Garden Room or Shed? A Guide to the Different Types of Garden Room

Having a building in your garden that is separate from your main property has many benefits. 

These buildings come in all shapes and sizes, from large annexes that are big enough for someone to live comfortably in, to small areas that are used simply for storage and nothing more. 

There are common terms for these buildings, such as summer house, garden rooms, and sheds, but these all mean different things, and this can lead to some confusion. 

And that’s why InFrame Garden Rooms have created this handy guide on the different types of garden building. 

Let’s take a look. 

Garden Buildings in UK Homes

Having garden buildings has always been a popular choice in UK homes.  

During the last decade though, there has been a shift towards garden rooms, rather than sheds. 

That’s not to say us Brits are falling out of love with the humble shed though, as over 50% of our gardens still have one

The shift towards garden rooms has come along for many reasons, including the rise in remote working, cost of moving home or building an extension increasing, and an overall growth in awareness of just what these types of garden building can offer. 

In the last decade, homes listing a garden office as a feature has risen by over 1000% percent. This is a huge increase that shows no signs of slowing down. 

But if you’re reading this and wondering what the difference is between a garden room and a shed, then you’re not alone, as it is a question our team regularly get asked. 

There are some subtle differences, but one major one that can be used to distinguish between the two. 

InFrame Garden Room
An InFrame Garden Room

The Differences Between a Shed and a Garden Room

When choosing between a garden room and a shed, the key feature that you are deciding upon is insulation. 

Whereas a shed comes without insulation, and therefore is best used for storage or for brief periods spent inside, a garden room is very different, coming with insulation and everything you need to be comfortable inside during even the coldest months of the year. 

This leads to each of these things having very different uses. 

Many of us are guilty of using a shed as a place to keep your unwanted items, tools, bikes, and much more out of sight. 

Sheds can be used as an office (George Bernard Shaw famously wrote many of his stories in one), but often lack the warmth and comfort of a garden room, so they aren’t always the best spot to do so. 

When it comes to uses, a garden room is far more versatile. 

All of the garden buildings from InFrame come with insulation, electricity, lockable doors, and much more, making them a cosy environment for anyone, whether you’re wanting to work, exercise, socialise, or even hold a yoga class.

Garden sheds have much shorter life expectancies and are generally built with wood or MDF that could be damaged in extreme weather. Lighting doesn’t often come from electrics in these, but rather from a single window. Our steel framed garden rooms are completely the opposite, and are built to last and be habitable, as well as complying with planning permission and building control when applicable. 

When it comes to building regulations, if someone is planning to live inside the garden room or shed, these would need to be notified, and therefore this is something only ever really applicable to garden rooms, which is another big difference. 

Another big difference is fireproofing. Where a shed may be made of wood and not fireproof materials, a garden room from InFrame is always built with non-combustible materials, from the frame to the cladding.

So, to summarise, garden sheds and garden rooms are very different. A garden room comes with insulation, is often much larger, and is created to be habitable and comfortable. 

On the other hand, the most common use of a shed is for storage, and most don’t come with insulation. These are often smaller than a garden room, not as sturdy, and built not to last as long. 

Depending on your budget, area, and needs for your garden building, knowing the difference between the two can make finding the perfect building for you much more efficient and simple. 

The Anatomy of an InFrame Garden Room
The Anatomy of an InFrame Garden Room

What is a Summer House? 

So, that’s garden rooms and sheds covered, but what about summer houses? 

This is another term that we hear frequently, and which bracket this kind of building falls under is always a good question. 

The name gives it away with this one. A summer house is just that, a house designed to be used in the summer. 

The reason it is not so great to use in the winter is because, like the shed, it lacks insulation. 

This separates it from the bespoke garden rooms on offer from InFrame, and leans it closer to the shed category. 

While not used as much for storage, and often filled with comfortable furniture that is perfect for relaxing with a book on the warmer days of the year, a summer house is an entity that sits somewhere between the two. 

While made to be habitable, the lack of insulation means these aren’t all year round garden rooms, and therefore if you’re looking for somewhere to work throughout winter for example, a summer house is not what you’re looking for. 

If you are looking for something habitable all year round, then make sure you do your research when selecting which company to use. 

There are many garden rooms that won’t be warm enough for general uses, such as an office, and many that are also too hot in the summer, which could be an issue, especially if using it for exercise. This would make them occasional use, when the weather is just right. 

If you’re looking for a genuine all year round garden room, then you are safe with InFrame, as we use only the very highest quality commercial grade materials to ensure a comfortable climate no matter what the weather throws at you. 

Garden Pods

Finally, another term often used to describe a garden building is pod. 

Our modern garden office pod falls into the garden room category, as it is insulted, built to last, highly customisable, and constructed using only the highest quality materials. 

This is a garden room but gets called a pod due to it’s compact size and style. 

While a garden pod may be too small to socialise in or to live in, it is the perfect size to fit a desk and create your own office. 

With all the features needed to provide a comfortable working environment, this can be a huge boost for your working and personal life. 

InFrame Garden Pod
An InFrame Garden Office Pod

UK Garden Rooms with InFrame

Garden rooms and sheds are very different things. 

The choice of which to get depends on your budget and requirements. 

If you are looking for a high-end customisable garden room, then InFrame can help design, create, and build a garden room that feels as comfortable as an extension of your home. 

We are the largest steel frame garden company in the UK, and all of our garden rooms come with a 25 year guarantee for our steel frame and are designed with you and your needs at the forefront. 

InFrame uses certified passive house airtight membrane wrap for our garden rooms. Unlike traditional or other garden room builds we do not use flammable timber boards, we use commercial grade construction boards which create the thermal efficiencies and are A1 non-combustible. 

Whether you need a games room or a garden studio, we would love to hear from you, so don’t hesitate and get in touch with InFrame today

A range of Pre-designed rooms & Bespoke Solutions

  • Our tried and tested InFrame range comes in a range of shapes and sizes
  • Wide portfolio of Offices, Gyms, Cinemas, Games Rooms and Bars
  • A large portion of our work is fully bespoke projects – anything is possible