We are often asked by prospective buyers whether a garden office can double up as a bedroom. Our answer to this question is yes and no. That’s not very helpful you may think, but as we shall explain some garden office designs can be used as bedrooms and others can’t.
To use a garden office as a bedroom it must comply with Building Regulations
If you plan to use your garden office building for sleeping in – even only occasionally it must comply with Building Regulations. Not all garden offices built in the UK are fully Building Regulation compliant and in many cases they don’t need to be.
In general garden offices only need to comply with Building Regulations if they are sited within 1 meter of the boundaries of your garden or if they are bigger than 30 square meters. Because of this many garden office designs are not fully Building Regulation compliant and therefore not suitable for sleeping in.
However there are several garden office suppliers who have designed their buildings to be Building Regulation compliant as standard and will get your building signed off by Building Control. With these designs you will be able to use your garden office as a spare bedroom.
Why are there these rules
These rules are in place for your safety, they focus on aspects of design such as fire spread. With garden offices being a timber structure this is a particular concern. When designing a garden office that is Building Regulation compliant designers pay particular attention to the materials that are used, so they have low fire ratings.
A bespoke garden office designer will help you
Some modular garden office suppliers will be able to adapt their designs to make them Building Regulation compliant. Your best bet though if you are wanting to create a garden office that can double up as a bedroom is to work with a bespoke designer.
When working with a bespoke garden office designer they will tailor the design and specification to meet the current Building Regulations. They will advise you on the materials that can be combined to comply with the rules. For example they may advise you to swap timber cladding on the exterior of the building for a cement fibre board like Cedral which has a low fire rating. Simple design and material choices can open up the possibility of using your office building for sleeping in.
Will this cost more
Working with a bespoke garden office supplier will cost you slightly more than choosing a modular garden office design, but if you are looking for a Building Regulation compliant building it’s probably your best bet.
There are fees for getting a building approved by Building Control, these will normally be passed on to you the customer. You may however find that your supplier includes them in the overall project quote they give you.
At the end of the project you will have certificates to show that the work has been signed off by Building Control. This means you can let people sleep in your garden office. They are also useful when you come to sell your house, as the new owner will have flexibility in how they use the building.
So, yes a garden office can double up as a bedroom as long as it complies with Building Regulations.