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Everything you need to know about Garden Lodges

Everything you need to know about Garden Lodges

If you’re considering garden lodge construction, it’s likely you’ve got a hundred questions floating around in your head. From the complexities of planning permission to whether or not it’s a good investment, there’s a lot to consider – and that’s barely scratching the surface.

Fear not though… To help you on your journey, we’ve collated a number of frequently asked questions we experience from clients. Let us put your concerns to rest, with this tell-all guide on everything you need to know about garden lodges.

What is a Garden Lodge?

In essence, garden lodges operate exactly the same as granny annexes as they are both self-contained pods designed for independent living. As such, the terms can be used interchangeably to refer to a small house on a larger property’s land.

Traditionally, garden lodges were used as permanent accommodation for gatekeepers, gardeners and other ‘in-house’ employees. Nowadays however, these annexe spaces are increasingly used for more wide-reaching purposes – such as to avoid costly care homes or as a means of generating additional income through a lodger.

Do you need Planning Permission for a Garden Lodge?

The simple answer is yes. Regardless of who is living in it, a new garden lodge – with all the essential mod-cons for independent living, will certainly require planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness from your Local Planning Authority before construction can begin.

To determine whether you’re able to build a garden lodge on your property, local councils will examine several factors in line with policies they’ve produced. These include – but are not limited to, the ecology of your plot, its disposal of surface water and whether the design of your build is in keeping with the character of the neighbourhood it’s constructed in.

Here at iHus, we pride ourselves on having a team of planning professionals to help make your vision a reality. With a wealth of industry experience – and more than 400 annexes under our belt, we have the skills to achieve successful planning results. In fact, we’re so confident in our ability, we even offer a full money-back guarantee on our range of annexes.

How close can it be to my boundary?

As a rule of thumb, garden lodges must be built on land you own. During the planning process, plot boundaries will be examined to ensure your new build doesn’t encroach on a neighbour’s property, should it go ahead. These limits help guarantee your garden lodge will not impact anyone’s access to light, or breach their privacy with overlooking windows.

Most LPAs publish minimum separation distances for new developments, and these vary from area to area. As such, it’s worth looking into the specific boundary limits set by your local authority, well before deciding on the size and scale of your garden lodge.

Are Garden Log Cabins a Good Investment?

A garden log cabin, or any other kind of granny annexe, is a solid financial investment even in the current economic climate. Those considering the garden lodge plunge will be pleased to hear it can benefit you in a multitude of ways. For instance, amid record-breaking hikes in bills, those in annexes can benefit from sharing this burden with the main dwelling.

Furthermore, this space could be used to provide in-home care to elderly relatives. With the average cost of a residential care home being £704 per week, families can reduce or avoid this by providing some level of support themselves. It’s also a great first step on the property ladder for those struggling with ever-changing property prices or growing mortgage costs.

There are several other ways a garden lodge can benefit you financially, but perhaps the most compelling is how it impacts the market value of your property as a whole. Not only does the annexe’s value rise in conjunction with the main dwelling, it’s estimated it could add up to 20-30% onto your property’s valuation, depending on the size and quality of your build.

Can I sleep in my Garden Room?

Garden rooms differ from granny annexes as they don’t need to be self-contained spaces. As such, adding a sofa to your space so guests can occasionally stay is perfectly fine. After all, it’s your room to do whatever you want with it – whether it’s a devoted garden office, or just an additional hangout space.

However, if you want to use your garden room as permanent accommodation for younger relatives or ageing parents planning for retirement, you must apply for planning permission and ensure your building meets all the necessary regulations. In these cases, the space would no longer be considered a garden room, but a full-fledged garden lodge or annexe.

Lodge a Call with iHus…

We’re proud to be the only annexe builder in the UK with a ISO 9001:2015 certification, demonstrating how our business as a whole is leading the way in quality management.
If you have any further questions about garden lodge construction, get in touch with our friendly and experienced team today. We’re always happy to lend some professional advice on the benefits of annexe living – and how it can assist with your personal circumstances.

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