Why has there been a growing trend in garden outbuilding?

The trend in garden outbuilding is one that has been growing all over the UK. From the simple garden shed through to dens and pool houses we have begun to see more and more people looking to their gardens to find additional room to expand the space in their homes. But why is garden outbuilding suddenly so popular and what do you need to know about it?

Fuelling the trend

Historically, we might think of garden outbuildings as a shed exclusively for tools and somewhere to keep the lawnmower. However, space constraints in modern construction, as well as homeowners looking to do more with the properties that they have, mean that the humble shed has considerably evolved.

Today, you’re as likely to find a home office in the garden as a den for teenagers, a meditation and yoga space or even a playroom. The main driving force behind the trend is the need for more space but those homeowners who do invest in garden outbuildings can also enjoy other benefits, such as an increase in property value.

What you need to know

Most traditional garden outbuildings will be classed as a “permitted development,” which means that no planning permission is required for construction. However, there are restrictions and if a proposed building falls outside of these restrictions then tackling the planning process may be necessary.

Height restrictions

Garden outbuildings should be single storey and the bottom of the eaves should be below 2.5 metres. Overall height should be under 3 metres (4 metres for a pitched roof).

Boundary properties

If the garden outbuilding is going to be positioned within 2 metres of the property boundary then the total height must not exceed 2.5 metres (no matter what type of roof is planned).


A new construction in the garden shouldn’t take up more than 50% of the garden if you want to remain within permitted development. If there are already other outbuildings, such as sheds or a conservatory, these must be factored into the calculation too.


If you’re planning to work from home using the new garden outbuilding then there is usually no need to apply for planning permission. However, this may not be the case if working from home is likely to involve pollutants, noise, machinery or lots of visitors to the property.

Exceptional situations

Listed buildings may have restrictions that mean it’s not possible to construct garden outbuildings. There may also be issues for properties located in Green Belt areas.

Adding value

There’s no doubt that a garden outbuilding can add value to a property. Even the simplest structure gives buyers something to work with. Now that more people than ever before require a home office and buyers are keen to get more for their money, this type of construction can be a convincing factor.

Whether you’re buying or selling your home we can help you with all the key stages in the process. Contact us to find out more about buying and selling property in your area.