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A rising number of small businesses and employees are based at home. This is seen by many as an increasingly attractive and viable option for a number of reasons.

  • You effectively gain back the time which would otherwise be spent commuting to and from work. This can either be spent doing something productive or simply spending a little longer in bed.
  • A huge reduction in travel costs, whether this be spent on petrol or public transport.

A home office can either take the form of a pre-existing room in your house, or you could take the plunge and invest in an increasingly popular garden office!

Adding value to a property with an outdoor building such as a garden office is becoming an increasingly common practise. While we wouldn’t recommend you purchase a garden office or similar garden building with the main purpose of increasing your property’s value, there’s no denying that doing so will raise the value of your property by a fairly significant degree.

Investing in a garden office will make your property more attractive to potential buyers in the future, due to an increase in floor space, a more pleasing garden aesthetic and the obvious notion that it will greatly appeal to fellow business owners.

Whether or not planning permission is required for a garden building is determined by its height and what it’ll be used for.

The maximum height of a garden office varies between 2.5-4 metres, dependent on the type of roof and how far it’s situated from your house boundary. We strongly recommend contacting your local planning authority for any building which doesn’t measure below 2.5 metres in height.

In terms of use, if you’re running a full time business from your garden office then you may well need planning permission, irrespective of height. Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why we recommend getting in touch with your local planning authority before purchasing a garden office.

Though this can become a costly process - especially if your garden room isn’t situated close enough to your house to connect a toilet system from the mains water supply - installing a bathroom in your garden office can be a relatively simple task for a trained plumber. During this undertaking, it is critical to ensure that Building Regulation standards are properly adhered to.

If your garden building is somewhere that you and/or guests plan to occasionally sleep in, then this is no problem at all and won’t require planning permission of any sort. However, if you intend to regularly sleep in it, effectively making your garden building into self-contained accommodation, then you must apply for planning permission and meet building regulations.

Despite a garden office being a movable item, it counts as a structure from which your business operates, as opposed to an item of equipment. Because of this, no costs incurred from construction or the purchase price of the office itself can be tax deducted from business profits.

Though, generally speaking, items within your garden office, such as furniture and thermal insulation, can be tax deducted.