What’s involved with getting a study at home?

With the media coverage we have at the moment, and the number of queries we have been receiving for home offices, we thought it might be useful to have a succinct guide on what’s possible.


Converting the spare room into a study is the most cost effective option. You can still use it as a guest room if required.

Items to consider

  • You may want to install more data points or more sockets to handle the additional hardware.  DO NOT OVERLOAD THE SINGLE SOCKET IN THE ROOM
  • Try to put the desk facing natural light or at least with a side view. It’s not nice working facing a blank wall in front of you and the sunlight on your monitors will also cause grief
  • Put some plants or green foliage in the room. Feed your creativity by adding natural elements.


You do not need planning to change a room in your home to a study


Depending on the size of the room. Costs would range between £500 to £5000 to  decorate, lay new floor and add some data and power sockets.

Garage Conversion

Converting a garage is another popular solution to adding a study to the home. Especially if you can create access from inside the home (normally from the lobby)

Items to consider

  • Creating a room in the garage is normally a straightforward solution. But note that garages these days are used for storage, so make sure you have storage elsewhere to put everything that will be removed.
  • You will still need to meet building regulations for the garage conversion, so this will mean insulating the floor, walls and roof and installing ventilation
  • Are the gas and elec meters in the garage? These may need to be moved


Planning permission is not usually required, providing the work is internal and does not involve enlarging the building.

We advise that you discuss such proposals with your local planning authority to ensure that any work you do is lawful and correctly permissioned.

Sometimes permitted development rights have been removed from some properties with regard to garage conversions and therefore you should contact your local planning authority before proceeding, particularly if you live on a new housing development or in a conservation area.

Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required.


Depending on the size of the garage. Expect to pay between £5 000 and £15 000 for a garage insulated, new access to lobby, new window and garage door blocked up. New floor and decorated.

Garden Study

If you have some un-utilised space in the garden then a garden room / study can be an effective solution.

Items to consider

  • If you need to go outside to access the study, think about your local weather and decide whether you will brave the weather to go to the study, or will you merely stay in and work from the dining room table instead. If that’s the case you have just paid for a very expensive shed!
  • You will need to run services to the outbuilding. Electrical cables and water / drainage if you want to install a WC or sink in the study. Make sure it’s close to drainage and connecting to utilities is possible
  • Try to let in as much natural light as possible. Full height sliding doors are a great way to make the space feel bigger.
  • Make sure you have a hardstanding (Patio, path etc) between your home and the study. You don’t want to have to walk over your garden to get there.


Outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
  • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
  • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must not exceed 0.3 metres in height)
  • No more than half the area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from the house to be limited to 10 square metres.
  • On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
  • Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

*The term "original house" means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

*Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.


Depending on the size, expect to spend between £10 000 and £25 000 for a garden study.

If any of this sounds of interest, then get in touch for a free video call to discuss your project and give clear action plan on how to achieve it.

Posted on March 17th 2020

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