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How to choose a garden building

How to choose a garden building

Garden buildings can include anything from a standard shed where you can store tools and garden furniture, to outdoor workshops and cosy summer houses.  
Here’s all you need to think about when adding a garden building to your home premises.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 30 JUNE 2020

What will you use your garden building for?

The first thing you need to think about before choosing your garden building is how you want it to be used. Will your building be for storage, used as an office or workshop, or as a space for you to relax on a summer evening?

Knowing how your new room will be used can help give you a better idea of how it needs to be fitted out. Once you’ve decided on its function, you can begin to consider practicalities including insulation, power and water.

Choosing the right material

While you’ll want your garden building to fit nicely with the rest of your home, there’s more to choosing the right material than just how it looks. You’ll need to think about the stability of your building and the times of year in which you’ll want to use it.

For example, if you want a permanent building, brick might be the most sensible material. However, if you’re looking to keep costs low on a summer house, an insulated wooden structure might be a better fit.

Where will you put your garden building?

Finding the perfect place in your garden will partly depend on how you want to use your building.

If you see your garden building as a summer house, you might want to consider where the sun sets in the evenings, and position your outbuilding to give you the most light. But if your outbuilding is only to be used for storage, you may prefer to put it somewhere tucked away.

How much do you have to spend?

A standard garden shed should cost a lot less than a summer house fitted with lights and a heater. The cost of your garden building will depend on a number of things, from your choice of material, to the cost of installing insulation and electrics on more permanent structures.

It’s also worth remembering that a garden building isn’t a one-off cost. Consider how much maintenance will need to be done, to keep your garden building in good condition throughout the seasons.

Do garden buildings need planning permission?

It depends on their size and where they’re erected. Under Section E of the Government’s permitted development rights, new building structures do not require planning permission if the following are true:

  • the new building is separate from the main building
  • the structure has only one storey
  • the building is no more than 2.5 metres in height

How will you secure your garden building?

Garden outbuildings can be tempting to passing intruders who want to steal your items, especially if you tend to leave expensive items stored inside.

Protect your garden building using firm locks and security lighting to help keep its contents secure. If you store high-value items inside, you could also consider installing a smart security system. This can alert you if anyone tries to break into your building.

Will you need insurance?

Most home insurance policies will cover sheds and outbuildings within the boundaries of your property, but contact your provider to check. If you’re planning to build a shed or outbuilding, be sure to contact your insurance provider to update your buildings and contents cover.

Find out more about home insurance and start comparing policies with Compare the Market, to find the insurance that’s right for you.

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