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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

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

If you’ve been researching garden buildings you have undoubtedly heard about garden rooms and log cabins. However, you may be struggling to see a difference and understand which one is better (if either). In this article, I aim to arm you with knowledge so you can decipher the garden room vs log cabin debate and see which one is suitable for your premises.

What is a Garden Room?

A garden room is a standalone structure that sits in your garden. Garden rooms are typically made from timber but have a multi-layered construction and this is the main underlying difference with log cabins. A garden room may also have external cladding added onto the timber frame. These structures will have doors and windows and can be used all year round when fully insulated.

What is a Log Cabin?

A log cabin is also a standalone structure that sits in your garden. Insulated log cabins typically use thicker timber and may only have a single layer for the external construction which is how they differ from garden rooms.

It’s important to realise we are not talking about traditional log cabins, but garden log cabins. Traditional log cabins are those you see in films that sit out in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness – they are essentially homes built with thick timber. Garden log cabins are smaller and use different types of timber as opposed to the logs that traditional log cabins are made from.

Choosing the Perfect Garden Building

As you can see, garden rooms and log cabins have many similarities and they can serve the same purpose depending on the materials and design choices you make when purchasing either. Below, I have listed the main considerations to make to get your perfect garden building!

Comparing Costs

There is little difference in terms of cost when looking at the garden room bs log cabin debate and either could cost an average of £15,000. Compared to other space options like loft conversions and building extensions, garden rooms and log cabins are considerably cheaper. They are the cheapest option aside from conservatories and offer better functionality.

Functionality and Usage

Traditionally, people think of garden rooms as the more functional option that can be used all year round with log cabins being more akin to a seasonal summerhouse. Today, however, that is not the case as you can get fully insulated log cabins too that can be used in any season.

With both structures, you can use them for a myriad of purposes including:

  • Home office.
  • Gym.
  • Art studio.
  • Bar
  • Living area.
  • Kids play area.
  • Games room.

They are both incredibly versatile and allow you to create a unique space on your property.


Typically, log cabins are made from thicker timber and may not have external cladding over the timber structure. You can have them insulated though which makes them suitable for all year-round use.

Garden rooms have a layered timber construction and can have external cladding. Like log cabins, they can also be insulated and finished in a variety of colours.

Design Considerations

The great thing about both of these structures is that you have loads of customisation options including:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Material finish
  • External cladding colour
  • Windows and doors
  • Insulation

Both log cabins and garden rooms can be customised heavily so you can get the look, shape, and design you want.

Planning Permission

Neither a log cabin nor a garden room requires planning permission providing it complies with the necessary regulations that make it a permitted development. This includes:

  • Must be a single-storey structure.
  • Have eaves no more than 2.5m from the ground.
  • Cannot take up more than 50% of the original land around your property.
  • Cannot be built at the front of your house (principal elevation).
  • Cannot be used for self-contained accommodation.

Personal Preferences and Lifestyle

When looking at the garden room vs log cabin debate you have to think of what you want from the structure. How often do you intend to use it? What function do you want it to have? Are you attracted to a particular style, colour, or shape? With these questions in mind, you should then be able to select a garden room or log cabin that is suitable.

Garden Room vs Log Cabin – A Battle of Preference

Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of the garden room vs log cabin argument. Essentially, these structures are incredibly similar and both can be used for all-year-round use providing you have an insulated variant.

Garden rooms are traditionally seen as the more longterm structure that you would use as a home office or gym for example. Garden log cabins can be used for these purposes too, but oftentimes people view them as more akin to a summerhouse that you would use to relax in during finer weather.

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