You might be considering doubling your garden office up as a spare bedroom for overnight guests or just using it as a getaway retreat space when the main house gets too crowded.

Savills found that upsizing from a 3 to 4 bedroom house requires an extra £164,000 on average in the UK.

Along with increased commuting costs, it’s no wonder thousands of homeowners are looking at using their garden office up as a spare bedroom.

In this article, we’ll be going through the necessary steps you’ll need to take before using a garden office as a spare bedroom.

Compliance with Building Regulations will determine if you can use your Garden Office as a Spare Bedroom

If you are considering using your garden office as an extra spare bedroom, you should make sure that it meets building regulations before anyone sleeps in there.

In the UK, garden outbuildings do not usually require building regulations if they don’t exceed 30 square metres and are not within 1 metre of any boundary. There are some other conditions too.

However, if you are considering using your garden office as a spare bedroom, you’ll need to obtain building regulations regardless of meeting the above conditions.

Contact your local council for the best answer

The quickest way to find out if you can use your garden office as a spare bedroom is to contact your local council about your garden office.

If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this.

Contact local garden office companies for the 2nd best answer

Garden office companies that work in your area will be able to give you a solid answer.

We’ve taken the following extracts from the UK’s planning portal website regarding detached garden outbuildings (garden offices fall into this category):

“If the floor area of the building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building contains NO sleeping accommodation and is either at least one metre from any boundary or it is constructed substantially of non-combustible materials.”

So, if you want to use a garden office as a spare bedroom, you’ll have to meet building regulations. These regulations are in place for health and safety purposes and usually boil down to the materials that are used to construct the building. 

Garden offices are predominantly built from timber and other non-fire resistant materials. Meeting building regs may require you to substitute materials such as timber cladding for a more fire-resistant one like cedral cement cladding. When garden offices are built close to the boundary, this is particularly true.

Most Garden Offices are Not Built with Building Regs in Mind

Many suppliers won’t bother with building regulations because most garden offices are smaller than 30 square metres, less than 2.5m in height and not typically designed for sleeping in

However, this is not a blanket statement as some bespoke suppliers of garden offices will meet these regulations as standard.

These suppliers usually offer other types of garden buildings, such as annexes and larger garden rooms, where sleeping accommodation and thus knowledge of building regulations are a prerequisite.

Your best bet is to shop around before committing to a garden office supplier and ask all the right questions.

Man bespoke garden office suppliers will be able to help you create your dream garden office that can double up as a spare bedroom.

Finding a garden office supplier that meets building regs will undoubtedly add to the cost of your buildings. The good news is that building regulations fees for outbuildings are usually only a few hundred pounds (the exact fee you’ll be able to find on your local council’s website).

Tips for using your Garden Office as a Spare Bedroom

If you opt for meeting building regulations, turning your garden office into a bedroom is a great feature to your home that will give your guests a peaceful and private space to crash.

Give the room a homely and cosy vibe

Most workspaces are designed around a productive and focused environment, with brighter coloured lights and features to keep you alert.

There are a few tricks you can use to make your sterile workplace feel more like a cosy guest room.

The cheapest way to make a room feel cosy is to leave big, fluffy blankets on the sofa and bed. Your guests will forget they’re in an office when snuggled up in one of those.

Use zones to separate the bedroom from the office space. You can do this with some cheap room dividers or curtains that can easily be hidden away when the space reverts back to an office.

Use Space-Efficient Furniture

Most garden offices are small in size and have limited floor space for bedroom focused items. 

  • Consider a sofa-bed to avoid the large footprint of a bed. 
  • Use mirrors the make the room feel more spacious
  • Free up floor space by putting a television and media consoles on the wall. This also works as a great focal point to distract guests away from the fact they’re sleeping in an office!
  • Use shelves and hanging baskets to provide extra wall storage

Consider an Annex instead of a Garden Office

If you plan on using the garden office as a spare bedroom frequently, then it might be worth altering your search and looking for a dedicated annex/guest-suite instead.

Not only will this be built with building regulations in mind from day one, but it will also be built with the necessary facilities that a spare bedroom requires too. A self-contained sleeping space needs a bathroom and maybe even central heating and a small kitchen.

We specialise in home garden office buildings and advise that you search the internet for specialists in annexes and guest bedrooms to get the best expertise possible.


Using your garden office as a spare bedroom is an amazing way to provide guests with their own private accommodation. 

Be conscious of building regulations and don’t be afraid to get in touch with your local council and local companies about any questions you may have.