Northern Ireland has some stunningly beautiful and diverse scenery, from the spectacular Causeway Coast where you can find the World Heritage Site known as the Giant’s Causeway, to the Sperrin Mountains (from the Irish word meaning “little pinnacle”), which is an Area of Natural Beauty with an unspoilt landscape of lakes and valleys.
The weather in Northern Ireland is often difficult to predict, with the climate being oceanic it experiences mild summers, often with light rain and cold winters with lots of wind and rain. For those who want to make the best of the warmth of the summer season but would rather not get caught in a rain shower, then perhaps a garden room could be the answer.
With abundant rainfall and the risk of high winds the location of a Northern Irish garden room may need more than a little forethought. Consideration will need to be given to just how exposed your garden is to strong winds or flooding, even whether you have mature trees nearby that could fall or lose branches.
Garden room in Northern Ireland
You may not need planning permission to build your Northern Irish garden room as this type of building generally falls under permitted development, however, there are restrictions and limitations and some areas differ from others. We strongly recommend that you contact your local council planning office for advice before commencing your build. If you live in an area of special interest – also known as a designated area, a conservation area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty then you will need to apply for planning permission, new build developments often have restrictions too so this is something to be aware of before you start work. For information on planning rules and regulations in Northern Ireland please click here
Planning offices in NI
Contact details for planning offices in Northern Ireland.
- Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council
- Ards & North Down Borough Council
- Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council
- Belfast City Council
- Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council
- Derry City & Strabane District Council
- Fermanagh & Omagh District Council
- Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council
- Mid & East Antrim Borough Council
- Mid Ulster District Council
- Newry, Mourne & Down District Council
- Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Planning
Once you have consulted with your local authority and are fully aware of any restrictions regarding your area and your property where planning permission is concerned, you should now carefully consider where you are going to build your Northern Irish garden room as there are many potential issues to take into account. You may have sewage pipes or other types of utility services running beneath your garden, it is important that you check with the relevant suppliers or your local authority as you may not be able to build over them. If you have a manhole cover within your garden then you will not be able to build over it, you should note that you will also be restricted as to how close you can build to it. Northern Ireland Water state that “It is an offence under Article 236 of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (as amended Water and Sewerage Services Act (Northern Ireland) 2016), to realign, build over or near water mains, sewers, pipes and associated works owned and maintained by Northern Ireland Water unless with the prior consent by NI Water”.
Having checked everything out with the relevant authorities and suppliers and confirmed that you are safe to commence construction of your Northern Irish garden room, it is time to decide which type of garden room you will build as this, along with the size and shape, are important factors where delivery is concerned.
Do you live in the middle of a terrace with little or no rear access or is your property at the end of a narrow and winding country lane? If either of these situations applies to you then you should perhaps reconsider if you were thinking about buying a garden room that is delivered in one piece because it is highly unlikely that your supplier will be able to deliver to your garden. To make delivery of this kind of garden room your supplier will arrange to have it lifted into position by crane and the lorry will need to be close to your garden room foundation to carry out this operation.
The position of your Northern Irish garden room within your garden is extremely important; you will need electricity and may even decide to have a mains water supply so it would be sensible to site your garden room close to your main house where these services are already installed, this will make connections easier and cheaper. If reaching your garden room means walking over areas of lawn or through flower beds then you will need to think about the need for a garden path as grass can become dangerously slippery when wet; concrete, gravel or paving slabs are all perfect for keeping the mud from your shoes and out of your garden room and your home.
You will need to consider what type of foundation you are going to use, there are many different kinds of foundation, some of which are even suitable for uneven ground. The most common type of foundation is a concrete base; this is a solid foundation that will last for many years. For more information about garden room foundations read our article on garden room bases.
It is advisable to insulate any Northern Irish garden room, particularly if you live in an exposed area but also if you intend to use your garden room all year round. Insulating your garden room will help to keep your energy costs down by keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer months. There are many types of insulation suitable for a garden room, further information regarding insulation can be found here. It is important to fit double glazing as a single glazed window will lose most of the benefits gained by insulating your garden room.
Heating can be provided for your Northern Irish garden room in the form of electric heaters, convection heaters or oil filled radiators are both suitable for a garden room as they are thermostatically controlled and can be turned on and off with a flick of a switch. If you want to add character to your garden room you could also install a wood burning stove, perfectly cosy for the depths of winter. Garden room heating details can be found here.
Your garden room in Northern Ireland is certain to be a valuable and well used extra space for you and your family to enjoy all year round, make sure you do your research and visit lots of suppliers before placing your order, this will ensure that everything will go smoothly from start to finish.
Garden room companies in Northern Ireland
Special thanks Olivier for providing the image