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Garden Building Information

Garden Buildings Overview

Beginning with the humble garden shed, the subject of garden buildings encompasses everything from log cabins and garden offices to gazebos and pergolas. Many companies offer fully bespoke garden buildings to suit any design requirements or budgets....more

Garden Buildings

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Log Cabins, Home offices and Workshops

The range of garden buildings currently available has increased beyond all recognition. The humble shed has always been a great favourite of the British public and a summerhouse was comparatively rare. Today everything from workshops and playhouses to garden rooms and home offices are springing up in gardens throughout the land.

The construction of many garden buildings is in the form of modular timber buildings and these offer great flexibility of design. Log cabins in particular are regarded as made from renewable materials and are therefore categorised as sustainable.

A key factor as to whether to proceed with a garden building is whether planning permission is needed or likely to be granted since neighbours quite often become agitated by garden structures. Most garden buildings do not require planning permission and can be erected under Permitted Development.

The rules for Permitted Development for 'temporary demountable garden structures' are briefly as follows:

  • The structure must be more than 5m from the main dwelling.
  • The structure must cover less than 50% of the garden area
  • The structure must not be nearer to the highway than the current dwelling or within 20m of the highway.
  • The use of the structure must be ancillary or incidental to the use of the main house. (This is a very key factor. Hence a snooker room, gymnasium or music room for example is clearly ancillary to the use of the house; a separate dwelling would not be ancillary. A 'home office' would be ancillary; an independent business premises with staff arriving for work would not be.)

Further rules apply for extensions to houses and the amount of Permitted Development allowed can be surprisingly generous at times. Some houses have no Permitted Development rights since they are removed at the time of the initial planning permission. Always check with your local planning office and confirm this in writing.

Gazebos and Pagodas

In the Victorian era gazebos were the must have garden accessory of the wealthy and these have returned to fashion in the UK. Made of timber or white painted aluminium the two most common are the octagonal gazebo and the hexagonal gazebo. The roofs normally have felt tiles, timber slats or cedar shingles.

Pagodas tend to be very similar to gazebos but expressing a rather more oriental Chinese style of design.


Pergolas are structures often built over decking or deck areas in order to support climbing plants and shrubs that then bring both beauty and shade to the garden. The construction of a pergola is usually treated timber. A pergola is often formed into a walkway thus guiding people to and from different areas of a large country house garden.

Many garden building manufacturers also produce unusual items such as dog kennels, tree houses and even smoking shelters.

Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are probably the latest fashion accessory for the garden and these can be located within the garden log cabin or for the hardy would-be-Scandanavians they can be simply outside on a bespoke hot tub patio area.