How To Build A Separate Dwelling In Your Garden: A Complete Guide.

How To Build A Separate Dwelling In Your Garden: A Complete Guide

Having an extra living space in your garden is a great way to add an extra room to your home, or even a place to start a business or hobby. Whether it’s a guest house, a home office, or even a workshop, a separate dwelling can add considerable value to your property.

But building a separate dwelling in your garden can be a complex process, even if you have some building experience. To help you get started, we’ve put together this complete guide to building a separate dwelling in your garden.

Do You Need Planning Permission?

The first step in building any structure in your garden is to confirm if you need planning permission. This depends on your local authority, as regulations differ from place to place. In general, you don’t need planning permission if:

  • Your structure is single-story and under 30 square meters
  • The dwelling is more than two meters away from any boundary
  • The dwelling does not change the character of the area

If your proposed dwelling meets these criteria, then you don’t need planning permission. If it doesn’t, then you will need to apply for permission. This can be a lengthy and expensive process, so it’s best to confirm if you need permission before you start building.

Choosing the Right Materials and Tools

Once you’ve confirmed whether you need planning permission, then you can start choosing the right materials and tools for your project. It’s important to pick materials that suit your budget and climate, as well as tools that you will be comfortable using.

Some materials to consider include timber and plasterboard for walls, tiles and carpet for the floor, and tile and sheeting for the roof. You will also need paint and other decorating materials to finish off your structure. As for the tools, the most important ones are a saw, a drill, and a level.

Building the Structure

Now comes the fun part – building the physical structure. Depending on your building experience, this can be a daunting prospect. To make the job easier, it’s best to break it down into small steps.

  • Start by laying the foundations and creating the walls
  • Once these are in place, you can begin to build the roof
  • Next, add the windows and doors
  • Finally, you can add flooring, paint, and other decorations

It’s important to take your time when building the structure. Measure twice and cut once!


Building a separate dwelling in your garden is a great way to add an extra space to your home or start a business or hobby. The process of building it can be complex, but if you take your time and follow the steps outlined above, you should be able to create something special. Good luck!