Building in Your Parents Garden: What you need to know?

Building in Your Parents Garden: What you need to know?

Whether it’s a log cabin, a new house for your extended family or a property to give you a once-off lump sum or consistent rental income for your retirement, getting started on building in your garden is always going to be an excellent idea. According to many property experts, gardens have a lot of development potential, especially if you have a large garden directly accessible from the road.

Building on garden plots is becoming a new trend as people have finally awakened to the fact that there is often a lot of value tied up in their homes. If planning is done properly, a new garden building can benefit you in so many ways.

It could be a home for all of your grown children who want to stay with their parents but would also like to maintain their privacy as well. It could simply be a way of making a profit for many old-age people looking to enhance their retirement plan.

While building your project on your parent’s garden, the last thing you want is a letter through your door by the local council telling you that your newly built garden building is not permitted. To avoid receiving this letter, it is better to get familiar with all the legal requirements first.


What can you build in your parent’s garden?

Looking after elderly parents and children hanging around into their twenties are responsibilities that every family homeowner of Ireland needs to contend with. With all these responsibilities, the recent requirements to work from home has also made them realize the need for extra space in their existing homes.

Many people in Ireland are looking for development options in their existing home’s garden to provide extra space in which they can work without disturbance or accommodation for their adult children or elderly parents to retain their privacy while living at home. Some of the development options are:

    • Summer House
    • Garden Rooms
    • Log Cabins
    • Large Garden Storage
    • Full House Builds


5 Advantages of building in your parent’s garden

More than 35% of homeowners with young adults have constructed a garden room or log cabin in their garden as a living space for their young adults in Ireland. It has become a more convenient way for young adults to have their privacy while staying at home with their parents.

Many young people have built their new homes in their parent’s garden to take care of their elderly parents and cherish all those precious moments with them. If the right procedures are taken, there are other countless benefits of this approach, such as:

    • You don’t need to pay for the plot and can therefore invest all your resources into the new development, whether it’s a log cabin or a new home.
    • You can still live in the neighbourhood you have become familiar with in all those past years.
    • You can keep a check on the development progress while living there
    • You can have an extra space in your home for growing family and growing responsibilities without needing to shift to another house
    • You can put the building up for rent and earn profit through it or even sell for a large lump sum.


Will the new garden building increase the value of the existing home?

Anything built in your garden will somehow increase your existing home’s value. People with extensive gardens will earn a huge profit if they plan wisely. The best part of this development opportunity is that you are already saving up the cost by building on the existing plot.

Even just obtaining planning permission can instantly uplift the value of your existing home. Many people are making huge profits by turning their gardens into newly built homes. The profit earned will easily cover up the cost of building the home and obtaining planning permission for it. A newly built home or even just a simple log cabin with planning permission can help you achieve a significant uplift in the value of your existing property if sold together. Or alternatively if kept separate you now have two different properties from which to extract value.


When will you need planning permission?

Obtaining planning permission for building on your parent’s garden can often give you a headache as it is quite a complex process. What do you want to build and what purpose the outside garden building will be used is crucial in determining whether you will need planning permission or not.  However, the size of your intended garden building will have the biggest impact.

According to Ireland’s planning system, any building covering more than 50% of the total curtilage of the house will require planning permission. All bigger and permanent buildings will require planning permission. The planning permission will be needed if your intended garden building is:

    • Going to be more than one story or will have eaves higher than 2.5 meters
    • Including a veranda, balcony, or any other raised platform
    • Going to be used as permanent living accommodation for your elderly parents or young adults
    • Going to impact your neighbours’ privacy in any possible way
    • Causing an increase in the number of people visiting your house


When will you not need planning permission?

If you intend to build a summer house, shed, extra storage space, log cabin, a garden room, or anything that does not extends further than the dimensions mentioned above, you are good to go without requiring planning permission for it.

These buildings are classified as Class E buildings and will not be needing planning permission to build. For those who want extra space to work, socialize with their friends without disturbing their neighbours, or an extra space to declutter their homes, building a garden room or a log cabin will be a great choice. There will also not be a need to go through the complicated process of applying for planning permission, and still, you will have the extra space you needed in your garden.


How to apply for planning permission?

For those who suspect that your intended garden building will require planning permission, it is better to consult with a professional architect and a planning consultant.  They will give the right advice on almost every matter related to the planning permission. They will make sure you stand in a better position to submit a successful application.

To apply for planning permission, you need to fill out the application form and attach all relevant documents with it. The cost of the application fee will vary depending on what kind of work you need to get done in your garden.

To help you further, there is a fee calculator available on the website so you can have a better idea of how much to pay.  After applying, the local council will take 8 to 13 weeks to give its final decision.


Why is it essential to check covenants before applying for planning permission?

Covenants are certain restrictions placed in your land to prevent it from developing in a certain way. Before applying for planning permission, it is essential to check if there are any covenants placed on your land and get them removed immediately.

Even if you obtain planning permission to build in your garden, the covenant will override it. Getting covenant removed is easy, especially when the beneficiary no longer exists. It is better to check it before applying for planning permission as it will save a lot of your money and effort.


5 Powerful tips to win planning permission on a parent’s garden?

Getting planning permission, especially on a garden plot, can be quite a challenging process. The main aim of the local council is to ensure that the new garden plot building is in character with its surroundings in terms of design and pattern of development. Some powerful tips to win planning permission to build on a garden plot are:

      1. Privacy of your neighbours:

The design of your intended garden building must not overlook and intrude on the privacy of any neighbours. It can be managed easily through the careful arrangement of rooms and usage of high-level glazing in your new building’s design to prevent views in a particular direction.

If the intended garden building is designed in a way that the privacy of neighbours is maintained, then the local council will be left with no choice but to grant you the planning permission. Good design can increase your chances of winning over the planners.

      2. Minimum loss of trees:

If your garden plot has many trees and contributes to forming part of a beautiful street scene, obtaining planning permission to build on it can be extremely difficult. As the loss of trees for building in your garden can upset the local council members and your neighbours.

It is better to consult with your architect to design your building in a way that there is minimum loss of trees. However, it can be challenging to achieve, but keeping a few trees that add the most to the street scene will help you obtain the permission you need.

      3. Drainage:

It is crucial to think early about how your garden building will be drained so you can include the most suitable solutions in your planning application. If there is no public sewer available at your garden plot, you will need a space for a private system.

      4. Local politics:

The neighbours often play a significant role in the process of planning permission to build on a garden plot. Getting your neighbours on your side can ultimately increase your chances of being granted the permission you need from the local council. The local council will consult with your neighbours before giving its final decisions. If your neighbours are in your favour, you will most likely obtain the planning permission to build on the garden plot.

      5. Space:

Many applications for building in a garden plot often get refused because the plot looked too narrow and cramped. Careful design can lessen the effect of a narrow plot and make the plot’s size suitable for developing the new garden building.  With the help of a professional architect, you can make the new garden building look like it is associated with the existing home.



Many people in Ireland are transforming their gardens into a highly valuable asset with the potential to earn them a great return in the form of a once off lump sum or consistent rental income. It can also be used for growing needs where it’s more convenient to build extra space for families in the existing house instead of relocating to new houses. However, obtaining planning permission can be quite daunting, as the planning officers in Ireland see it as their job to prevent the development of new buildings, especially in garden plots. However, with an expert architect on your side, you will be able to successfully obtain planning permission to build. If you are in the process of buying an old bungalow, always choose the one with the more extensive garden as it will be a huge benefit in the long run. Also do keep in mind that any property built in a garden without planning permission, will likely be forcefully removed and there may be severe penalties for the homeowner

If you or anyone you know is interested in developing in your garden to unlock tied up liquidity then we would be happy to assist.