Our DIY build kits - What our customers say :

......I would just like to thank you for all your help and co-operation with the planning of our conservatory.....The whole project was a delight to build and we are totally thrilled with the end result.....

M Clark, Clacton.

Just a quick note to say the conservatory was of excellent quality and the installation went perfect with the help of the installation guide which was very easy to understand. Myself and the wife are very pleased with it, so would just like to thank you for your excellent service......

Malcolm M Birmingham

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Garden Room Building Regulations And Planning Advise

Building Regulations for Garden Rooms
August 18, 2012

Planning permission guidelines for garden rooms are reasonably well documented, but the Building Regulations relating to garden rooms are not so clear. Many buyers are unaware of the rules when building a garden room.

What is the difference between Planning Permission & Building Regulations?

Planning Permission is concerned about how a building looks, where it is situated and what size it is, whilst Building Regulations are concerned that the building is structurally well built and that the building meets current standards for foundations, insulation, ventilation, plumbing, electrics fire safety etc.
Finding a garden room design that falls into Permitted Development or applying and gaining planning approval for a garden room is not the end of the story, you need to go one stage further and check to see if you need Building Regulations.

You don’t need Building Regulations for a garden room if:

  1. The internal area is less than 15m2
  2. If the Internal area is less than 30m2 and is not within 1 metre of the boundary

So, if you are going for a garden room that doesn’t contain sleeping accommodation and you are siting it more than 1m away from the boundaries of your garden you don’t need to apply for Building Regs. The 1m from the boundary is to do with the risk of fire when combustible building materials such are wood are used.

You do need to apply for Building Regulations if:

  1. If you require a toilet, shower or basin to the mains sewer
  2. If it is self-contained or a living accommodation
  3. If the building is 30m2 or over

So, if you are planning an office with toilet, a bedroom with shower room or a complete granny annexe you will need to apply for Building Regulations. Large garden rooms of 30 sqm or more also need Building Regulation approval.

Two types of Building Regulation approval for garden rooms

You’ll hear about to different types of Building Regulation approval in the garden room industry – full Building Regulations and the Mobile Homes Act. With full Building Regulations the garden room is treated like a house and the building needs to meet all the same high standards. With the Mobile Homes Act certain garden rooms can be treated like mobile homes or caravans – the key part of compliance is that buildings that fall under the Mobile Homes Act are temporary structures which can quickly and easily removed from the site – This type of approval is not normally relevant for our garden room projects.


Permitted development rights have changed fairly recently (April 2016). This is a rough outline:

Previously planning permission legislation you had to leave a one metre gap between your building and any garden boundary if the internal floor area of your studio exceeded 15 sq metres. That is no longer the case

Provided your building is less than 2.5 m in overall height, then you can now go up to 50% of the area of all your garden. The area of your garden is all your land except the part the house stands on, so the area includes the front garden, side gardens and back garden, less the area of any other buildings, fuel tanks etc.

No buildings are to go in front of the front elevation of the house, same as before.

The 30 sq m max size rule, no longer applies either, the 50% rule replaces it so garden rooms, provided they are single storey, can now be a lot bigger, depending on your garden size.

If you are in a conservation area, then you cannot have anything at the front or side but now, no longer need permission to place a garden room in the back garden within a conservation area. Before you had to ask for permission wherever it was sited, if you were in a conservation area.

Studios within the garden of Listed buildings, you need full planning as before.

Within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty etc, the rules are the same as before, max size of 10sq metres at least 20 metres away from the house.

You must go for planning permission if it is being used for overnight accommodation whatever area you are in.

This is our understanding at present of the national rules, but some councils have local waivers and variations, always check with your local planners first.

In all cases, building regulations do not apply ONLY if the building does not contain any sleeping accommodation."