Can you have a garden room in a small garden

Small Garden, Big Potential: Bespoke Garden Room Ideas for Maximising Smaller Spaces 

Posted by Craig | Updated April, 2024 | 8 Min Read Time

At a glance 

  • Small garden rooms have become increasingly popular with homeowners as they offer additional living space at an affordable price, all with the added benefit of a small foot print and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.


In this article, you’ll find the following:

  • Garden rooms can be built in small gardens with careful planning and design.
  • A garden room can add value to a property and serve multiple purposes.
  • Consider planning regulations and space optimisation when planning your garden room.

Having a garden room in a small garden may seem like a challenging concept, but with careful planning and design, it is entirely possible to make the most of your available exterior space. A well-designed garden room can add significant value to your property, providing a dedicated area for work, relaxation or entertainment, and even improving your overall quality of life.

Garden room designs can be tailored to meet specific requirements, whether you need a quiet home office or a multi-purpose space for leisure activities. When considering the addition of a garden room in a small garden, aspects such as planning permission and effective use of space should be taken into account to ensure a successful outcome.

Let’s dive into that now!

A garden room CJ Smiths built in the St Albans area

Small Gardens Can Be Transformed Into Functional And Beautiful Outdoor Spaces With Thoughtful Design Strategies, All With The Addition Of A Garden Room. 

These outdoor rooms have become a popular choice for homeowners who require additional living space but do not want the complexity of extending their house or relocating. 

Have you got a small garden that needs a make over this year? 

What Is A Small Garden Room?

A small garden room is a compact, freestanding structure (outbuilding) located in the garden or outdoor space of a home. They are designed to serve a variety of purposes beyond the main living area such as garden gyms, offices, hobby rooms or they can built to your specific needs.

Particularly with smaller garden rooms, they can blend in seamlessly with your existing garden making the perfect addition to your home.

Navigating Planning and Garden Room Regulations

Navigating Garden Room Planning Permissions

In most cases, installing garden rooms in smaller gardens does not require planning permission. However, there are exceptions. Certain cases may require an application for approval, especially if the garden room is to be located within a conservation area, a national park or an area of outstanding natural beauty.

To better understand whether your garden room project requires certain permissions, feel free to reach out to us.

“Thanks Craig for creating a beautiful outbuilding at the back of our garden. It looks stunning!” 412548937 1708206226343428 2980707509164953554 n 1080

Understanding the Scope of Permitted Development Rights for Your Small Garden Room

Permitted development rights allow homeowners to carry out certain improvements and extensions to their properties without requiring permission from the local authorities.

If your garden room falls under permitted development guidelines, you do not need to apply for planning permission. However, it is crucial to ensure that your garden room adheres to specific regulations relating to property size, location, and height.

It is also worth noting that permitted development rights may not apply if you live in a listed building or a conservation area.

Adhering to Building Standards for Bespoke Garden Spaces

While planning permission may not be necessary for a small garden room, you may still need to adhere to building regulations. Building regulations ensure that structures are safe, energy-efficient, and accessible. A garden room is usually exempt from building regulations if it is less than 15 square meters and does not contain sleeping accommodation.

Nevertheless, if your garden room requires plumbing, electrics, or other services, compliance with the relevant building regulations is essential.

Designing Your Bespoke Garden Room for Small Spaces

Selecting the right Materials for Your Bespoke Small Garden Room

When constructing your bespoke small garden room and deciding on its particular use, the selection of suitable materials becomes critical. It’s advisable to choose non-combustible, low-maintenance materials that offer effective insulation, vital for making your space usable all year round.

For your timber garden room, opting for cladding that not only looks good but also supports the structure’s insulation and durability is essential. This ensures your insulated garden space remains a cosy and functional extension of your home, whatever the weather.

Inside of a bespoke garden room CJ Smiths built

Maximising Outdoor Space in Smaller Gardens

In smaller gardens, strategic design can turn compact spaces into versatile and inviting outdoor havens. By introducing innovative solutions like garden pods or angular outbuildings, you can effectively utilise previously unused spaces, creating extra room for relaxation or entertainment.

Additionally, crafting a balanced layout that integrates a mix of planting, decking, and furniture ensures every square inch is optimised, blending functionality with beauty to make the most of your garden’s available space.

Creating Versatile and Multi-functional Garden Office Spaces

Tailoring garden rooms to fulfil multiple needs is an intelligent move in compact gardens, where making efficient use of space is key. Embedding necessities such as power outlets and kitchen utilities within your design allows for a small garden building to adapt to various functions.

For example, repurposing a garden shed into a multifunctional area acts as a clever and economical alternative to traditional garden structures.

This method not only leverages the minimal room in a small space but also introduces a distinctive feature to your outdoor area, marrying functionality with visual appeal. Prioritising openness and natural light in the design can significantly elevate the space’s utility and atmosphere, optimising your garden’s size for maximum versatility.

A Professionally Built Garden Room Could Increase Your Properties Value By Up To 5%

Concluding Thoughts on Planning and Designing Garden Rooms in Small Gardens

In summary, it is indeed possible to have a garden room in a small garden. These garden rooms provide additional living space without costing a fortune or dominating your garden space. They can be tailored to suit even the smallest gardens, ensuring an attractive and functional addition to your property.

Garden rooms can serve various purposes such as home offices, art studios or even bedrooms, as long as they comply with the building regulations. Despite the limited size, these compact spaces can be designed to maximise functionality and style.

Creating the perfect garden room for a small garden may require thoughtful planning and professional assistance. Nevertheless, these compact, versatile spaces can enrich your property and provide you with a valuable retreat. Feel free to reach out to us for your next garden room project!


Craig Smith

The founder of CJ Smiths Construction Company for over 14+ years and a proud citizen of St Albans City.

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