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

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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

So, you’ve taken the plunge and dedicated you want to add extra space to your property. You have the money saved up but the only problem is that you don’t know which option to choose! Do you go for a full extension to the back of your house or opt for a standalone garden room? In this article, I hopefully shine some light on this difficult choice and give a fair comparison for the garden room vs extension debate.

Understanding Garden Rooms

Think of a garden room as another usable space in your property – it’s just not connected to your house. Garden rooms are standalone and will usually sit on a concrete or timber base somewhere suitable in your garden. They are multipurpose, can be used year round, and have great longevity.

Garden rooms offer a separate space from your house and can serve as a haven or dedicated space for something like a home gym, an office, or an artist studio. The main difference is that they are not connected to your property so to access it you must walk outdoors.

Exploring House Extensions

Extensions are directly connected to your house. Typically an external door is turned into an internal door, or an entire external wall might be removed to make an open-plan extension area that connects seemingly to your existing home.

These structures essentially become part of your existing property and blend in by using the same brick types or rendering and extending the indoor space you have in your house.

How to Choose the Best Option for You

Unfortunately, it’s not a simple choice and there are a host of considerations to make including budget, design options, construction, and usability which I explain below.

Materials Used

Garden offices are typically made from a timber frame and may have external cladding plus internal insulation. They have great longevity and with external treatment can last for decades.

Extensions are considered to be more substantial as they typically involve a complete structure with brick walls, foundations, proper ceiling supports, etc.

Budget Considerations

Extensions are by far the most expensive option with an average cost of between £30,000-40,000 for a small house and £40,000 upwards for a medium house. This higher cost is due to the increased labour and build time.

In contrast, you shouldn’t need to pay anywhere near the lower end of an extension cost for an insulated garden room. Indeed, even with insulation and optional extras, you can get a premium garden room for £15,000 on average.

Design Options

Both garden rooms and extensions have some brilliant design options. In terms of size, a garden room is limited to the available space in your garden. Similarly, an extension is limited to the size of the connecting wall of the house and available garden space.

Both structure types can be kitted out in numerous ways, decorated as you wish, and include windows and doors.

Construction Time

For construction time, the garden room is the easier, less disruptive option. Oftentimes, the garden room is transported and installed into your garden pre-built. This means that only the base needs to be constructed and then any electric work.

In contrast, extension construction can be a long and drawn-out process and cause a heap of disruption. It’s not uncommon for an extension to take 6-8 weeks to complete.

Permissions & Planning

In most instances, providing your garden room complies with the building regulations, it does not need planning permission. This includes its size, position from neighbours’ boundaries, and how much of your garden it takes up.

Extensions can be trickier and it is possible to get away without planning permission providing it’s constructed within your permitted development rights. However, in certain circumstances (such as if it’s a double-storey extension, or it takes up more than half of the original land around your house), planning permission is required.

Return on Investment

A garden room can provide an ROI of between 5-15% of your property value and for the relative cost, this makes it a brilliant long-term investment. Similarly, a single-level extension can add between 5-8% onto your property value and a double-level potentially up to 20% so both make great investments and should make a positive ROI.

Garden Room vs Extension: Consider the Factors to Make a Choice

The garden room vs extension debate is a tough one but there are clear winners depending on what you want. If you want a cheaper option that gives you less hassle and disruption while still giving amazing flexibility and usage space, the garden room is a brilliant choice.

In contrast, if you want a flowing space and to make an open-plan living area that is part of your property, an extension gives you more flexibility and scope to utilize the existing space in your property.

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,
Guildford,
GU4 7QA
Phone 01483 237550