Garden rooms are incredibly versatile and they can be used for many different purposes such as offices, home gyms, art studios, and children’s play rooms. But what about a more substantial living area with a toilet and amenities?
If you want to use your garden room as a type of accommodation, or a place where guests can stop overnight for the weekend, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations. In this guide, I answer the question, can I put a toilet in my garden room, and delve into the considerations you need to make this project a reality.
Can You Put a Toilet in Your Garden Room Without Planning Permission?
Let’s dive into the question – Can I put a toilet in my garden room? This can be answered with the following rule:
If you are not using your garden room as a form of accommodation, and it falls under the permitted development regulations, you do not need planning permission to add a toilet.
Example 1 – You have a garden room that serves as a living room with sofas and a coffee table. You want to create a partition and segment the living area to create a separate room with a toilet. In this instance, planning permission is not required.
Example 2 – You want to turn your garden room into a small overnight “apartment” so guests can stop over when you have parties. It will include a bed, kitchenette, and toilet. In this instance, planning permission is required.
Standard Toilet Installation Considerations
As we can see, it’s essentially a case of usage and purpose and providing your garden room isn’t being used as a type of accommodation, a toilet can be added without any additional planning permission. However, that’s not the only consideration and there are several other factors that I discuss below that affect the viability of garden room toilet solutions.
Sanitary and plumbing infrastructure
Aside from the toilet fixture, a heap of plumbing is required too which takes up space. This includes an air vent that exists via the roof to vent any smells and the plumbing to connect the toilet to your water system and drainage system.
You must make sure that everything can fit and we advise getting a quote from a plumber as they can tell you exactly what is needed and if the job can be done.
Drainage and sewage solutions
If you want a proper toilet system that is connected to your existing plumbing, it has to have sufficient drainage and sewage connections. Your toilet typically needs a drainage line that connects to the local sewage system so that the toilet waste can be flushed away effectively without causing a blockage.
Depending on the location of your garden room and the nearest sewage connection this could be a major job. For example, a drainage pipe may need to be lain underneath the entire length of your garden which could result in your lawn being dug up.
This obviously impacts the cost considerably but can also cause damage to your existing garden which is something to consider. It’s much easier to lay a drainage pipe if your garden room is located near your house, and the pipe only has to go under a patio, for example.
The best case scenario is that the waste drainage pipe can simply be connected to your house’s existing system and doesn’t have to branch out to the local connection.
A garden office UK solution typically costs an average of £15,000 depending on the materials, size, and upgrades you choose. That is for the structure without any furniture, plumbing, or fixtures.
Typically, you can get a toilet from somewhere like BnQ for £50-250 and toilet installation costs can vary from £100-£500.
You then have to consider the cost of connecting the toilet to your existing sewage and drainage system and any additional plumbing that is required. The cost for this is relatively unknown and depends on location, accessibility, and the complexity of the job.
Eco and Waterless Toilets as an Alternative Solution
The great news is, is that there are other garden room toilet solutions including eco toilets. Now, please dispel your initial thought of a hole dug in the ground – this isn’t an eco toilet!
Eco or waterless toilets are nothing like this. They look incredibly similar to a conventional toilet and come with a bowl and seat. They utilize an electrical system that separates the urine and faeces so that each can be treated. Typically, urine is filtered to become an odourless liquid, while your poop is composted.