Can I live in a log cabin in my garden?

The short answer is NO.  And confusingly, also maybe YES.

And before I continue, please don’t take this as gospel truth, we are not planning experts, and it’s with a bit of trepidation that I have even added this page.  So please, always take advice from your local planning authority and do plenty of research online as we can’t be held accountable for every cabin people build.

If you’re anything like us, you have often wondered how nice it would be to just buy a little log cabin, stick a log burner in it and live in it at the bottom of the garden.

But the fact is that if you wish to make a permanent building, it has to be up to UK building regulations, and our twin skin cabins are holiday grade, not residential.

However, all is not lost.

There are a couple of ways around it, and it’s important to do your research about where you live, so before taking this any further, find out if you live in an area of outstanding natural beauty, a listed property, or have any extra restrictions to building a structure in your garden.

Firstly, you can have a cabin in your garden if you just use it to sleep in. It must be “ancilliary to the needs of the house”. In other words, its just sleeping accommodation, you aren’t allowed to add a bathroom or a toilet in it etc, just an extra room.

Secondly, you can have a mobile home / static caravan built in your propertyTake a look at our mobile homes here.

Now, you may come across the term the “Caravan Act”.  This essentially allows you (subject to conditions being met) for you to have a caravan, or small self contained structure that can be lived in, on your property.

Here’s a little part of it:

“Section 29 of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 states that the structure must be physically capable of being moved from one place to another by road and that the twin unit must be no more than 20 metres long, 6.80 metres wide and the living accommodation no more than 3.096 metres high”

You will need to contact your local planning authority, and ask them firstly for “Permitted Development Right’ or ‘Certificate of Lawfulness’ for your Mobile Home. You don’t need to submit plans at this stage, you just need permission to have a caravan on your property.

Putting a cabin in your garden (up to 6.8x20m) falls under the same law as parking a touring caravan in your drive.

Don’t mention log cabin at this point, you’re talking about a caravan, which can be 6.8m x 20m in size, and have up to 6 bedrooms.

The “caravan” has to be reliant on the main house, ie for water and electricity, otherwise it is then considered a separate building. Also you have to state that anyone staying in it will rely on the main house for meals etc, and will not be used a someone’s main residence. And above all else, it needs to remain moveable. If you build a large cabin your garden, it can’t really be moved, unless you put it on a steel base, with the ability for it to be moved with ease.  This is a possibility, and its still subject to your local planning authority, but it may be an idea.

Confused?  We are too, so make sure you take a good look through the UK law on what you can and can’t have in your property.

You’ll also be surprised at how far you can get by being honest and open with your local planning authority.

Ask them, and if you don’t agree, do some more research and come up with a plan that will work for you.

If you want something that is residential quality, we sell camping pods.  They are self contained units that can be lifted by forklift (they have a structural base with sleeves fitted in them specifically fort he purpose of being moved around)