Will An Annexe Fit In My Garden? (6 Quick Survey Tips)

Will An Annexe Fit In My Garden? (6 Quick Survey Tips)

Once you decide that an annexe in your garden is the best solution for you and your family, getting those all important measurements right is the next step. When it comes to building an annexe in your back garden, you have 2 great options:-

  1. The first is our build on-site custom annexe range (which are best for gardens with restricted access eg a single side gate entrance. 
  2. The second (and increasingly popular) is our build off-site lodge style annexes (which require a wider access as they are delivered in two halves and reassembled on site.)

In both cases, it’s worth noting that all Local Planning Authorities view annexes differently.

Some may even have restrictions on size or facilities in which case we would advise a Certificate of Lawfulness as an alternative to Planning permission

Your annexe must also be for a member of your family and offers a great and affordable alternative to renting, Care Home costs, first-time buyers homes, temporary guest accommodation and more. So here are 6 tips on making sure your annexe fits in your garden….


1. Measure Your Garden

Your garden needs to be at least 1 metre wider than your annexe (you cannot squeeze one in boundary to boundary because of fire regulations). There also needs to be fire exit access from a bedroom window and the overall size cannot take up your entire garden space.

At least 50% of your garden must remain a garden and other extensions and out buildings should be taken into account on your overall permitted development.


2. Locate Your Mains Services

Annexes “link” to the main house in part by way of using existing water, sewerage and electrics. And if you are not familiar (or have any interest or experience) with drains, electrics and sewerage it’s best to call in someone who has! The distance between the annexe and the mains services supply will vary and therefore so will the costs.

Measure to the middle or far side of where the annexe is ideally going to be for each mains service as a trench will be required for these as part of the preparation works for your annexe.


3. Consider Your Neighbours

You may well wonder what all the fuss is about when you decide that your new family annexe is perfect for you & your family, however your neighbours may not share the love. 😉

Consider your neighbours view as it is now and what it will be like once the annexe is in situ.

This may also determine whether a flat roof or pitched roof annexe design is your best option (which your Local Planning Authority will also have to consider as part of the Planning process.)

It’s best to avoid conflict and be prepared from the out set.


4. Consider Your Natural Environment

We live in a very beautiful green Country thanks to our planning laws carefully controlling developments (up until recent years at least.)

So if you live in a Listed Building, a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty your Local Planning Authority is going to have very strict policies in place of what you can and cannot do.

And if you have trees with preservation orders or are surrounded by trees with root systems that may be disturbed your Local Planning Authority may request a tree report at an additional cost.

They are also going to protect any birds, bats or other wildlife they feel might be affected by the position or building process of your annexe.

If you have any or all of the above, we highly recommend you look at the Certificate of Lawfulness route as your best option.


5. Consider Previous Planning History (Including The Previous Owners of the Property)

Have you or the previous owners of your property already applied for and been refused planning permission for an extension, annexe or other build related application?

We will carry this out as part of our Planning Service, but it’s best to find out if there have been any objections to previous applications or refusals and reasons for them for us to best advise you on the best course of action to take with your annexe.

It can also be tempting to pick up the phone and talk to your Local Planning Authority, or submit a pre-Planning App.

Based on our extensive experience, we would recommend you talk to us first before doing either as you can easily destroy your best chance of submitting a successful application by saying or doing the wrong thing.


6. Consider Deliveries

An annexe is a major build project on the scale of a building the size of a small bungalow and depending on the type of annexe you choose, access for deliveries is vitally important.

For custom build onsite annexes:

  • A side gate to the back garden is typically our access point for most annexe sites.
  • We will need access for diggers, lorries and the installation teams.
  • Skips will be required during the build and will provide a portable toilet for our installation teams for on site builds.

For residential lodges:

  • A wider gap is required for delivering the lodge annexe in two halves.
  • (We will prepare the foundations and service connections prior to the delivery)
  • The widest mobile home available is 22 feet wide (6.70m) making each half 11 feet wide.
  • A gap of ideally 13 feet in width is generally suitable for most residential lodge annexes and in some cases a crane can be used to lift it into place.

As residential lodges are typically sited in a matter of days there is no need for skips and portable toilets at any time other than during foundations and services connections.



  • Measuring your garden is the first step to make sure your annexe will fit the space, leaving enough room for fire regulations and to be compliant with your Local Planning authority with regards to Planning permission.
  • Locate all your main services and measure the distance required for connections.
  • Check the history of planning on your property and be aware of your surrounding area and neighbours.
  • Think about access to your property and the proposed site for large deliveries and storage during the build itself.

As always we look forward to your thoughts and comments below or join in the conversation on our Facebook Page! Use The Contact Us Page To Email Us With Your Enquiry.

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