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Building a Garden Office

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The idea of building a garden office in people’s gardens is more popular than ever due to remote working. A garden office not only provides you with that quiet zone away from household distractions but can also if done right, increase your property’s value. Let’s look at the costs, if you need planning permission and how to build on a budget.

How much does it cost to build a garden office?

Building a garden office or “garden room” isn’t cheap but can be more cost-effective than renting office space in the long term. Costs can vary widely, depending on the size, materials, and finishes you go for. So, let’s take a look at the different garden office sizes and their costs. Keep in mind that these are just ballpark figures;

Small-sized garden office

A small garden office as a rough guide, is about 3m x 2m. Typically the most budget-friendly option is a timber-framed structure, and you can expect to pay around £6,000 to £8,000 for this type of garden office. This should include basic insulation and perhaps one electrical outlet. High-end finishes or additional features like heating or aircon would be extra costs.

Medium-sized garden office

A medium garden office is around 4m x 3m in size so can comfortably fit a desk, small cabinet, and possibly a small seating area or sofa. Costs can range from £10,000 to £15,000+ This should cover better insulation, more electrical outlets, and possibly even some furniture or a separate toilet area. Plumbing however can be a significant cost, so make sure to discuss if this is included in the price or not when obtaining quotes.

Large-sized garden office

If you have the space and can accommodate a more spacious outdoor office, then you’re looking at about 6m x 5m workspace. This larger size allows you to perhaps include a small kitchen or bathroom. You could even consider high-quality finishes like hardwood flooring or wall panels. The costs can start from £20,000 and go upwards depending on what you’ve got in mind.

Additional costs when building a garden office

Be mindful that the above figures are ballpark covering just the building costs, so they might not include the fitting and assembly of the garden office. It’s a good idea to discuss in detail what’s included in any quotes you get so there are no surprises down the line. Always check if fitting and assembly are part of the package. Other additional costs to consider for your garden room are:

Planning permission: if required, it could cost you a few hundred pounds.
Electrical and plumbing: could be an extra £1,000-£2,000.
Foundations: generally includes the concrete base. Expect to spend £500-£1,500 on both the material costs and the labour costs for laying it. However, ground conditions could affect this price.
High-end finishes: this will vary based on your preferences.

Can I build my own garden office?

What DIY should you do? If you’re quite handy at DIY, you might be tempted to build your own garden office. You’ll need a fair bit of experience and the tools to do the job plus it will consume a fair amount of time. Be honest with yourself if this really is a job for you and bear in mind that although it can be cheaper in the short term, it could also cost you more in the long term if you get it wrong.

Do you need planning permission to build a garden office?

Whether or not you need planning permission to build a garden office depends on several factors like the office size and its location for example. For instance, if the building is taller than 2.5 metres or within 2 metres of a boundary, you’ll likely need planning permission.

Always check with your local authority. And if you need a hand call in professional architectural services.

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Should you use an architect for building a garden office?

When it comes to building a garden office, you might wonder if hiring an architect is worth the added expense. After all, garden offices are usually smaller projects, and you may think it’s easy to sort it out yourself without professional help:

Getting it right the first time

An architect’s expertise ensures that you get the design right from the outset. They consider factors like light and insulation, and they look at how they can maximise comfort and functionality. Essentially, you’re more likely to get a space that truly suits your needs as everything is thought off.

Compliance and permissions

Navigating planning permissions and building regulations can be tricky. An architect knows the ins and outs, and they’ll manage it all on your behalf. This expertise can be invaluable, especially if you’re unfamiliar with local planning regulations.

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Cost and time efficiency

They advise on the most cost-effective materials and construction methods. Plus, their detailed plans make it easier for contractors to provide accurate quotes, helping reduce the likelihood of unexpected costs.

Our preferred architects take the hassle and worry out of finding a reliable tradesperson who can bring your designs to life. Their team can introduce you to pre-vetted contractors with relevant skills in your area.

Building a garden office on a budget

A garden office is an investment in your home, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Even on a budget, a well-planned garden office can be realised. 

If you’re in a dilemma about whether to use an architect or not, then weigh up the pros and cons carefully. While they are an extra cost, their expertise could result in potential savings in the long-term making it a worthwhile spend.

Last Updated: October 11th, 2023

Phil Spencer

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