Whilst Planning Permission will be at the forefront of your mind, you also need to consider whether your build needs to comply with Building Regulations.
Building Regulations ensure that a building is built to the highest standards and is safe for occupation and is energy efficient.
The Planning Portal says that:
“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.”
Sleeping in a garden room
In many cases, a garden room can be built without the need to apply for Building Regulations, but if you plan to sleep in it – even only occasionally - you will need to apply for Building Regulations.
Building close to a boundary
To maximise space, many buyers want their garden room to be positioned as close to the boundaries of their garden as possible. The regulations tell us that garden rooms more than 15sqm in size and positioned within 1 meter of any boundary must be constructed from non-combustible materials.
Not many garden room ranges meet this regulation as standard, but many companies will tailor the specification so that it does comply. This involves swapping timber claddings for cement board claddings and incorporating specialist fire retardant membranes and plasterboard.
You will be able to discuss your options and the changes needed to the specification during a site visit.
On an elaborate garden room design, which includes a kitchen and/or shower room, it’s important that these elements are installed to Building Regulation standards. An experienced garden room designer will be up to date with the current rules and work with the Building Control Officer to design and build a garden room that complies with the rules.
The one element of Building Regulations that every garden room needs to comply with is the electrics – a certified electrician must install these.
There are fees involved in complying with Building Regulations. It’s difficult to predict them for you be-cause they are based on the size of the building and its value, but you can expect it to be in the hundreds of pounds, ask your supplier if these fees are included in the price they quote you.