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Now is the time to pick up an ex-display building during our annual sale. See remaining models here At LEAST 30% Off

Earlybird delivery discount: Check out reductions available on this page. Take advantage now.
Now is the time to pick up an ex-display building during our annual sale. See remaining models here At LEAST 30% Off

Eco-Friendly Options for Adding a Toilet to Your Garden Room in 2024

Garden rooms are a dream addition to any property. They can provide extra space to work, play, and relax, as well as extra storage when your house feels overflowing. A good garden room can do it all!

Garden rooms are most commonly built to provide space for an external office or gym or to be used as an outdoor living room during the summer months. An addition like this can make your home much more functional and spacious while still retaining its crucial element of comfort.

But what about adding a toilet to your existing garden room? It’s rare for these spaces to have plumbing, but if you’d like to make the space as versatile as possible, adding a WC or a small secondary bathroom will do the trick. This way, you and your family don’t have to run back inside whenever the call of nature occurs!

However, then comes a ubiquitous question:

Can I have a toilet in a garden room?

The answer is a bit of an interesting one: usually yes, but it depends on important factors like these:

Shows image of garden game toilet

The size of your garden room
The way you’re planning to use the room after the bathroom has been added
What does your current budget look like

Before you buy the necessary materials for a bathroom upgrade, consider these things to ensure you don’t waste time and money.

As such, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide below to answer this question in as much detail as possible. If you want to add a toilet to your garden room, these are the points you’ll want to keep in mind.

Regulations and Guidelines for Garden Toilets

It might surprise you to know this, but a few crucial regulations exist around fitting new plumbing into a property.

The first thing to do is check out your local building regulations. These can vary between councils, so it’s crucial to find out what your local authority has to say on the matter. You’ll also need to consider planning permission and whether or not you’ll need it before you start.

This is something we can help with, as there are a couple of general rules regarding building outdoor toilets.

Do I need planning permission for a garden room with a toilet?

If you’re going to add a building to your back garden, you usually need only read about building regulations.

However, there is one time when planning permission will be essential: if it’s being used as accommodation.

If you’re going to be using your garden room as a place to sleep – for example, as a guest bedroom for friends and family, or as an extra bedroom for a teenager – then you’ll need to obtain planning permission.

On the other hand, if you’re putting up an outdoor toilet shed or attaching a toilet to a garden room used for non-sleeping purposes, you won’t usually need to obtain planning permission before carrying out your project.

Is it Difficult to Put a Toilet in a Garden Room?

This is the main concern for a lot of homeowners. Fitting an extra toilet onto the property can be a big plumbing worry. After all, you can’t pop a toilet in without taking full stock of the land first.

For example, where can you attach it to the main water without experiencing significant disruption? Your budget may not stretch to accommodate major changes, meaning you must place the toilet in precisely the correct position.

It would help if you also noted bathroom regulations, such as fitting ventilation and allowing for proper lighting. The latter will be indispensable if the toilet is likely to be used at night.

Accounting for all of these factors takes time and energy, which can make it difficult if you’re new to the property or have little to no knowledge of the underground piping.

To set you off on the right track, these are the main issues you’ll need to work through:

Connecting a garden toilet to existing drainage

A traditional plumbing system is the most frequently desired type of garden room toilet. However, it’s also the most expensive and appropriately fitting; it could take weeks of work.

All standard toilets use a drainage line to ensure waste is removed quickly and efficiently. Depending on where the existing sewage system is in your garden and whether or not you have your own sewage tank, this could require excavation and drain fitting work.

The contractor may also require the use of drain cameras to ensure the new line has been appropriately attached, which will only add to your bill.

If the garden room is small and located close to your home, the amount of work will be considerably less, but the extent of the digging work may still affect your garden layout.

Fitting an eco toilet

This is the other most commonly used type of toilet. ‘Eco loos’, as they’re sometimes known, are water-free systems that don’t require any existing plumbing. You can still use and flush the toilet as usual, but the waste is sorted into different tanks and dealt with from there.

Shows image of composting toilet for garden room

While urine usually gets filtered and drained away, ‘number 2s’ are turned into compost. This compost is then applied to the surrounding garden.

Of course, emptying and using this compost will be a manual job, meaning eco toilets are more labour-intensive. But if you’re not concerned about waste and are OK with cleaning the toilet a little more often, this can save you a lot of money and be better for the environment.

Ensuring ventilation

Whether or not you’re fitting water outlets in the exact location, having some ventilation system in a garden room toilet is essential. This will wick away nasty smells and prevent mould from building up, which can be more of a worry in an outside toilet. This can then spread to the rest of your garden room.

Garden rooms are less well insulated than the leading property and are unlikely to feature the same tiling to prevent water droplets from seeping into the groundwork. Having at least a vent, or more preferably, an extractor fan that can be turned on and off, will prevent these problems.

Is there enough insulation?

If you have a north-facing garden or live in a part of the UK where temperatures are mild, you’ll want to consider using insulating materials during your project as well. In the Western world, it’s very easy for temperatures to drop to sub-zero within an outdoor room space.

This isn’t a problem for day use only, but if you’re going to use it as overnight accommodation, it simply won’t do. That’s why the walls of your garden toilet need to be thick enough to keep the cold out, even if there is no heating source within the interior.

Of course, if you’d like to learn more, you can contact Leisure Buildings for advice on outdoor insulation.

How to Make a Toilet Fit Your Garden Room’s Aesthetic

There are a variety of garden room toilet solutions on the market, so you will only have options if you like what you initially find. It’s easy to incorporate a toilet into a garden room without compromising, from standard toilets attached to your mains water supply to eco toilet varieties that require manual cleaning.

For example, many people set up a separate toilet shed to ensure their garden room’s aesthetic isn’t damaged by a toilet. Sometimes, there is little room for a toilet without extending the structure considerably, and constructing an adjoining ‘wet room’ or outhouse is the best solution.

Aligning your design

If you’re worried an exterior toilet won’t fit your garden without being an eyesore, here are some design tips to consider:

Construct the room out of your desired materials, i.e., wood
Paint the exterior to match the surrounding garden or fencing
Fit a flat roof or a roof with pronounced eaves for a subtle effect
Include storage in the interior, such as an under-sink cabinet or shelving

The Cost of a Garden Room Toilet

Investing in an outdoor toilet isn’t necessarily expensive. Most toilets can be purchased for around £150 from DIY stores, and materials for the wall, roof, and floor usually start at around £25 per square metre. However, depending on what you want to use, these costs rise exponentially.

If you’re building an outhouse addition or separating an existing room into two to provide bathroom space, this can be a budget-friendly option. However, you’ll still need to take into account the cost of a standard toilet vs an eco variety and what that could mean for your garden upkeep. This could increase the cost of a garden room toilet by ten times the amount.

Alternatively, if you still need to build the room but want to consider upgrading from a standard addition to one with a toilet, it’s essential to assess your budget first.

What’s your budget?

Most garden room prices start at £3000, with optional extras and upgrades increasing this cost, often pushing it over £15,000. If your budget falls comfortably within this range, accounting for a garden toilet addition won’t be challenging.

If you want to account for potential plumbing costs on top of this, you could be looking at a project worth £25,000+. Most sewage works come with a hefty price tag, with essential treatments starting at around £3500.

What kind of toilet do you want to use?

If your budget is already stretched, discounting the use of a traditional toilet will bring the costs back down. Once the initial work has been carried out, you won’t need to invest in potential drain additions and/or rerouting or a lot of turf replacement.

An eco toilet is often much cheaper. It might not be what you really want, but if you’d like to upgrade your garden room quickly and easily, this option is worth considering.

Putting a Toilet in Your Garden Room: Fact Breakdown

Now we’ve been through the details you need to know, here are the main facts to keep in mind:

You can have a toilet fitted to your garden room, whether as part of the existing structure or as an outdoor toilet shed
If you’re going to be sleeping in the garden room or use it as a guest bedroom, you need planning permission
It’s often easier and more budget-friendly to install an eco toilet
You’ll need adequate ventilation to rid a garden room with a toilet of smells
It’s best to speak to a professional plumber and garden room builders for a proper idea of what you’re getting into

One final thing to keep in mind: fitting a garden toilet is not a beginner-level job. If you’re thinking of DIY-ing a solution, we recommend you contact a professional for advice.

Speak to the Professionals

Talking to a professional plumber and/or outhouse or garden room builder is key. If you want to know more about fitting a garden toilet efficiently and within your budget, you should seek advice from someone experienced.

Most garden room toilet costs are considered on a case-by-case basis, and it’s best to secure a quote to know specifically how much your project will cost.

Contact local builders and garden room merchants like Leisure Buildings for actionable information that’ll improve your needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Toilets in Garden Buildings

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  • Can I have a toilet in my shed?

    Yes, you can install a toilet in your garden building. However, there are important considerations to keep in mind, such as plumbing requirements, ventilation, and local building regulations. It is crucial to ensure that it is adequately equipped to handle a toilet installation to prevent potential issues in the future. Consulting with a professional plumber or contractor is advisable to determine the feasibility and proper procedures for installing a toilet in your shed.
  • Can you have plumbing in a garden room?

    Yes, plumbing can be installed in a garden room. Adding plumbing allows for the inclusion of amenities such as sinks, toilets, and showers, making the space more functional and versatile. Plumbing in a garden room requires proper planning and installation to ensure reliable water supply and drainage. Consulting with a professional plumber is recommended to determine the feasibility and best approach for plumbing in a garden room to meet specific needs, local building regulations, and planning permission requirements.
  • Do I need planning permission for a garden room with a toilet?

    In the UK, planning permission is often required for a garden room with a toilet. Adding a toilet changes the structure's classification, making it subject to building regulations. To ensure compliance with the relevant regulations, it is essential to obtain the necessary approvals from the local planning department before proceeding with the construction of a garden room that includes a toilet.

About Author:

Robin Antill is an established authority in the field of quality garden building manufacturing, boasting over four decades of experience. Having founded Titan Garden Buildings in 1979, he demonstrated a commitment to excellence from the outset by moving away from subpar materials and embarking on crafting buildings of superior quality.

His lineage of craftsmanship, traced back to his father and grandfather's business in Cleethorpes, underscores his dedication to quality and customer satisfaction. Robin's son, Craig, who joined the business in 1990, brings additional expertise, having honed his skills at Guildford College in joinery.

Together, they elevated Titan Garden Buildings, which eventually evolved into 1st Choice Leisure Buildings. Their enduring focus on premium materials, top-notch manufacturing, and unparalleled customer service, along with Craig's digital acumen in creating the company's online presence, showcase their expertise and reliability in the industry.

Robin’s expertise was featured in Realtor.com, Homes&Gardens, The London Economic, and dozens other publications.

Woking Show Site
1st Choice Leisure Buildings
Woking Garden Buildings Show Site
Sutton Green Garden Centre,
Whitmoor Ln, Sutton Green,
Phone 01483 237550