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Outbuildings cost, planning permission and building regulations?

What can you use an outbuilding for in the UK?

UK outbuildings are typically used for an extra indoor recreational space? Or are you perhaps looking for an extra space for a home office or work shop. Outbuildings are used for lots to different usages.


Do I require planning permission for an outbuilding?

In most cases no, as long as you as you stick to the guidelines of permitted development and are not within a conservation area then you do not need planning permission for outbuildings.


Outbuilding permitted development requirements.

You can build multiple outbuildings under PD, providing the total area covered by such buildings do not exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage. The 50% area should take into account any extensions, but not the area covered by the main house.


  • Outbuildings can not sit forward to the principal elevation of the house.

  • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey only.

  • Have a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres

  • Have a maximum overall height of 4 metres with a dual pitched roof or 3 metres for any other roof.

  • If the outbuilding is within 2 metres of the boundary the Maximum height is to be 2.5 metres.

  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must not exceed 0.3 metres in height).

  • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from the house to be limited to 10 square metres.


Do I require building regulations for an outbuilding?

Please view our blog on building regulations for outbuildings.


Do I require a party wall surveyor for an outbuilding?

If the outbuilding is no the line of the boundary you would need to serve a party wall notice, to avoid this you can leave a space away from the outbuilding and boundary line.


How much does an outbuilding cost?

There are several factors that affect the outbuilding cost The entire cost varies depending on:


  • The design

  • The size

  • Type of construction used

  • Labour cost

  • Water and other pipe installation fees – if needed

We have broken down the price of each component so you can get a rough sketch of how much it can cost you to build an outbuilding near your house:


Design is a key thing:

The price of the outbuilding will greatly vary depending on whether you choose a modular design or something that cannot be changed after it has been built. On general, a modular design is an a little more expensive up front, but the price pays you back when upgrading in a few years. A bespoke design doesn’t change, but is cheaper, and is the more popular option.


We would recommend going with a bespoke design. Otherwise, getting a modular design is the better option.

Type of material used:


The biggest cost behind building an outbuilding will be the materials needed for construction. There are three main types of materials that can be used to make an outbuilding:


  • Wood/Timber – Usually the cheapest option, though does not last very long. If you have to water your garden regularly, wood might not exactly be a great idea. It is usually used for making shed outbuildings. It can cost between £500 to £10,000 depending on the size and complexity.


  • Concrete – Concrete may be an expensive option, but it certainly lasts the most. Plus, since most concrete is waterproof – or at least does not corrode for decades, it is a safe and secure option for the long term. This can cost anywhere between £4,000 to £15,000 depending on multiple factors.


  • Brick – Many people choose to employ houses built from brick, though this is the most expensive option on this list. It also takes a considerable amount of labour. Brick outbuildings can usually cost anywhere between £4,500 to £18,000.


Size plays an important role:


The second biggest factor that you need to think about, after building materials is the size of the outbuilding. The bigger the size of the outbuilding, the higher will be the material costs, as well as the labour cost.


The size will exponentially increase the cost of building your outbuilding. An average garage-sized concrete outbuilding can cost about £7,100 – including the basic worker’s pay wage. This is only a rough sketch after considering various factors. Your price may vary from this.


If you choose to go for a massive outbuilding – for reasons we cannot comprehend – the price can go up to £90,000.


Labour cost is vital:


Labour cost is not fixed. Depending on who you hire to get the work done, the price will definitely not be a constant. Labour cost depends on the size of the outbuilding, the design you need to get built, the piping installation, how many partitions you want and so much more.


· If you wish to paint the outbuilding, that will also need to be calculated in the labour cost.


· On the other hand, it is perfectly applicable to DIY outbuilding construction.


· As long as you are willing to spend countless hours doing the outbuilding yourself, you will save yourself most of the labour cost.


Do note that if anything breaks, you are the one liable for that damage. We won’t consider the cost of such liability, however.


Installation charges should be looked at:


Some of the basic charges such as pipe installation and electric wires placement are necessary. This is to ensure that water and electricity are properly working in your outbuilding.


· Some other installation charges can include getting a door, swimming pool, insulation of sorts, windows and so much more.


· Furniture and swimming pools are a luxury, so we won’t be considering that in this guide.

They should cost the same as they cost otherwise, so you can just add the cost of those things on top of what your outbuilding will otherwise cost to make.

Permit fees


The permit fees entirely depend on the size of your outhouse. In many locations, you don’t need a permit to build an outbuilding as long as the size of the building does not exceed 6x8 or 8x10. However, larger outhouses may require you to get a permit from your required LPA (local planning authority).


There are various rules that you will have to adhere to, and the entire process can boost up the price of the overall outbuilding, so we don’t recommend getting massive outbuildings anyways.


Final Thoughts:


Do note that you cannot build an outbuilding more than one story high. Their height should not exceed 2.5 meters. Building raised platforms, balconies or verandas are not allowed either. There needs to be at least some space between the main house and the outbuilding.

With this, we hope that you were able to figure out how much an outbuilding can cost in your local region. There are various types of outhouses: greenhouses, outdoor offices, sheds and so on. You can always experiment around to see whatever works the best for you.

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