With one of the biggest selections of garden rooms online, WhatShed works with almost every major brand and retailer of garden rooms in the UK. We appraise & review each garden room using an impartial and objective 0-100 Expert Score developed by industry experts. This helps you compare the market to find the best garden rooms for you, at the right price, from the right retailer. If you are new to garden rooms and you want to find out what sort of things our experts think you should be looking for when choosing one then you might want to check out our “Garden rooms buying guide”.

Outdoor garden rooms can be beautiful and functional additions to your outdoor areas, giving you extra spaces to store things, relax, work, or play. And WhatShed can provide all the info, advice, and garden room recommendations you need. We write detailed reviews on the most popular, best-selling garden rooms for sale in the UK. So, whether you’re looking for an ex-display garden room, a wooden garden room, or a flat-pack garden room, we’ll help you find it.

 

Garden Rooms Buying Guide

If you’re in search of a garden room but have no idea where to start, you’re in the right place. In this garden room guide, we’ll address all aspects of the buying process. We start with the necessary preparation and important pre-purchase considerations, before moving on to the various building techniques used and stylistic choices made by the top manufacturers. We conclude with some tips to help you keep your new outdoor getaway in perfect condition long into the future.

Here, we share all you need to know about garden rooms in this article.

A 10-minute read.

What will it be used for?
Types of garden rooms
Planning permission
Foundations
Assembly
Maintenance

 

What will it be used for?

Garden rooms are typically more sophisticatedly built than log cabins but in many areas, our log cabin guide covers many of the elements that are just as applicable to the more expensive garden rooms. As a good foundation, we recommend reading our “Beginers guide to log cabins” before you read this. 

The main question that will dictate what sort of garden room you want will be understanding what you want to use it for. If you are planning on using it as an all year round office then you are most likely going to want to have a fully insulated garden room that also has double glazing. If however, you are only planning on using it occasionally in the summer then perhaps a log cabin might better meet your needs.

What makes a garden room different and distinct from a log cabin usually revolves around the refinements offered as standard and the fact that typically they are always offered in the higher cladding thicknesses with stronger framing and more durable roofing and flooring options as standard.

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Types of garden room

Typically the main types of garden rooms revolve around whether they are insulated or non-insulated. The non-insulated garden rooms have a good deal of crossover with log cabins and can often be no different.

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Planning permission

As stated in our “Log cabins buying guide” a garden room is a structure where planning permission may well be needed. 

If a garden room will not require planning permission then typically the manufacturer will make it very clear. Unfortunately, different manufacturers will often supply their measurements in different ways. This can lead to confusion amongst customers. If you’re at all in doubt, just send a message to a manufacturer’s support email address. Most list this on their website.

As a basic guide for starting to work out if your garden room might require planning permission, we have listed seven questions you should ask yourself. If you find yourself answering yes to any then you should check with the Council and garden room manufacturer if planning permission is needed. 

Planning regulations apply in the following cases:

  • The structure is more than 2.5 meters tall and is less than two metres from one of your property’s boundary walls.
  • Its internal dimensions are over 30m square.
  • It will take up more than half the land around your property.
  • Someone will live in the structure.
  • Your property is in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty or is a listed building.
  • If the structure is in front of your home, facing a road.
  • These are the main points to consider when planning a major structure in your garden.

However, with regulations subject to change, it is always best to check the latest on the UK government’s website prior to any purchase.

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Foundations

Of all the different types of garden buildings, we cover getting the foundations right for a garden room is the most important. Typically the best option unless you have experience is to have a professional builder put down a suitable foundation. 

For a garden room, we always recommend building them on a solid and comprehensive concreted foundation. A good tip is to measure everything twice and ensure you fully understand the manufacturer’s dimensions. 

If you are laying the foundation yourself the foundation should be completely level, or as near-to as possible. Don’t just guess it “by eye”. Use a spirit level and aim to make a perfect, level area. 

It is also important to incorporate some space around a log cabin for maintenance. We recommend positioning it at least three feet from any other objects in your garden. This will give you space to work in when you need to add a coat of treatment or replace any parts that have degraded over time.

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Assembly

Some readers of this guide might have the skills to assemble a garden room themselves. We have found that typically a garden room is much more complicated than say most log cabins and the consequences of ‘not doing it right are much more costly. As such we recommend that you either get help from someone who has experience or uses a professional installation service.

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Maintenance 

Garden rooms share many of the same maintenance routines that are needed for log cabins, unless a manufacturer has specifically advised against it then the most common way of treating a garden room is to annually treat it with a suitable oil-based product. Many manufacturers will carry such wood preservers and will not honour a warranty unless a strict treatment schedule is adhered to.

Wood preservers can be either clear or tinted. In addition to many natural colours, you can add a touch of style to your garden hideaway with a brighter choice.

WhatShed Tip: Always wait until construction is complete before the initial treatment! This creates a much cleaner fit between each log. The treatment protects the joint when applied post-construction.

You should aim to apply treatment as soon as possible after the first construction. You should periodically treat it again in accordance with the instructions on the product. Most recommend once a year.

The timber used throughout construction is porous and, as a natural product, it will expand and contract over the years.

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