Outbuildings and value

Whether you already have outbuildings as part of your property, or you’re thinking of adding one, you’re maybe wondering how much value an outbuilding adds to your home. 

In this blog, we’ll explain what an outbuilding is, look at issues like planning permission and explore five kinds of outbuilding and how much value each could add to your home.

What is an outbuilding?

An outbuilding is a separate structure that isn’t attached in any way to the main dwelling.

Outbuildings can include:

• Sheds

• Garages

• Greenhouses

• Cabins

• Kennels

• Stables

• Barns and other farm buildings

• Garden offices

• Summer house

Are outbuildings and insurance?

Standard outbuildings like sheds and garages should be covered within your buildings insurance policy for your home.

However, it’s always worth checking with your insurer that this is the case.

The contents of any outbuilding, for example, tools in a shed or garage that are worth up to £1,000, should also be covered by a standard contents insurance policy.

Anything over this value should be flagged up to your insurer when you arrange your policy or renewal.

Do you need planning permission for outbuildings?

Any outbuildings considered a part of ‘the enjoyment of the dwelling house’, for instance, sheds, playhouses, greenhouses and garages, will usually fall under ‘permitted development’.

This means they won’t require planning permission.

Buildings that may require planning consent include those that:

• Are forward of a wall that forms the principal elevation

• Have an eaves height of over 2.5 metres and an overall height of four metres (dual pitched roof) or three metres (any other roof)

• Have an overall height of more than 2.5 metres and sit within two metres of a boundary

• Take up more than half the area of land around the ‘original house’

• Are set in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or World Heritage sites

• Are within the curtilage of a listed building or buildings

To be absolutely certain on whether or not you’ll need planning permission for an outbuilding construction, always seek advice from your local authority planning department.

Can you sleep in an outbuilding?

If you have an outbuilding, possibly a garden room or office, and you spent the odd night in the summer sleeping in it, you should be able to do so without the need for planning permission.

However, you will need Building Regulations approval to legally sleep in an outbuilding – even if it’s only on rare occasions.

If you’re keen to sleep regularly in an outbuilding on your property, you’ll require both Building Regulations approval and planning permission for changing the use of the dwelling. 

How much does it cost to build an outbuilding?

The cost of constructing an outbuilding at your property will depend on what type of building you’re looking to put up.

It will also be affected by the materials you use, and the amount of labour involved to finish the project and any other requirements such as heating and electrics.

Some outline costs for types of an outbuilding

OutbuildingAverage cost
Concrete garage, including foundation£7-10k
Small garden office£6-10k
Prefabricated summer house£3-5k
Brick garage£8-10k

Projected costs from CheckaTrade.

Do outbuildings increase property value?

There’s no doubt that additional square footage at your property can add genuine value.

But when it comes to outbuildings, how much value they add can depend on how much use they are to potential buyers.

Here are five types of outbuilding that could potentially add value to your property…

1. Shed

Storage is often a key factor for buyers when they’re on a viewing.

So, the sight of a shed in the rear garden is usually seen as a big positive, as sheds are great places to store items like mowers and other garden equipment, but also other additional belongings.

How much does a large shed add to property value?

The best thing about a large shed in the eyes of potential buyers is the multitude of uses it has.

As well as extra storage, a large shed could be used as:

• A garden office

• An art or design studio

• A Workshop

• A summer house or outdoor bar

In the case of garden office sheds, it’s estimated having one could add as much as £12,000 to the value of your home.

2. Barns and agricultural buildings

The benefit of barns to the value of your property is often in the income they can generate.

Dan’s tip- If you already have a barn, you could consider renting them out to farmers for agricultural use or simply for storage.

Doing so will bring in an income on top of the additional value having a barn can add to your property’s overall value.

How much does a barn cost to build?

As with any kind of outbuilding, the cost of building a barn will depend on its size and the type of materials used to construct it.

According to Checkatrade, you can expect to pay anywhere between £1,250 and £12,500 for a steel barn.

3. Does a large garage increase your home’s value?

The difference between a standard single garage and a large, or double garage, in the eyes of buyers, can be significant – and can definitely add value to your home.

Garages are very often used for storage rather than as a home for a car but having a larger garage or a double garage can provide both.

Dan’s tip– If you already have a large garage at your property, buyers may also be enticed by the potential to turn all or some of it into additional living space like a bedroom, playroom or home office. (Invest in some basic architectural drawings) 

4. Is your home more valuable if you have stables?

Buying a property with stables or farm buildings is a great way to add income to your property.

Dan’s tip– You could consider setting up a livery yard to bring in extra money from local horse enthusiasts, or you could even think about converting your stables into an air BandB cottage to rent out.

You’ll need to consider planning permission for any work, of course, but either buying a property with stables or constructing them, can be a great way to add value to your property and produce a second income.

5. Garden offices and property value

With the Covid-19 pandemic meaning more and more people are working remotely, home office space is in high demand from buyers and can add real value to your property.

Garden office spaces, in particular, have become more popular through the pandemic as space away from the main home that is solely for work.

And it’s estimated that a home office can add as much as 8% to the value of your home, too.

Dan’s tip, check the WIFI signal. 

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