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Positioning and Regulations

Choose the design which maximizes backyard space and suits well with the overall home structure and surroundings.

Decide your summer garden house position according to your future as well as present needs. You may not want to be completely exposed to sun, or you may need to make most of the sunlight. This will need the advice of a professional, or study your orientation and work out what is the best position.

Before starting construction check your local authorities for laws and regulation regarding height and area specifications for garden buildings. Usually you can't build against the boundary as you will get party wall issues, but it all depends so check first.


All building work is dangerous, none more so that actually making proper structures, as they can collapse.

Also power - electricity and gas if used - are dangerous to install so always get professionals for any power related components.


Generally, if the neighbours don't complain, you can build a bigger structure.

In fact, you can pay off any overlooking neighbours to compensate for their inconvenience and loss of view. It is better to talk to any adjoining neighbours before planning to prevent trouble. If they complain your structure might have to be demolished at great expense!

Garden rooms, garden offices, garden design, gazebos

Above: very simple gazebo in a park - hard-wearing, low maintenance, a classic garden design. This one is a bit ugly though!

Foundation and materials

Use proper foundations. It is a good idea to get a professional builder to do the foundations, and probably the power connections too, as these are difficult for a DIY builder, and can be expensive to put right if you make a mistake.

Also dangerous, potentially fatal, so be warned.

Do not start building on an earth or grassy surface as it will absorb more water which will be really harmful for the garden outbuilding.

Always go for hardy natural materials like outdoor timber, western red cedar, and oak as they have very rare chance of rot and are less prone to mites etc. Marine ply is also good. Some modern designs use resins and manufactured woods. Cladding can be put over a strong (and ugly) main structure.


Don't cover your garden store or room completely with trees and shrubs, even if you are tempted to try and make a 'green roof' or vertical garden up one side. This can cause rotting due to bad drainage and also adds a lot to the weight, which might cause collapse, which can be fatal.

Use paving or concrete to ensure a flat dry base for building. Use material with quality guarantee and always take any professional guidance.

Other garden buildings articles:

General garden design for garden buildings tips >
Types of Garden rooms and garden buildings >
Garden sheds >

See also our Main gardening index >
Green building >
Party wall advice >