Our advice on garden offices and studios

In this blog post we discuss office gardens and studios. Read on for our tips and advice.

Our advice on garden offices and studios

This can be a cost-effective way of extending your living area - and it doesn't structurally change your house so, in most cases you don't need planning permission...

Most gardens have sheds and they are practical for storing garden equipment. However, today, many of those sheds are being demolished and upmarket garden offices or studios are being put up in their place. This can be a cost-effective way of extending your living area - and it doesn't structurally change your house so, in most cases, you don't need planning permission. It's especially popular in cities such as Brighton and Oxford where, although gardens are small, there is a large population of home workers - one in ten people in London and the south-east now work from home for part of the week - and many don't have the space in the house to carve out a dedicated office area. It's practical and useful to have an extra room or two in your garden, and it definitely adds saleability and value to a property. The key is to make the space flexible and dual-purpose, and not to stint on your services. Electricity, heating and broadband are a must.

Traditional or modern, most garden studios are made of wood and glass and are well insulated and energy-efficient. You can design and build yourself, buy offthe- peg or get a bespoke version from a specialist contractor, who'll look after everything from foundations to finish. Some come with decks and verandahs which are delightfully quaint.

Planning Implications

You don't normally need planning permission for a garden studio unless you're living in a conservation area orlisted building. Although you need to comply with the following:

  • It must be at least 5m from your house and 1m from the boundary.
  • A building cannot be more than 4m high if you have a ridge, or 3m in any other case.
  • If you intend to use it as a permanent dwelling with sleeping quarters, full building regulations apply and you need to get planning permission.