What is a Garden Room?

1st November 2023

At Green Retreats we’ve been installing garden room buildings since 2005!

What is a garden room? These unique buildings have soared in popularity over the years as more and more customers realise the benefits of a quality garden building. Even with the increased popularity many people still ask; what is a garden room?

definition of green retreats

Synonyms: posh shed, garden den, garden office, garden workshop, garden studio, log cabin, outbuilding.


What is a garden room?

A garden room is a stand-alone building separate from the home, providing a modern alternative to traditional extensions. Built with natural materials, a garden room is designed with quality in mind to guarantee a long-lasting outdoor space to enjoy for decades.

Garden rooms are classed as outbuildings and built to less than 2.5m in height as standard, meaning they generally don’t require planning permission.

A garden room is a unique extra space solution for your home that offers privacy and distinction to focus and relax. What’s more, they also tend to be a more cost-effective and hassle-free alternative to traditional home extension methods – such as loft conversions or conservatories.

Sizes are available in measurements from 4m² to 30m² to suit your available space and needs.



At Green Retreats, our garden rooms are built for quality to compliment your home. We use industry-leading materials and methods to create a superior quality building. The insulation, doors, window, handles and locks are of residential quality, giving you peace of mind for your comfort, health, safety and security – giving you home away from home. 

Designed for use all-year-round, our insulated garden rooms are constructed using only premium grade materials to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.


Read more about our construction methods and materials…


What is a garden room used for?

Garden rooms can be an excellent alternative for various uses as well, offering flexible and versatile spaces that can serve a wide range of needs.

Here are 5 common uses and situations where garden rooms can be an excellent alternative:


1. Home Office

Garden offices make for comfortable and quiet workspaces, ideal for hybrid and remote workers. Additionally, their customisation allows you to create the perfect home business set-up for entrepreneurs. They provide separation from the main house, reducing distractions and creating a dedicated work environment.

client working in a bepsoke garden office


2. Garden Gym

Garden rooms can be transformed into exercise spaces, allowing you to work out without leaving your home! What makes having a garden room gym so beneficial is that it saves you money on yearly membership costs, reduced wait times for machines and no annoying gym music to distract you from achieving your fitness goals.

Woman exercising in her Green Retreat garden gym with the bi-folding doors open


3. Garden Studios

A garden studio is a haven for letting creatives flourish. From artists to writers, musicians and more, garden studios allow you to escape and be enthralled in your passions right at home without distractions.

garden art room exterior in a customer garden


4. Home Cinema or Entertainment Room

Create a multi-media experience right at home using garden rooms! Set up a home theatre system in your garden room for movie nights or to enjoy your favourite TV shows and sports events. See how our customers have used their garden rooms as entertainment spaces!

gaming chairs in a garden games room


5. Teen Den

A teen den provides your children with the independence they desire while enabling you to maintain a subtle, vigilant presence. Relax with the assurance that they are having a great time in their secluded corner at the far end of the garden. Additionally, they can be adapted for multiple purposes, including a designated study area for those moments when they need to focus on their work.

Teen den with a person playing pool

 Be inspired by our real customer project gallery…


What are garden rooms a great alternative for?

Garden rooms are a great alternative for traditional home extension methods such as: 

  • adding a conservatory
  • building an extension
  • having a loft conversion.


Benefits of a garden room over other home extension options:

  • Planning permission rarely required
  • Building control sign off not required
  • Installed in just 2-5 days
  • No hidden costs with all of the ‘essentials’ included in the price
  • Minimal disruption to your home life
  • Foundations/base installation and levelling included in the price
  • Fully installed by Green Retreats with no subcontractors
  • A unique and modern building solution
  • Cheaper and more cost-effective

What’s more, many of our customers have found that the addition of a Green Retreats garden building has added to the resale values of their homes – confirmed by their estate agents and mortgage company.  



What is the difference between a garden room and a shed?

Garden rooms are often referred to as a ‘posh shed‘. Even though a garden room and a garden shed are both classed as ‘outbuildings’, a garden room is generally more similar to a room in your house than it is to a shed.

Composite garden room with metal flashing

Fully insulated to be comfortable and dry.

Garden rooms are watertight and fully insulated with complex multi-layer breathable insulation in the walls, roof and floor of the buildings. This breathable insulation keeps the rooms dry, healthy and comfortable to use all-year-round. The doors and windows are fitted with premium Pilkington K double glazing for optimal thermal efficiency. 

Garden sheds are not constructed with a complex system for a healthy breathable insulated space and are often damp inside. 


Designed for the purpose of human comfort.

Garden rooms are designed to be “lived in” comfortably being bright, airy, insulated and safe – unlike a garden shed which has been designed for storage. 


Crafted with premium-grade materials for maintenance-free quality.

Every element of our garden rooms has been carefully selected for quality. For example, the roof is steel and PVC coated making it completely maintenance-free compared to fiddly garden sheds, the doors and windows made with toughened glass and insurance grade locking and the cladding is slow grown pressure treated redwood which requires no treatment for structural integrity. 


Finished to perfection.

Garden rooms are a stylish addition to your garden, creating a stunning feature that is completely unique. Using a blend of natural and composite materials, our buildings have a contemporary finish that is both subtle and beautiful in the garden. The interior finishes and options have been selected to complement your home; with everything from internal lighting options to a choice of stylish oak laminate flooring. At Green Retreats we pay attention to the details that make our garden rooms a place you feel at home in.



What is the difference between a garden room and a conservatory?

Garden rooms are a fairly new entrant to the home improvement market, even with Green Retreats starting back in 2005. Conservatories have often been referred to in the past as a garden room, however, they are very different. 

garden art room exterior in a customer garden


Benefits of a garden room over a conservatory:

  • Planning permission generally not required
  • Built in 2-5 days with minimal disruption to your home life
  • Detached from the home for complete privacy
  • Modern, stylish and unique alternative
  • Insulated through the roof, walls and floor to control heat loss and retention



Ready to kickstart your garden room project?

We would love to learn more about your project and help you create your perfect garden building.

Request our garden room brochure below, and book to visit one of our two showrooms where you can see all the options in person and chat to our sales team about progressing your garden room project!


  • Please enter the first part of your postcode so we can calculate shipping.

Building Measurements

You can get a great idea of how your new garden office will look by using the 360 degree rotating viewer.

Also compatible with mobile and tablet devices


Design Your Building

Start designing your garden room today using our online Visualiser tool. You’ll be able to choose your style, size, finishes and get an accurate cost.

Design Your Building