There are so many options for garden buildings from sheds to outdoor offices, gazebos to summer houses. Whatever your needs, it is important that you take time to consider exactly what you want from your garden building before you decide.
What will you use it for?
One of the first considerations needs to be usage. What exactly do you want this space to do for you? Is it extra storage, a workspace or somewhere to entertain?
Obviously, for more storage, you’re going to need a shed. These come in a range of sizes and you need to decide whether you require electricity.
If you are looking for a workspace, what will it be for? This type of garden building will definitely need electricity. Also consider heating and lighting, so that you can work at all hours and in all seasons. Will the Wi-Fi from your house be sufficient and will you need it to have running water and plumbing?
For an entertaining space, such as a bespoke wooden gazebo, again you need to decide whether it needs electricity (fairy lights and patio heaters may need plugging in), and how many people you want to be able to comfortably fit.
Where will it go?
The next thing to think about is location. Where in your garden does this building sit? Remember, if you are considering a wooden framed building, you need to keep foliage away from the perimeter to prevent damp problems. It is also advisable to avoid overhanging trees as falling branches can damage the roof.
Is the building close to any fencing or other boundaries? You might need to get planning permission if you are looking to erect a garden building near a boundary.
How big will it be?
Size is another important consideration. You want your garden building to fit in the available space, but not take up too much room. This might mean that you need to reassess the type of building that you are looking for – it might not be feasible to fit a summer house into the garden of a mid-terrace, for example.
Will I need planning permission?
Generally, if the building is less than 2.5m tall at the eaves, you shouldn’t need planning permission. However, if you are in a listed building, or you live in a conservation area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, special permissions must be obtained. It’s a good idea to find out about this as it may affect your ability to erect a garden building.
What will it look like?
When choosing a garden building, it needs to fit the style and character of your house, your garden, and most importantly, you as an individual.
What materials do you want to use? Should the roof be thatched, or shingle? What should the interior be like? Are you after a bohemian entertainment space that has scatter cushions, or a more formal dining area with a glass topped table?
Once you have answered all these questions you are ready to make your perfect garden building a reality.