Skip to Content

Everything you ever wanted to know about Garden Rooms

25 Jan 2024

Regardless of the use and no matter if you opt for the small but perfectly functional UNO or move right the way up to the DUET room with its open deck perfect for BBQing and garden parties, there are many questions that you will want to have answered before embarking on this home improvement journey. So, here we go, everything you ever wanted to know about building a Garden Room.Gardenroom5

Do I need planning permission to build a Garden Room?

This is the most common question we get asked and the quick answer is No, usually. In Scotland, most ancillary buildings fall under ‘Permitted Development’ regulations and our rooms have been designed to comply with this. However, we always say to check with your local authority to avoid any nasty surprises. It's also a nice idea to chat to your neighbours about your plans just to ensure again, no surprises. For a Garden Room or indeed any other building to be allowed within the Permitted development rules the following apply*:

  • it's located at the back of the house
  • it's not used as a separate home to live in
  • it, and any other development, does not take up half or more of the ' rear curtilage' – this means half or more of the grounds behind your home
  • it's not higher than 4 metres at the highest point
  • any part that's a metre or less from the boundary is no higher than 2.5 metres
  • the eaves (the part where the wall meets the roof) is no higher than 3 metres
  • if the land is in a conservation area or in the grounds of a listed building, the building has a footprint of less than 4 square metres

So for most cases, you do not need planning permission for a Garden Room but caveats do apply to stay within permitted development rules.

* Source - Scottish Government

Are Garden Rooms Insulated?

Outside In Garden Rooms is a Scottish company with showrooms in Livingston and Edinburgh. We’re well aware of what the Scottish weather can throw at us therefore we build our Garden Rooms to withstand the worst of it. We insulate the walls, floor and roof to ensure you can comfortably use the space all year round. Both the windows and doors are double-glazed, adding another thermal barrier to the elements. Winter2.Munro

Do I need to find my own electrician / decorator?

Absolutely not! We handle all aspects of the build, all you need to do is move in your furniture! We share an electrical plan ahead of your build to allow you to specify what you'd like where. Many clients ask for a wall mounted TV so we place a socket higher up to avoid trailing cables and install a support to take the weight of the TV. We even bring in our cleaning team so your room is spotless when we hand over the keys. 

How far away from a boundary should a Garden Room be?

To keep within Permitted Development guidelines, any part of a structure that's a metre or less from the boundary must be no higher than 2.5 metres. Our rooms can sit within the metre however we do suggest a minimum of 0.5m clearance for maintenance purposes. Each site is assessed for suitability and we always discuss boundaries as clearly you don't want to invest in a garden room to find it's non-compliant. 

My Garden isn’t level, is that an issue?

Not at all! We use ground screws to create a firm foundation for our Garden Rooms. The beauty of these huge robust screws, aside from being a far less carbon intensive alternative to concrete foundations, is that they can be placed at different heights to create a level footing. The example below was built at the top of a very steep garden yet there was no excavation or framework required to make this happen. Obviously there had to be steps added to access the room but clearly this shows how easy it is to build on a slope (the build team had calves of steel after this build!!) Mearns Road2F06BE47 917B 465F 8A58 E654FC8E626AWe also offer landscaping services therefore can create a flat surface along with any other features you want.

Can I choose the exterior colour of my Garden Room?GardenRoom

Yes, absolutely! We use IRO timber cladding which can be specified in a range of colours from traditional hues to modern shades. IRO timbers are manufactured in Britain and use the Japanese wood preservation technique Yakisugi where the wood is charred to give a beautiful and tactile finish. A true meld of old and 21st century craftsmanship. Along with the exterior cladding, you can specify the flooring, interior paint, position of electrical sockets and the type of roof! IMG 4261

How secure are Garden Rooms?

We understand that if you’re using your Garden Room as a home theatre, gym or office you want peace of mind that they are all secure behind locked doors. All of our Garden Rooms use ANSI 2 locks for the doors and windows meaning that your goods are as safe as they would be in the main property.16 Somerford Road 20220706 051

We had a great experience working with Wendy & team at Outside In. Amazing customer service & super responsive to any questions we had. The build team were amazing. Our garden room has made a huge difference, we love it. I would highly recommend Outside In!

Kelly, Edinburgh

Can I add a shower or toilet to my Garden Room?

Yes, you can although this turns the building into a dwelling and as such will require a building warrant, a process we handle for you. Once the warrant is in place we can create a wonderful watery oasis in your garden. This configuration would be perfect for the larger DUO room where you could have a home gym and a shower room.ShowerTo start your journey towards breaking ground on a Garden Office, Gym, Music Room, Theatre or a million other uses, get in touch with us today. Or pop into one of our showrooms located in Livingston and Edinburgh.