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Can I Live in my Garden Shed?

Many people will question the potential for living either part time or permanently in your garden area. Of course, we can always enjoying camping in the garden (I am sure lots of parents have done this once with the kids) where a tent (small or large) takes a temporary position, some of us may have a shed / summer houses with others having more substantial outbuildings from garden rooms to barns.

Plenty of garden outbuildings will see day to day usage either for the likes of storage, hot tubs, relaxation, office, craft room, gyms, man cave and much more.

The question here is can you live full time in your garden shed?

To save time here the quick answer is no, though please read to understand the restrictions and why.

Living permanently in a garden outbuilding will generally be called a 'granny annexe' and such (sleeping) accommodation will require planning permission as well as meeting required building regulations.

An exiting outbuilding, being converted to a granny annexe, will require planning permission (yes, even though the building is already constructed) as you will be changing it's usage. If planning is to be granted then you will also have to be prepared to carry out relevant building works in order to pass the building regulations such as plumbing, wiring, fire safety and much more. It can be that only a few minor alterations are required in order to obtain your building regulations, it really depends what you are starting off with!

Now if you have an existing outbuilding, say for instance a hot tub room / summer house then you may very well have the quality of standard to enable someone to sleep within it and especially for a temporary measure. This could be a sleep over (after a late night party) or whilst you are renovating a bedroom in the main property etc, and such situations would be fine. For occasional, non permanent use for sleep overs, you would be ok to use an outbuilding as solution. It would be required though in all foreseen circumstances that an outbuilding to be used for sleeping in would require building regulations.

Planning Permission: Obtain permission for the local authority to build / convert and existing outbuilding in to living accommodation.

Building Regulations: The set standard building works required in order for the building to be seen as acceptable for usage as living quarters such as for health and safety. Such things covered include plumbing, wiring, insulation, foundations, drainage etc.

Before you consider any work on out buildings in regards to converting to permanent residence it would be advisable to research local authority and gain advice from your local planning officer.

Increasing the accommodation area of your property can add value, it can be the case that added council tax might be required if you expand your living area though!

Title image: Pixabay

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