Extensions are a well-worn path towards creating often much needed extra space in a home, while simultaneously boosting its value. Attic and basement conversions are favourites that are relatively easy to arrange and usually don’t require planning permission. Garage conversions are also usually a relatively pain free extension option and, of course, conservatories were the forefather of the home extensions family. The latest trend in home extensions, however, is the once humble garden shed.
Luxury shed units that serve as a home office, or ‘shoffice’, man cave, lady lair/lounge, kids’ den etc. etc., are the new trend sweeping Britain’s gardens. Shoffices, and the various other shed extension formats, range in cost from anywhere between several thousand pounds for basic models whose interiors owners will finish off themselves to the upper echelons of five figures for ‘super sheds’. The latter will usually be complete with heating, running water, conveniences like a small kitchen or bathroom and fitted out with a snazzy interior design and mod cons.
While undoubtedly nice to have, do luxury, liveable shed extensions make sense from an investment point of view? Are there any restrictions like planning permission requirements and what kind of boost do they give when it comes to sale or rental value and is there likely to be profit in the endeavour of adding one to a property?
Luxury Shed Rules and Regulations
Unless you have ambitions for a particularly extravagantly sized shed extension you probably won’t need planning permission as sheds fall under permitted development rights. One storey is permitted and maximum height allowed will usually range from between 8.2 ft. and 13.1 ft. depending on the type of roof and proximity to the main building. Strictly speaking, a shed shouldn’t be used as a permanent bedroom, bathroom or kitchen as these fall under the definition of being part of the ‘primary accommodation’ of the home and would require planning permission. However, practically speaking, shed extensions are often used as a ‘spare’ bedroom and there is nothing to prevent the addition of a bed, shower or small kitchen as long as it can be reasonably argued these are conveniences rather than primary use. Of course, as part of investment properties a shed cannot be rented as a separate property or advertised as a ‘bedroom’. There may be particular requirements for properties in defined ‘conservation’ areas or if the main building is listed.
Do Shed Extensions Increase a Property’s Value?
Luxury sheds do add value to a property though how much of that can be considered as ‘profit’ after the cost will very much vary according to circumstances. Quoted in The Times, Robin Chatwin of Savills southwest London comments:
“Having a super-shed adds appeal to a property and will attract more people for viewings when it comes to selling. Being a temporary structure, it won’t command the same value per square foot as the house, but it could up the value of a property by about £50,000.”
That of course is a very general statement. Nonetheless, done in the right way and to a budget, an outbuilding that is weatherproof and adds additional floor space to a property will both make a property more competitive and increase its value. As with any extension or property upgrade, if that value exceeds the initial cost will depend on universal appeal and utility.