What’s The Difference Between A Lodge And An Annexe?

Read Our Quick Guide To Discover Which One Is Right For You & Your Family

We pride ourselves on our shoot straight from the hip advice about garden annexes and lodges because we know the process involved with making the switch to annexe living is such as important one for all concerned.

An annexe or lodge is a major purchase for anyone looking to release equity and downsize to garden annexe living and for many new annexe owners the end result has a “Happy Ever After” ending.

But where do you start?




Do you need a lodge or an annexe?

What’s the difference?

Well grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee and read our quick guide to help you decide which one is best for you and your family…


1. Lodges Can Be Moved More Easily In The Future Than Annexes

"Foresters lodge"

Garden lodges are popular with people who are not sure they want a garden lodge in the garden forever.

(Considering the potential added value a garden lodge or annexe can add to the value of your home, reselling the main property with the lodge or annexe might be a better option for you.)

But if you think a garden lodge for an elderly relative might not be needed after the next 5,10 or 15 years and you want to resell it, than a Lodge (like The Foresters) is your best option.



2. Which One Comes Fully Furnished? A Lodge Or An Annexe?

If you like the idea of moving into a fully furnished new home in the garden then once again that’s one of the perks that comes with a garden Lodge. From flooring & decor to sofas, tables & chairs, lamp tables, coffee table, beds & wardrobes to choose from, garden lodges offer great value for money.



3. Which Ones Need Planning Permission?

The answer is BOTH.

Lodges are built to BS3632 and are 100% compliant with the Caravan Act (which may offer you are better options if you have other planning issues, such as location, or if you have a large size in mind.)

Annexes can also be built to comply with The Caravan Act but also fall under Householder Planning in most cases. We can advise you on our free on site consultation service which is best route for you.

In either case we offer a full turn-key service that includes applying for the relevant permission on your behalf.

*Please note you will require either Planning Permission or a Certificate of Lawfulness is someone is going to be living in a lodge or annexe in your garden.



4. Which One Is Better For Restricted Access? A Lodge Or An Annexe?

Lodges require a wider access than garden annexes as they are delivered on the back of a lorry in two halves to the prepared foundations and services.

Imagine each half is the size of a large articulated lorry & you’ll get the idea pretty quick.

A drive way with a double gate is a good standard width that would be required, although we do have options to crane lodges into place if required. Very narrow lanes to your property can also present challenges.

If we are in any doubt we will arrange for a delivery survey prior to you placing a lodge order as a safe-guard for you at no extra charge.

Garden annexes on the other hand are delivered in part-kit form making them much more suited to smaller gardens and houses where a lodge simply isn’t an option due to access.



5. Which One Is More Flexible When It Comes To Designing A Floor Plan That Suits My Needs?

Most lodges and annexes are around 40′ x 20′ or 12.1m x 6m or less in size.

If you require a larger size you should consider the Caravan Act as your best option as your Local Planning Authority are likely to question why any annexe should be any bigger than that.

Garden Annexes are more cost effective to adapt than lodges if a bespoke floor plan is essential to you.

Both our full lodge range and our own custom annexe ranges have been professionally designed to offer you floor plans that are both structurally sound and suitable for garden annexe or lodge living.

They offer a great starting point that can help save you time and money in the long run.



6. Which One Has A Fully Fitted Kitchen & Bathroom? A Lodge Or An Annexe?

"Garden Annex"

Lodges are built to BS3632 and come fully equipped with kitchen appliances (including a washer / dryer), plus all your furniture & furnishings ready for you to move in.

They have to be fully equipped to comply with the BS3632 certification making them ideal for both residential & retirement homes or commercial guest & leisure lodges.

Both have fully fitted bathrooms and BOTH can be adapted for accessibility of required.

With a garden annexe we also supply and fit a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom as standard.

In both lodges and annexes you have a wide choice of kitchen & bathroom finishes so you can sure to find the perfect one for you.



7. Which One Is Warmer? A Lodge Or An Annexe?

Both lodges and annexes come with “A” rated double glazed windows and doors as standard.

Both lodges and annexes are a fully insulated timber-framed construction. (Garden annexes have thicker walls and more insulation than lodges but both are suitable for year round living).

Lodges can be adapted for gas, electric or oil and have a traditional heating system. They also have a fire in the living area as standard.

Garden annexes are typically all electric with modern digital electric radiators which allow you to set the room temperature per room. So if you like a controlled ambient temperature in the living area but a cooler bedroom, it’s not a problem!

And don’t worry, we’ll discuss all the best options for you during our free on site consultation service when you are ready.



8. Which One Has A Plaster Finish Inside?

Garden annexes are traditionally finished inside with a plasterboard and plaster finish to all internal walls.

Lodges are plasterboard with MDF lodge style cladding as the internal wall finish. This can be repainted as often as required just as you would a plaster finish wall.

Both have feature wall options like the popular one pictured above in the Bella Vista lodge.



9. Which One Can Be Built Quicker?

As both lodges and annexes require either planning permission or a Certificate of Lawfulness, they both take the same time to obtain permission to build from your Local Planning Authority which is typically 8-10 weeks.

It also takes us a couple of weeks to prepare your drawings and planning application for either a lodge or an annexe.

Lodges typically have a manufacturing timescale of 10-12 weeks plus a week or two for delivery & siting. *Due to an unusually high demand for Guest Lodges during 2020 these timescales are currently extended beyond that.

Annexes (depending on the size and specification) take between 7 & 14 weeks to build from start to finish and are subject to weather conditions, time of year and variable factors unique to each annexe.

In general they both take approximately the same time to complete unless there are certain factors beyond our control that may affect these from time to time.



  1. Lodges versus annexes? Rest assured both are a fantastic option for multi-generation living.
  2. We can only answer a few of your questions, here so if you have one and want a quick chat, give us a call on 01952 460658 and we’ll be happy to help.
  3. To make the best choice for you & your family will depend on many factors & the good news is that there are plenty of other new annexe owners happy to share their experience with you!
  4. Lodges offer a great all in one solution if you are anticipating changes in the future or if the thought of your garden being a small scale building site fills you with dread. They are much easier and more cost effective to move & relocate than garden annexes.
  5. Garden annexes on the other hand can fit into most gardens and offer the most flexibility for people who like the self-build aspect of designing & building a custom annexe.

As always we look forward to your thoughts and comments below or join in the conversation on our Facebook Page! Until then, all the best!

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