Garden Buildings, Garages & Annexes

You might have an idea for a garden room or office, or need extra accommodation for a relative or frequent visitor? I am able to design for you, or work with your own designs or mood boards & photos to create residential quality outbuildings. My timber framed buildings are built to the same standard as house extensions – they will last you a lifetime!

I have had many years of residential carpentry experience which I use in annexes and garden offices, and can draw on many trades for electrical fitting out, plastering  and plumbing.

Many garden buildings can be built on reinforced concrete slabs as opposed to digging footings (however larger buildings with heavy roof loads will require excavated footings). 

I would normally lay a brick plinth and start the timber framing on top of this for extra weather protection. Popular cladding materials can be timber featheredge, shiplap and render. Roofing materials can be simple felt shingles, clay tiles or the wonderful Western Red Cedar shingles and shakes available from the USA and Canada. My roof’s always have breathable roofing membranes for secondary weathering.

For those that require a turnkey solution I can finish including painting and so on, or for those with some DIY skills the project can be left unpainted for client finishing.

I can work to any photo or idea, both modern and period, large and small.

Planning Permission

Planning permission is not normally needed for most outbuildings, unless there is sleeping accommodation. Planners are now much more receptive to residential annexes as it means extended families can live on the same property.

In essence the rules for planning permission for outbuildings are as follows:

         Rules governing outbuildings apply to sheds, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings such as swimming pools, ponds, sauna cabins, kennels, enclosures (including tennis courts) and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse.

Other rules relate to the installation of a satellite dish, the erection of a new dwelling or the erection or provision of fuel storage tanks.

Outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
  • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
  • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container  within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from house to be limited to 10 square metres.
  • On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
  • Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

*The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

*Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

Please note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses and not to:

Building Regulations

If at all possible, it is better to avoid building regulations purely from an economic standpoint. You would have to make an application, have drawings produced, and have the work monitored and signed off. This can add £1000+ to the project easily. These are the current rules regarding building regulations and outbuildings:


“If you want to put up small detached buildings such as a garden shed or summerhouse in your garden, building regulations will not normally apply if the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres and contains NO sleeping accommodation.

If the floor area of the building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building contains NO sleeping accommodation and is either at least one metre from any boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.”

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