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Top five things to think about when designing a garden room

Garden rooms can be a great addition to the home. You may just want one as an extension to your house or perhaps you want a secret, private getaway, but no matter what you are after, there are a few factors to consider before you go ahead and build one. 

Here are the top five things you'll want to think about before you start designing your new hideaway.


Most importantly, you need to know the rules and regulations you have to adhere to when building a garden room. If you live in an area of outstanding natural beauty, a national park or in a listed building, you'll have to get planning permission for any structural changes you make on your property, including building a garden room. Many people won't have to worry about planning permission, but it is always best to check rather than having to pull the building down later.

There are height and distance restrictions too. Typically, a garden room should be no higher than 2.5 metres and if you're planning on having a mono-pitched or dual-pitched roof, the room should be two metres away from the boundary of your garden. Some garden rooms can be built right up to the border though, if you're worrying about space, but again, it's best to check beforehand.


You can choose to make your garden room a feature by having it in the centre of the garden, perhaps with a striking design. On the other hand, you might prefer to have a hidden away summer house or a private games or cinema room. You can also create a garden room that doubles up as an extra room and a shed, with hidden storage space cleverly worked into the design of the building.


Position is more than just about what will look best in your garden, you should also consider privacy issues. If you really do want a secret room, it is wise to make sure your nosey neighbours can't see in. If you have particularly low walls, you may want to avoid putting a lot of windows in your new building.

Then there's the sun - you'll get the sun at different types of day according to which way your garden faces and you'll need to think about how this will affect your room. Gardens facing to the north get the least sun, whereas south facing gardens get the most. If you're a morning person, east facing gardens get more sun in the morning but gardens that face westwards get the most afternoon and evening light.


Noise pollution from outside will especially affect you if you're planning to build a garden music studio, so you'll want to keep such noises outside. Similar issues will arise if you plan to create a cinema room, as you won't want your neighbours to be disturbed by your surround sound. If these issues will affect you, the best thing to do is to get your garden room professionally sound-proofed.


It depends on what you plan to use your garden room for, but the likelihood is you'll want electricity, heating and lighting in your room. A consumer unit can be installed into a garden room, so you can still have all your creature comforts. All an electrician has to do is run a cable from your house to the unit. Perfect for those who want to create a granny annexe and need running bathroom and kitchen appliances.

Date: 25/07/2013 | Author: Laura Varley