We are always on the lookout for ways to extend our home’s living area and transform unused rooms and spaces into highly functional areas.
Most of us have separate sheds, which we use to store home and garden supplies and equipment such as lawnmower tractors, electric saws or brush cutters, basic hand-held gardening tools, fertilizers, etc.
But with more people choosing to work at home either by choice or by circumstances, many of them are thinking of renovating their own sheds from a drab shovel storage into a charming and comfortable backyard home offices.
Advantages of having a backyard office shed
Many people find that having their own dedicated space for a home office right from their own backyard mostly a positive and rewarding thing. They can work at their own pace and boost their productivity with little to no distractions getting in the way. Here are other advantages of having a backyard office:
- There’s no need to drive or commute to and from work, therefore saving you a lot of money.
- You can design your office just the way you want and need – you’re the boss of your own office!
- You don’t have to suffer from a noisy and crowded office environment, allowing you to focus on your work better and boost higher productivity.
- It allows you more flexibility.
- It is easier to “switch off” from work in a separate office than in main house.
- It can increase your residential property value.
- With a dedicated home office, it prevents your main house from getting cramped.
- You can wear what you want. But if you are going to a Skype or Zoom meeting with your clients or colleagues, you have to come dressed in a professional suit and tie or blazer (while wearing shorts or PJ’s at the same time!)
- It is more environmentally friendly because you are taking off the carload.
Setting up backyard shed or garden office
Converting your old backyard shed into an office is quite possible. Still, it depends on the situation and other factors (such as considering strict local planning or zoning laws). By the time you have factored in the renovations and all the other odds and ends to build it up to scratch, you might have as well purchased a new one for your backyard office. It is possible though, so it is worth weighing up the cost of investing in a new home backyard office or renovating an office out of an old shed.
If you do have an existing garden shed, there’s no need to build a new one from scratch. Or you can purchase affordable and time-saving DIY shed kits, such as this 16′ x 24′ guest house and storage shed with porch from Plans Design. With their revolutionary designs, these DIY sheds are made for easy assembly, so any builder with varying skill levels can construct and set them up. Yes, you do not even need a building experience to assemble such a structure.
However, you should do your research and make sure that you purchase your DIY shed from a reputable and reliable source to assure yourself of high quality and competitive prices.
Purchasing a DIY shed:
If you have considered purchasing a DIY shed, you should look at the variety of available materials on the market. The three most common materials are cedarwood, plastic or resin, and steel.
It will come down to preferences and affordability in choosing the one for you. Each of these DIY shed materials is very different, however, and you can create a great office environment from any of them.
Heating and cooling:
The most cost-effective way to provide heating and cooling to your office space is to get special insulation or blankets, such as these insulation blankets from Frost King. These insulation blankets can make your office stay cool throughout the summer season and warm throughout the colder months.
Needless to say, your backyard office shed cannot run without power, unless you want it to be an isolated and “unplugged” quiet retreat to stimulate your brainpower and creativity.
There are three options to provide power to your office shed. If it is built near the main house, you could route power easily out to your shed. Just remember to do it safely to avoid fire hazards. But the best way to do it is to hire a professional electrician to make sure the power is installed correctly and safely.
You can also purchase a power generator. It’s an investment, so make sure to get a good one. You can get it online, such as Ego Power + Nexus Power Station 3000-watt generator, which is available on Amazon. Or you can purchase it from a physical hardware or electronics store. But before making a purchase, you have to determine the wattage your office shed requires. Also, make sure to set it up correctly in your office.
Or you can power your office shed off-grid. If you live in a region where sunshine is plentiful almost all-year-round, you may want to take advantage of it. This 100-watt solar panel from Renogy utilizes the energy from the sun during the day and allows you to route it to power your appliances such as computers or laptops, flat-screen TV, cooking appliances, stereo systems, and chargers for your mobile devices.
Appropriate lighting is essential to making an excellent backyard shed office. Typical garden sheds make do with a single bulb light. But since you’re going to spend more time at your backyard office, you’ll definitely need more lighting. Install both overhead lights and lamps to illuminate your interior space.
Since backyard shed office spaces are typically small and low, recessed downlights are the practical lighting solution because they are literally embedded into the ceiling. They are low-voltage but provide good general lighting. You can buy a pack of six LED downlights from Sunco Lighting that come with a seven-year warranty!
If your shed has a porch, you may also want to install an outdoor light if you plan to use the space in the evening. String lights add a whimsical touch to your outdoor setting. These string lights from Lemontec are also perfect to light up a small party.
Welcome the natural daylight into your office by choosing the right windows and doors with glass panes. Install a skylight window in your shed to get much-needed sunlight (and get a good view of the moon and stars in the evenings). This skylight window from ICON is a good choice as it is UV-resistant.
You don’t want your office shed to feel cramped and airtight, especially when you’re going to spend a lot of time there.
While fresh air and proper ventilation are essential, these are the very things that most people tend to forget. Simply opening your windows is a great solution to allow adequate airflow. Built-in ventilation panels are also great and are usually included in certain shed models, such as Stilla cedar and Keter resin sheds. Solar-powered fans are popular choices, like this set of a portable fan and a solar panel from Yosoo.
In these modern times, getting connected to the World Wide Web is not anymore a luxury, but it is now a necessity.
There are many things that you should consider before moving to your backyard office shed. You would need to figure your phone lines and broadband, which will depend on your service provider and the wiring set-up. On the other hand, you would want to check out wireless devices and business mobile phone plans to eliminate the need for wires and cables.
And of course, you have to consider getting a good reception as you are planning for the location of your would-be office shed. There’s no point in building an office if you cannot get a good reception and connect to the world.
Personalizing your office:
The backyard office shed is your own domain, so it’s up to you how to adorn it. Paint it with your favorite colors, deck it out with your favorite decorative pieces or by hanging framed photos of your family on the wall. You can add a mood-enhancing desk lamp. Or go retro by decorating your office space with vintage flea market finds. You can create a unique atmosphere that will provide you comfort and satisfaction while working in your newly-built office.