Why the location of your garden room matters

You have much to think about when planning your garden room. In addition to settling upon the purpose, look, specification and interior features of the building, it is important to consider your room’s location and orientation.

Poorly positioning your building could impact your enjoyment of the space. You could even run into trouble with your local planning office if you choose the wrong site. Here’s why it is vital to correctly locate and orientate your garden room

Permitted development and planning permission

Most garden rooms won’t require planning permission or building regulations approval as they can be constructed under your class E permitted development rights. 

Garden rooms to the front or side of your property

Most people would prefer to position their garden room to the rear of their property. But if you don’t benefit from a back garden, you may wish to locate your building to the side or to the front of your home. If any part of the building would be forward of the front elevation of your house, your garden room would require planning permission.

Listed buildings, national parks and conservation areas

If your home is a listed building or is located in a national park, conservation area, area of outstanding natural beauty, World heritage Site or the Broads, you will require planning permission for your retreat. In addition, you will be subject to greater limitations regarding the size of building you can construct and where it is positioned. Always consult your local planning office or the relevant park authority before proceeding with your garden building.

Size and height

If your garden room is less than 2 metres from any boundary of your property, then the height of its roof will be restricted to 2.5m under your permitted development rights. There are further height restrictions related to a garden room’s position which you can explore in our comprehensive guide. These could influence your choice of location for the building.

Light and shade

It is worth thinking about the impacts of light and shade on your garden room. South facing windows will ensure than your space is flooded with natural light and that it captures more heat. However, with a south facing building, you may need to install windows featuring integrated binds to provide shade when you need it and to moderate the interior temperature on hotter days.

If your garden room is to be used as an art studio, a south facing building could become too bright. You may find that a south facing home office would become too hot to work in during the summer without the addition of blinds and/or air conditioning.


Your garden room could afford you a wonderful view of your outside space, so long as it is facing the right way! If you are lucky enough to have a large garden, it is certainly a good idea to think about which aspect or features of it you would like to see from your garden retreat. Perhaps your property borders open fields, woodland or the coast and you would like to orientate your garden retreat to give you a great view of the countryside or the sea. West facing buildings in rural or coastal areas would give you a wonderful view of the sunset.

Don’t forget that it is also nice to have a great view of your beautiful garden room from your home! Do you want your garden retreat to be a statement feature of your outside space or one that blends into the landscape?


It could be that you have limited outside space at your disposal and your trees are protected or you do not wish to remove them. This could mean that locating your retreat beneath your trees is unavoidable. Even if you don’t need to, it can be tempting to position your garden room beneath a canopy of trees to benefit from shade or to frame the building. But falling leaves will deposit debris on the structure and the root systems of trees could cause complications with your groundworks. 

Peace and privacy

Should your garden retreat be a private area or a more connected space? If privacy is key, your building should be orientated to face your own property and positioned so as not to be overlooked.

You can minimise noise pollution by locating your garden room as far as you can from any roads and other sources of noise. Planting bushes around your garden room will minimise the impact of background noise.

Access and ground conditions

How far is too far from your house? If it is likely that you will need to pop back to your house frequently to use the toilet or to get refreshments, it might be prudent to locate your garden room relatively close to your house.

Remember that you will need to connect the building to your electricity and water supplies. The closer to your house the room is, the easier this will be.

If you do wish to position the building at some distance from your house, you may need to create a pathway to enable you to access the room without walking mud into it or having to negotiate slippery terrain. 

Sloping land will present challenges in terms of both construction and access and so is best avoided. If your plan is to locate your garden retreat on a slope, is there a flatter portion of your garden where you could position your building?


It’s never a good idea to upset your neighbours. It could be that your garden room becomes a bone of contention. Think about whether the proposed location of the room would impact your neighbours in any way and speak to them to gauge their opinion before proceeding with your plans. A quick chat might save you from a nasty dispute in the future.


When you have taken the time to consider your options, you might well find that you need to change your plans for your garden room. The first location that came to mind might not prove to be the best one and you could find that simply rotating your building will make all the difference.

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