Designing Your Dream Garden Building

Garden buildings are popular additions to homes, creating extra space for any number of uses including home gyms, garden offices, yoga studios, a teenager den and much more. As 2020 has shown, homes are adapting to become a place of work, socialising, exercising and relaxing, with garden buildings creating a possible escape.

Once you decide you want a garden building and how you will use it, the designing can begin. But before jumping in and putting pen to paper, there are plenty of things for you to consider. The team here at NORclad, who work closely with project managers, architects, and builders have put together this guide to designing your dream garden building.

Considerations for Designing A Garden Building


The materials used to craft your garden building are very important in terms of cost, longevity, insulation, looks and more. Common material choices for garden buildings range from wood and bricks to plastic and metal, each providing different levels of weather protection, insulation and durability. Timber is a very popular material for garden buildings and offers great thermal and sound insulation, ideal for ensuring the building is usable year-round, as well as being long-lasting.

When considering material, also consider upkeep. Will the building require regular painting or coating, or is less maintenance required? Will the material degrade noticeably over time, or weather naturally and beautifully, as timber does? Considering these factors at design stage can save you time and effort down the line.


Garden buildings should not only be stunning and durable additions to a home, but also low impact. Certain materials may be environmentally damaging to create or harvest. Source environmentally considered materials, such as sustainably sourced timber, a renewable resource, for your garden building to remain eco-friendly. Check for the FSC or PEFC certification to ensure the timber is sustainably and responsibly grown and harvested.

Similarly, consider the end-of-life of your garden building which, although is far in the future, can too have an environmental impact. Plastic compounds, for example, can be damaging to eco-systems and hard to recycle. Instead use materials that can be reused or recycled to help the environment at your garden building’s end-of-life.

See NORclad’s environmental policy >


Designing a garden building can be a substantial investment, so it is critical that materials are high-quality and good value for money. Quality can be determined by a variety of factors; density, durability, condition, age and more.  The best way to ensure materials are high-quality and suitable for your garden building is by consulting trusted suppliers. Reviews, accreditations and case studies are useful tools in determining whether a supplier is reputable and should be trusted with sourcing materials for you.

In sourcing quality materials, you ensure your investment stands the test of time.

Planning Permission

Check whether you need planning permission, or the limitations that may be in place, for you garden building in the design phase to prevent any issues later on.

If you plan on having your garden building within 2 metres of your garden boundary, the height is required to be under 2.5 metres. However, if you have a larger garden and the building will be over 2 metres from the boundary, it can be up to 4 metres tall.

By checking the rules in advance, you can properly design your building and order the right material amount. If you are unsure, check with material suppliers or project builders who will be able to offer advice.

Wellness Design

The design and material choice may vary according to the intended use of your garden building. Consider the atmosphere you wish to create, whether that be a nature inspired office, a serene spot for relaxation or a vibrant snug for the kids. Certain materials and aspects of nature have been proven to ignite feelings of calm and reduce stress, such as timber cladding, water features and natural light, perfect for a garden office or studio. Be sure to include large windows, timber and opportunities for sunlight in your design to leverage wellness interior design.

See more: Office Building Design – Tips and Ideas for Architects


Garden buildings can be unique additions to gardens, or more subtle additions that blend in with the surrounding environment as well as the house. For a modern look, dark stains and smooth materials are ideal, whereas for a traditional or character-filled style, more unique and natural-looking materials are suitable.

Timber is an extremely versatile building material presenting many benefits and a variety of colours, grains, knots, profiles and more to fit desired aesthetics. Shiplap cladding creates a sleek façade, however waney edge cladding gives character, and shingles make for an eye-catching addition. As wood naturally weathers, its appearance will change, but this process can be slowed by treatments to keep the familiar golden-brown hue for longer. Check out our timber cladding guide to find out the different colour and appearances of different timber species.

To get inspired, take time to browse garden buildings online using pictures and case studies to find out how the look was achieved.

Learn More With NORclad

If you are looking to elevate your garden building with striking timber cladding or find out more about the various timber species we offer, get in touch with us here at NORclad. Our expert team are accredited timber cladding suppliers, who champion sourcing responsibly grown, sustainable timber that stands the test of time.

Get in touch today!

Our case studies >

Our timber cladding products >

Learn More with NORclad

Have Any Questions?

To learn more about NORclad®, our approach and our products, simply get in touch with us today.

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If you’re stuck for inspiration and want to see working examples of our expertise, feel free to browse through our case studies.

Our Case Studies
2020-11-13T16:33:25+00:00October 4th, 2020|

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