Designing a garden studio

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21 Apr 2004
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So I'm in the early stages of designing a 'Garden Studio' to relieve some pressure on the house in this new work-from-home era. Not done this sort of thing before, so lots to learn.

Broadly speaking I intend to take the 'Building a shed Mike's way' design approach - thanks Mike :)

So here is my first rough design sketch:

As you can see it's an L shaped building with a pitched roof (why can't I keep things simple!)
Internal floor Area <= 15sqm, height 2.5m limit to avoid planning and building regs. Close to the border fences.

Mike, I liked your recommendation of the corrigated Onduline Roofing as a possible option.

As you will notice at this stage I've glossed over details such as roof design, overhang of rafters, gutters, roof extension over french doors etc.

So the main challenge I see is having a pitched roof and keeping all within 2.5m height. Once I take the thickness of the roof into account (not sure what thickness rafters are needed to calculate thickness of roof), I'm wondering if I can still get a nice looking building within the 2.5m limit. To add to this, the door is coming out from under the eaves, so again I think this will be a challenge with the height restriction.

So I'm wondering how practical this design is. Is it even possible without making the door too short? If it is possible, I'm wondering what rule of thumb dimensions should be for example from top of concrete base (50mm above ground level) to top of the top plate, and therefore minimum door height.

Looking at off the shelf garden rooms under the 2.5m height limit, they seem to have a mostly flat or slightly pitched roof with the doors under the gable end not under the eaves... So I'm wondering if I'm being unrealistic trying to go for this look?

If this is not practical, how painful would it be and how successful am I likely to be applying for planning permission so I can increase the height a little? (Still no building regs I assume as <15sqm). The property backs onto woodland on the left hand fence and a neighbour's garden on the right hand fence. We had a large extension on the back of the house about 10 years ago (with planning permission).

Any advice at this stage would be appreciated!


There's no image showing, Paul. I think there have been issues trying to use google as a host. I use Imgur, and it works beautifully.
If you want something slightly outside permitted development regulations don’t dismiss the option of applying for planning permission.

As I’m in a conservation zone I had to apply when I built my workshop. Cost a couple of hundred quid in council charges and I did all the drawings and forms myself. Local planning office was a bit slow but always there to help. The planning office was enthusiastic about something well built that was close to the permitted development regs, and not too bothered about it being 50cm taller. I needed the height as I unfortunately couldn’t do a slab due to potential tree root damage on protected trees, so I have a suspended timber floor.

If it’s the difference between a bit too much of a compromise and enabling the build you really want then it’ll be worth the effort and expense.

Okay, hopefully this image works - cheers Mike for pointing it out.

Also including a photo to show the setting if any relevance to planning.
Large trees pretty close, but I guess if outside building regs, reinforcing mesh would be advisable in the slab.

I would really rather not have to go through planning, but also trying to avoid the standard flat roof garden office look if possible.

Blimey. OK......just finish your drawing. See if you can resolve the roof over the door.....because if it can't be drawn, it can't be built. :) That really is going to cause some complications.
MikeG.":1fg8wf7g said:
Blimey. OK......just finish your drawing. See if you can resolve the roof over the door.....because if it can't be drawn, it can't be built. :) That really is going to cause some complications.

That's an al fresco entrance ;)

What’s the internal layout?
Surely That will dictate whether you shift the door or make it complicated by having it across the internal corner.
Google skillion roof......
Wouldn't having the door there make it harder to get bigger stuff in (sheet goods) - why can't you have a double door at the side near the washing line and just windows on the sides where your door is now?

The obvious answer (to an outsider, and non-trampolinist) is to get rid of the trampoline and have a straight building along the far end of the garden, rather than going around the corner. Simple roof, put the door where you like......
As this was a design question....

It's miles too small. As Mike says, in essence, with this layout, it's too complicated to build unless you have done it before (in which case you would not be asking the question.

I would take a clean sheet approach. Ignore the small tree in the lawn (moveable), the loose laid slabs and the trampoline (they seem to be falling out of fashion).

Make a building that can be used as an office or eventually a workshop, or at a pinch a spare bedroom for teenagers / visitors to do the occasional overnight.
I am sorry to be negative, but a pitched roof and keeping below 2.5m for PD is a non starter unless you are a pigmy.

Why not have a flat roof but make the design more interesting

personally I would make it bigger, fireproof it to cover building regs then you could have a much more useable space. I built mine 29.9m internally, but was luckily able to keep it 1 metre away from the neighbour.
Thanks for all the feedback, certainly some more food for thought. As I was writing the post I was coming to the (rather obvious) conclusion that it's not really going to work within the 2.5m height. Mike as you say, I first need to try finish the drawing to see if it's drawable, then indeed if it's buildable! :) Certainly will be a challenge.

So for now it's back to the drawing board to think about whether to go simpler and keep under 2.5m (clearly more sensible) or consider building regs and overcomplicate the build!

Samhay, that's a good question about the roots, would need to investigate that too.

By the way it's intended to be a home office / art studio not a workshop (I have the garage for that at the front).


archpa":b2s8zgjb said:
.........So for now it's back to the drawing board to think about whether to go simpler and keep under 2.5m (clearly more sensible) or consider building regs and overcomplicate the build!.......

Those aren't your choices. If you want to go above 2.5m then you'll need Planning Permission, but you won't need Building Regs approval unless you go over the floor area limits.

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