A Guide To Placing Your Garden Room
There are a surprisingly large number of considerations when planning your new garden room; the design and specification of the room itself, how it will be used and of course budget. It goes without saying that choosing the right spot for your new room is pretty crucial too, if you want to get the most enjoyment from it, or even avoid having to move it!
Most important of all is understanding your legal obligations in respect of planning and building regulations. In October 2008, new regulations came into effect which considers outbuildings to be permitted development (not needing planning permission) subject to a few limits and conditions. If you wish to avoid the planning process these conditions need to be met, although many people decide that they require a building that falls outside of permitted development and submit successful applications. Full details can be found on the planning portal website but here a few useful guidelines:
Siting your garden room or garden office to the front of your property generally requires planning permission. Most people prefer their garden room to be in the back garden and unless your property is a listed building, or is situated in a national park or area of outstanding beauty this is permitted… with a few buts!
If your garden room is less than 2 metres from any boundary line then the height is restricted to 2.5m. More than 2m away from a boundary and the maximum height for a dual pitch roof increases to 4m and 3m for a mono pitch roof.
The building shouldn’t be larger than 30m² or occupy more than 50% of the garden. The building should not be used for accommodation such as a granny annex etc.
Building regulations also apply if the garden room is more than 15m² and less than a metre from the boundary in respect of the spread of fire.
Planning issues aside there are other important points to consider before you decide on the best position for your room. Light and shade can dramatically change the way your room will feel and perform. Depending on what the room will be used for, it often makes sense to have windows on the south and west elevations to capture natural heat (solar gain) and light from the sun rather than on the north and east elevations which will be cooler.
Positioning the building under the canopy of trees can be used to create shade when necessary or frame the building – sometimes where there is limited space this can be unavoidable, especially if the trees are large or protected. Two issues to consider though are the build up of leaves and debris on the structure or sticky residues from certain trees. The root system, may also complicate the groundworks stage of the build.
The view to and from the building is also very important. Framing a great view from your garden room can make all the difference.
Do you want the building to be a key design feature in the garden and make a statement or a discreet addition where privacy is important? Often a new garden room can be the main element in a new garden design scheme – sometimes it needs to blend unassumingly into a well established landscape.
Ground conditions and access are obvious areas to think about – if you position your amazing new eco building at the far end of the garden will you need a pathway to avoid muddy footprints? Remember too that you need to link the building to an existing electric supply. If you are installing the room in the summer think about how access will be affected in the winter. Is the sloping part of the garden really the best place when other are are level? Sloping sites are a challenge rather than impossible but challenges tend to be more expensive!
Last but definitely not least you will want your new garden room to make a positive addition to your lifestyle – somewhere you can relax. A happy neighbour can only help!
A you ready to create your own garden room? Contact us us for your free initial design consultation.