Working from home has its benefits. Fewer distractions, quieter work environment, no travel costs. These are just to name a few. But, what if you don’t have a spare room for an office, or find your home distracting? If this case, converting your shed into your dream garden office is an ideal solution. Making a day’s work as stress-free as possible, garden offices are becoming increasingly popular for people who are starting up their own business or don’t have the budget for an office rental.
Step 1: Planning
You’ll need to start by planning what kind of outdoor office shed you want. This will vary depending on the type of work you do. Consider how you will use the space and what requirements you will need for those uses.
For example, if you need to use a laptop or computer from the office, then you’ll need to supply power to your shed. Make a list of all the uses and take into account what needs to be done before you can start using the shed as an office.
Step 2: Requirements
Once you’ve decided how you’ll be using your garden shed office, it’s easy to complete the requirements for the building. Consider what furniture, storage and accessories you’ll need. This will affect the design and access required, as well as the utilities you’ll need in the shed office.
If you are an artist or designer, then you’ll want to sketch, draw or sculpt with the aid of a desk or table. You’ll also require plenty of natural light and a comfortable chair. If you are using the office to write, you may not need large desk space but will need more wall space for whiteboards or bookcases.
You may even want to kit the office out with a kettle and fridge for refreshments while you work! The possibilities are endless so it’s important to know how you’ll be using the space. Here are some questions you should write down the answers to:
Will I need an open plan design or a multi-room office for meetings or storage space?
What kind of lighting does the office space require? (E.g. strip lighting, spotlights, lamps)
Will I need access to water?
Will I need an internet connection?
Will the building require heating for colder months?
How do my requirements impact each other?
Step 3: Shed Design and Build
If you intend to use your shed office regularly and all year round, you will need to insulate the building and make sure it is fully weatherproof. During colder months, a shed can be at risk from the elements, so it’s important you take measures to ensure it is structurally sound and won’t leak water. Especially if you will be storing electronics inside.
If you’re looking for a luxury shed office which will provide you with a high-quality building to work from all year round, then a log cabin is the ideal choice. BillyOh supply a range of log cabins in different designs and styles to suit your office needs. Choose from multi-room and open plan designs.
Wooden sheds are the best bet for a reliable office shed. Strong and windowed, they allow enough space for alterations and come in a range of designs to suit your garden style. Wooden sheds can be built using overlap or tongue and groove cladding. T&G is a safer bet for a garden shed office as it is stronger and more weather resistant than the cost-effective overlap.
Step 4: Layout and Size
You should plan the layout and size so you know that everything you want to include is going to fit. Firstly, consider the size of your garden and how much space an outdoor office shed is going to take up. Sheds come in a range of sizes, so depending on how big your garden is, you can find a garden office as small or large as you like.
You don’t have to own a large shed to convert it into an office. If you only need a small space to work from occasionally or have a small garden, a small shed is enough to store a desk and your office essentials. There are many wooden sheds which are equipped for use as a garden office and this ranges upwards in sizes 4×6.
You can also choose a corner shed which designed to maximise the space in a garden by fitting into a corner of your garden. If you don’t want to compromise on the quality of your building, BillyOh also provides small log cabins which are made with a thicker and more durable construction.
A medium sized shed office is perfect if you need somewhere to keep a fair amount of office equipment, including multiple desks and bookcases. A multi-room garden office will offer you a place to work as well as a room for office storage or a place to keep the printer and files.
You should choose a wooden shed which is windowed as this will allow plenty of natural light to enter the building and make the office comfortable to spend time in. Opening windows will also provide important ventilation for the office. Shed size 10×8 will offer you a medium sized office space which should provide plenty of room for a desk and office equipment.
If you need a large office, you can save on costs by owning a log cabin. When starting up your own business, this is a perfect office solution. Providing you with a spacious garden building to work from home at a fraction of the cost There are many designs and styles available to suit your garden. Contemporary pent styles are perfect for modern gardens and traditional apex and reverse apex designs which complement a traditional garden.
The BillyOh Hub log cabin offers an open plan multiroom design which is perfect for separate offices and keeping storage in a separate area. Large log cabin also offers you the choice of a multi-purpose building. The BillyOh Pod has three separate pods which you can be used for combined office space as well as relaxing or entertaining. The dividing wall and two sets of double doors allow you to have separate areas for different uses without being disturbed.
Step 5: Assess the condition of your shed
If you are turning an existing garden shed into an office, you should first assess whether you need to make any alterations and whether the building is fully watertight. Check for any tears in the roof felt and that it is securely attached. Also, test the doors and windows to see that they are working properly or if there are any gaps.
Empty out the shed completely and look for any signs of mold, damp, leaks or wood rot. These will need to be dealt with before you can progress to converting your shed into an office. Making the changes should be a DIY job, but if you are unsure of the stability of your shed, you should ask a builder to take a look at it or purchase a new shed or log cabin which is equipped for the job.
Step 6: Converting the garden shed office
Now you’re set to convert the shed into your dream garden office. Treat the shed exterior so that it is weatherproof and won’t be at risk of damp. This will also extend the lifespan of the shed. Next, think about lighting, heating, insulation, and electricity. These are what will transform your shed into a real office so you can start working from home!
The right lighting will mean you can work in your office no matter what time of day it is. Different types of lighting will complement your office needs. Halogen lights are good for providing overhead light, halogen bulbs can also be used for adjustable spotlights or track lighting. Whereas, desk and floor lamps are a cheap lighting option which can be moved around and also offer decoration for the garden office. LED lighting is a versatile and cheap to run. LED lighting can be used for spotlights and certain areas of the office you want to be brighter.
Heating will make sure your office is pleasant to work in whatever the time of year. It will also prevent damp and keep paperwork or electronics from being at risk of damp. You can heat a shed using an electric radiator which can be wall mounted or portable and used during colder months. Alternatively, tube heaters are a safe and inexpensive way to keep the office warm and take up little space.
Make your garden office shed insulated and keep it protected from damp. It will also take less energy to keep warm. It will also work to soundproof the building, which is great if you enjoy working with loud music on! You should insulate the ceiling, floor, and walls of the shed or best coverage. For a complete guide, take a look at our article on how to insulate a shed.
Most offices will require a laptop, phone, and lighting. For this, you’ll need electricity. IIf you don’t use electronics in your office, you can skip this part. It’s important to ask a professional to carry out any electrical work for you and will need to be signed off by them for insurance purposes. Let them know how many sockets and light switches you need and all the equipment you’ll be running off the electric.
Step 7: Office Storage
A well-organized space helps to keep an office running smoothly. Depending on how much storage space you need and how big your shed is, there are ways you can minimise clutter and maximise work production.
An open shelving unit is a great way to utilize a tall shed. Building shelves upwards mean you have more room in the building to work or walk around. Another way to use storage from the walls of the shed is by using wall-mounted pegboards. These can hold all your stationery and keep clutter off your desk.
A cheap method of storage for a garden office is clear, storage containers which are stacked together. These are perfect for storing your ink cartridges, paperwork, and chargers. They’ll keep everything dry and in one place. You can also use magnetic strips to hold metal objects such as scissors. This is particularly useful if your office will be used as a practical space.
If you have a small office, one way to utilize storage and save money is by repurposing old items. Why not attach a wine or spice rack to the wall and keep your document tubes, pens and paperclips stored. Or, use a shoe rack which you would hang on the back of a door to keep small pieces in one place.
Step 8: How to decorate an office shed
1. Paint it up
To maximise the feeling of space you’ll want to stick to light, bright colours on the inside of the shed. Whitewashed walls are a popular trend for modern garden offices. The outside can be painted in any colour you fancy, or whatever complements the garden around it.
2. Add personal touches
If you need garden office shed ideas, create a homely touch by adding photo frames to the office shed wall or desk. You can also add vibrancy to the walls with framed posters.These are great if you want to cover up old cupboard doors.
3. Bring it to life
Plants have been proven to detoxify the air and help create a better work environment. They also offer natural decoration. If you aren’t very green fingered, artificial plants look just as good.
4. Get organised
The best way to keep your garden office organised, is with a whiteboard or bulletin board. These are ideal for notices and reminders, as well as brainstorming ideas.
5. Add comfort
Although the shed office will be where you’ll be working, you’ll still want it to be a comfortable space to spend time in. Add comfort with a rug or garden furniture and cushions.