Building Regulations for Garden Rooms

Garden rooms are permitted developments so long as they meet building regulations. If a garden room doesn't, the homeowner must get planning permission or face prosecution and fines. The garden room may also have structural issues that will cause problems and extra expenses in the long run.

Let's discuss garden room building regulations, the dangers of breaking them and the way forward.

What Are the Building Regulations for Garden Rooms?

You need planning permission to break the following garden room building regulations.

  • The garden room can't use more than 50% of your garden space. The term "garden space" includes every part of your property that doesn't already have a structure on it.
  • The garden room must be a single-story building, with a maximum height of 4 metres, eaves height of 2.5 metres, and roof height of 4 metres for dual-pitched roofs and 3 metres for other roof types.
  • The garden room can't be in front of the front elevation of the main house.
  • A garden room within 2 metres of the property's boundary can't be taller than 2.5 metres.
  • A garden room can't have a patio or deck taller than 300mm.
  • A garden room can't be a self-contained living space.
  • The garden room can't be for a listed building.
  • The garden room can't be in a conservation area.
  • In a location designated as an "area of outstanding natural beauty," the garden room can't be more than 20 metres from the house or larger than 10 square metres. Areas of outstanding natural beauty include conservation areas, the broads, world heritage sites and national parks.

You can break these rules legally but with planning permission.

What Happens if a Garden Room Doesn't Meet Building Regulation Standards?

If a garden room doesn't meet building regulation standards, its structural integrity and energy efficiency may be lacking. A garden room with structural integrity problems will constantly need repair and probably not last long. It may even become a safety hazard.

On the other hand, a garden room with poor energy efficiency will have high heating costs. Overheating will also be common in hot summer months. Finally, the authorities can prosecute and fine the homeowner for breaking garden room building regulations without permission.

How Do Building Inspectors Check Garden Rooms?

How Do Building Inspectors Check Garden Rooms?

Building inspectors will inspect your garden room and issue a certificate if it passes garden room building regulations. You can wait until the installation is complete before inviting them for this. However, there is a smarter way to do things.

Experienced installers let building inspectors see the garden room's plan before installation starts. This way, they will find out if the structure will pass or fail the final inspection. If building inspectors approve the plan, they can start the installation. If inspectors don't approve the plan, they apply for planning permissions and other necessary permits.

Experienced garden room installers won't stop here. They will keep building inspectors updated and involved during the entire installation process. All these actions improve the chances of passing that final inspection. However, they can be stressful and time-consuming. That's why you need garden room installers like us. 

How Do I Get Planning Permission and Building Regulation Permits for My Garden Room?

How Do I Get Planning Permission and Building Regulation Permits for My Garden Room?

You or your installer must contact your local council's building regulations and planning authorities. You can apply online (planning permission, building regulations)

or visit the offices in person. Either way, you'll have to wait a few weeks before getting a reply. Put this into consideration when thinking of how long it will take to install a garden room.

The good news is that you don't always need both building regulations and planning permission. Sometimes, you only need one. For example, you only need building regulation permits when dealing with a design or construction issue affecting a garden room's structural integrity and energy efficiency. Meanwhile, you only need planning permission for town planning and development issues.

Why Do Garden Room Building Regulations Exist?

Even though we refer to these rules as "garden room building regulations," they weren't explicitly created for garden rooms. They were created for outbuildings in general. The government made these regulations to ensure the structural integrity and energy efficiency of buildings. We already know what happens when these two are compromised.

Garden room building regulations (and building regulations in general) also protect the environment. That's why they include rules about conservation areas, listed buildings and designated lands. Aside from these, building regulations also protect the environment by making garden rooms energy efficient. Energy efficiency doesn't just reduce heating costs. It also helps the environment.    

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