for one. 

What Is A Garden Office?

A garden office is a small, separate building used by many remote workers and people working from home, to carry out their work activities. It can be a garden room or shed that has been transformed into an office or a specific office-designed pod.

Garden offices are usually prefabricated or constructed off-site and are ordered to be installed in a garden space. Some people choose to build theirs from scratch by themselves, while others hire a company to construct one for them. 

Building a garden office is a nice way to create a working area away from your main house. It helps form the much-need boundaries you need between your work and home life. 

As an outbuilding, a garden office is constructed with lighter materials than the main house. It is generally used for only office work. But it can be improved by adding extras like electricity, windows, doors, a bathroom, a kitchen, or even a bedroom. 

Do I Need Planning Permission To Build A Garden Office? 

Planning permission is the legal authorization issued by the local authorities to allow you to carry out your building plans. It can range from erecting a building to modifying an existing building through renovation or extension. 

Whether you will need planning permission before building a garden office depends on your country of residence. Countries like the United Kingdom have strict planning laws that control building and development. 

To build a garden office in the UK, you need to confirm from the local authorities whether you will need planning permission. A garden office is classified as an outbuilding, and outbuildings fall in your planning development rights.

Building a garden office will not require planning permission if it meets the following requirements:

  • The garden office should not form the principal elevation of your house.
  • It must be a single story with an overall height of 13 feet and an eaves height of 8 feet.
  • It must be of reasonable size (below 1,076 square feet) and 
  • It must not have a balcony or raised platforms.
  • The garden office building must not exceed half the available space in the garden or yard. 
  • If you do not live in conservation areas, a flat, duplex, or listed buildings.

The purpose you intend for your garden office can also determine if you will need planning permission. As an outbuilding, your garden office is considered “incidental ”; it may not need planning permission if it is used for non-resident purposes. 

You may need planning permission to live in your garden office or upgrade it by including electricity or plumbing. You should also confirm if you need to apply for a building permit.

A building permit ensures that your garden office is safe for you to reside in and also safe for people around you. 

In addition, if you intend to use your garden office as the headquarters of your business, where your clients visit frequently, you may need to apply for planning permission. 

In the USA, people have more freedom to build on their land as long as it is not impeding other property owners’ rights.

Planning, building, and zoning codes are usually more strict and enforced in Urban and highly developed areas. Some areas have more flexible laws concerning building a garden office without a permit, while others do not.

It is highly crucial to consider your area of residence, before proceeding with your building plans. Failure to do this may result in planning enforcement which may lead to the demolition of your garden office. 

The application and procurement of planning permission may cost money and take time. But it is better to comply with planning laws than suffer the consequences later. 

DIY Garden Office Build vs. Hiring Professional Builders

After getting the requirements for building your garden office, you can start constructing.

If you are professional in building and design, you can build the garden office yourself. If you aren’t skilled in building, then it is recommended to hire the services of a professional

Buying and installing a prefab garden office can be an economical way to erect a garden office. They are also time efficient and easy to install. However, the downsides of buying a prefab garden office are the limit in the design options and insight into how it is built. 

Building your garden office yourself can be time-consuming, energy-draining, and costly. But it is more rewarding because you get your desired materials and build the garden office to your taste. 

Hiring professional builders like a contractor company to build your garden office can be a great way to save time and energy. You may or may not spend more money on building depending on the company you hire. It’s essential to hire a good contractor to give you the best quality.

Read: Garden Office Design Ideas For Beginners 

How To Hire A Garden Office Builder (Near Me)

There are many contractors out there that claim to offer quality services. If you choose to hire one, then it is crucial to look out for the best one that fits your budget. It’ll be great to have a list of builders to compare before making your choice.

Before checking out builders, know what you want in a garden office and how much you are willing to spend.

You can do this by outlining your specifics and creating a budget. Ensure that your budget can accommodate your needs and other specifics for your garden office.

To hire a garden office builder, below are some things to check out:

#1: Research for Garden Room Contractors

The first step to hiring a good garden office contractor is researching available companies. You can start by asking neighbors, family, or friends for recommendations. Another option is checking online for contractors near you. 

You can also check out sites that help you search for contractors. You get a good list of available options to work with by researching.

#2: Check Skill Set and Level of Experience

Once you have your list, you can start comparing your options. Ensure to confirm their skillset and how long they have been in the building business. This assures you that they know what they are doing. Builders with more experience are more likely to discover and avoid common mistakes that can cost you. 

#3: Confirm for Necessary Certificates

The next important thing to look out for is the required certificates and licenses of the builders. This gives you a guarantee that they are skilled for the job. 

It is also crucial to verify the validity of the licenses if you can. Your garden office needs to be well-built to be safe for you. 

#4: Read Reviews and Testimonies of Previous Clients

Reviews and testimonies from past clients tell of the experience of other people the builders have worked with. It also gives you insight into how they operate and their competence. 

If you want to hire a local contractor, you can enquire from people around you that have worked with the builders. You can also read reviews online from different sources. 

#5: Know Their Business Policies and Values

Some builders may have excellent skills but have unfavorable business policies. It’s essential to find out how they operate, their terms and conditions, and their values. 

Also, look for how they relate with clients, customer satisfaction rate, and workability.

#6: Look Out for Availability, Reliability, and Integrity

Ensure to hire a builder that is reliable, trustworthy, and has integrity. They should also be available to undertake the project within your timeframe. 

The builder you choose should be one that can stick to your needs and give you satisfactory results.

#7: Request Quotes to Compare

After making all the necessary confirmations, request quotes from the builders to help you know which to settle for.

You can begin by requesting brochures that give you an idea of the pricing of the company. This helps you narrow down our choices to the few that can work with your budget.

The quote usually contains a detailed specification, timeframe, and price of the project. You can then select the builder with the best features that suit your needs. 

Read: The Remote Workers Guide To Home Workout 

Garden Office Layout Ideas For Beginners

Building your garden office also involves constructing it to your desired layout. Garden offices can be built in different layout designs, shapes, and sizes. Windows, doors, roofing, and flooring designs also vary in buildings. 

Although most garden offices are built in a classic rectangular or square shape, you can opt for an L-shaped or rounded building.

An L-shaped building allows you to split your garden office into two compartments. You can include a gym, bathroom, relaxation spot, or any other additions to the other room. 

Since garden offices are relatively simple buildings, the layout design is usually simple as well. If you have a large space, you can expand the building for other purposes. 

Once you are finished with the building, you may need to design the interior and exterior for a finished look. You can do this by hiring an expert or doing it yourself. 

If you are a beginner looking for how to design your garden office, here are some of our tips to help you get started:

  • Choose A Design Style That Suit Your Needs

Not all garden office styles are suited for you. Before building, it’s good to go through a list of various styles and select one that is best for you. Design layout styles like a classic contemporary style are ideal and proper for any office type. 

Your garden office design also includes your roof, flooring and wall style, color selection, and accessories. Blending these elements nicely can give visually appealing designs. 

Your type of work can affect your design layout. If you prefer a more professional outlook, you can go for a minimalistic design. But if you prefer casual, try an eclectic twist. 

  • Consider The Available Garden Space

First, assess your garden space and other peculiar topography features—like sloppiness—to know which design is perfect to accommodate them. Your garden office should be designed to maximize the available space and still serve your needs. 

  • Let in The Lights!

You can position your garden office in an area that will allow more sunlight into the room and create shaded areas where needed. Your window placement is important to make this happen. Add blinds to control how much light enters the room. 

You can also set up warm ambient lights to decorate your office when the sun goes down. Make sure to get a desk lamp if you need one for your work. It helps for better concentration and reduces eye strain. 

  • Keep The Cold and Noise Away with Insulation

Thermal and sound insulation can be a good addition to provide convenience in your garden office. Good thermal insulation allows you to use your garden office all year round. While sound insulation keeps distracting noise away from you while you work. 

Read: The Cost of Building A Garden Office In Your Home 


A garden office is an excellent way to maximize the space in your yard for work. But you need to confirm from your local authorities if you need planning permission for building a garden office. 

Some countries, like the UK, have strict laws on building a garden office, while other countries have more flexible laws. 

After getting the requirements for building your garden office, you may choose to build it yourself or hire a company to get the job done. It’s important to decide on your layout design style before you begin building.v

Donald Felix

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