Prebuild and Planning
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
How we planned, designed and found the right resources to build our garden office.
Planning Permission and Regulations
We built our garden office under the permitted development rules, which means we did not need to apply for planning permission. There are certain criteria you have to satisfy to make sure you're within the rules. Most notably:
The building should be under 2.5m (or 4m high ridge)
If <1m from a boundary, the building should satisfy fire regulations.
Outbuildings and other additions must not exceed 50% of the total area of land around the original house.
Garden offices have to be for "incidental use". It can't be a habitable room, Airbnb etc. or used as a business address (working from home is fine, but not setting up a office with visiting customers)
It is worth reading the planning rules carefully and checking with your local council.
(Image from: https://www.iobuild.co.uk/garden-office-planning-permission/ )
There is a brilliant resource called the Self Build Garden Room Guide. Which is available to purchase for £39. It's a really valuable guide, explaining the planning, design and construction options in detail. If you're weighing up a self build versus buying a prefab or kit, this guide will give a very decent understanding of the pro's and cons.
Design and Drawing Tools
There are many online design tools available. I found that pencil and paper was best to begin with. Once we had some basic designs, we then used Roomle, a free 3d visualization and design software. This was very useful for changing floor plans and planning the interior design. For example you can see how furniture would fit.