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Garden Shed Offices - No Rent, No Commuting, No Distractions

By Edited Nov 13, 2016 13 55


A garden shed-office is a pleasant and relaxing way to work from home: perfect in terms of peace, taking yourself away from the family environment, yet with no travelling or office costs.



Setting up a garden shed-office for one or two people, including the building will cost you between $1000 and $2000, depending on what facilities you include.


Why You Should Set Up A Garden shed-office Instead of Renting an Office


In terms of cost, compared to renting an office it wins hands down. If you run a small business from home you need to keep an office and a garden shed-office costs less per year than a rented office does per week, yet you have all the same advantages.



Even if you run a business that is large enough to employ others you can buy large garden shed-offices that include washrooms and other necessary facilities for a tiny fraction of the cost of renting, or of building a conventional extension.



Your garden office also removes any commuting time and costs. Walk to work in twenty seconds, instead of a forty minute drive at both ends of the working day.


Why a Garden shed-office Is Better Than a Spare Room Office


If you have an office in the house you are subject to all the family noise, from vacuum cleaners to children crying and teenagers squabbling. Moving into a garden office removes you physically from your nearest and dearest and is much more conducive to work and creative thinking, especially, than a spare room office in the house is.



You will have fewer interruptions because you are more obviously 'At work' than if you are sitting at a desk in a room off the hallway.


What Kind of Garden shed-offices Are Available?


You can have a garden office in any material you care to name. Traditional timber buildings are popular and generally have the lowest cost, but attractively designed aluminium, steel and PVC buildings are all widely available. These non-timber buildings will have a longer life and lower maintenance costs, which offset their initially higher purchase prices.



You can find garden office buildings with floor to ceiling windows, porches and front and back doors. There are many companies that will design a garden office to suit your exact requirements, so if you need wheelchair access or extra high or low electric outlets all of these needs can be accommodated.



The inside of your garden shed-office will usually be plasterboard and indistinguishable from a conventional office.


Does My Garden shed-office Need Planning Permission?


Planning regulations will depend on where you live and you really need to check locally, but usually timber garden buildings need no planning permission. Rules on other materials depend on the proposed size and whether it has washroom facilities.


Can I Put a Washroom in shed-office?


It is a good idea to fit a washroom if your building is large enough. If it is accessible from inside and outside the building then you will be able to use it when you are gardening, too. A washroom becomes essential if you have employees working in your garden shed-office.



Put a separate tap and kitchen sink in one corner of your office. It will save you going to the house for tea and coffee.


Can I Put Electric Power in office?


If you intend it as a serious office then electricity is going to be essential for lighting, computers and heating.


Install as many electric sockets as you would in a kitchen, at least eight and preferably sixteen to accommodate future equipment needs. Think about how many sockets you need for computer equipment; PC, monitor, scanner, laser printer, inkjet printer, speakers, USB hub, external hard drive, etc. It would be better to have enough sockets, close together that you had no need to use extension leads. You will also need sockets for radio, TV, telephone, cell phone charger, kettle, toaster, microwave, heaters and hair dryer.



The lighting you need will depend on how you propose to use your garden shed-office. If you are using computer monitors you will need different lighting than if you will be using the garden room as an artist's studio. Try to have one low running cost lighting option, even if you want high running cost spotlights as another lighting option.


What Size shed-office Do I Need?


Only you can answer that, but buy as large a one as your budget allows. 12ft x 12ft sounds large, until you take out a quarter of that space for a 6ft x 6 ft washroom and another 6ft length of wall for a kitchen area. The door and entry area remove another 6ft x 6ft area from your office working space. You are down to a garden office only 6ft wide by 6ft deep, barely large enough for one person to use comfortable, but too cramped for two people.



If you bought a12ft x 18ft garden building you would have a clear 12ft x 12ft space for desks, shelves and filing cabinets, even after you have allowed for washroom and kitchen areas.


Will my shed-office Be Warm Enough in Winter?


It will obviously need LOTS of insulation. Allow for 6 inches of insulation beween inner and outer walls and 12 inches on the roof. Fit double glazed windows and doors, especially if your office is to have a large area of glass. Electric convector heaters are the most common heating solution, but use wall mounted ones to reduce clutter.

Where Can I Find Furniture For My shed-office?


Office desks need to be strong and rigid enough to stand up to a lot of use. They usually have tops a lot thicker than desks aimed at the domestic market, so they are a lot more expensive.


Lots of companies go bust and sell their nearly brand new office furniture for knockdown prices. You can find $400 corner desks for $100 if you check out a local used office furniture store. The desk will be unmarked and you may be able to find four or five matching desks, along with shelves, chairs and filing cabinets for one quarter of the new price.




Jul 31, 2010 9:52pm
What a neat idea!
Nov 5, 2010 11:40am
Thanks JP, sorry for not replying before.
Nov 4, 2010 2:14pm
Great article. In about a year I will be moving to a permanent house for the first time in 10 years. One of the things I definitely want is an office. I had always previously only thought about an office in a spare bedroom. But this encourages me to think of other possibilities for office space.
Nov 4, 2010 3:13pm
Go for it. I have not got a garden shed office yet, but I plan to, once I can afford one with all mod cons, heating, bathroom, kettle...
Nov 5, 2010 12:08am
Thats an inlaw apartment for me.
Great article.
Nov 5, 2010 1:20am
is that good or bad? Thanks
Nov 5, 2010 12:18am
Office sheds are becoming really popular. Sheds have a ton of uses. I live with my parents on 5 acres and there is a 15 by 16 ft two-story shed in the backyard. I've been begging my parents to turn it into an apartment for me to live in. It's bigger than the dorm room I lived in at college. The upstairs room could be turned into a bedroom - it's tall enough to walk around without hitting my head and it would fit my queen size bed just fine. The first floor could be a tiny kitchen/living room. I'm not sure where they would put the bathroom but I wouldn't mind using the guest bathroom just inside the back door of the main house. It would be the perfect first apartment.
Nov 5, 2010 1:19am
15ft x 16ft isn't a shewd! It's a house. Get the job priced and then offer to pay rent on it maybe...Sounds perfect.
Nov 5, 2010 1:34am
It's a good thing, I forgot about the shed, now I have a place for my mother in law to staty when she visits my wife&gt (&gt:
Nov 5, 2010 1:38am
I like it. My current shed has barely got room for a mouse to lie down
Nov 5, 2010 1:34am
What a fantabulous idea! Very cost effective I think. Thanks for this informative article.
Nov 5, 2010 1:40am
Glad you like it. I cannot think of a cheaper way to get an office...and most people have room for a second large shed
Nov 5, 2010 1:43am
By the way Phil, congratulations on the feature.
Nov 5, 2010 1:49am
Thanks, the points will be nice
Nov 5, 2010 4:57am
Some of them make great little houses, what a great idea.
Nov 5, 2010 5:00am
Thanks Timon
Nov 5, 2010 6:36am
It is a great idea!
As an extra idea, then I am certain that you can convince a manufacturer of the 'office shed' to the idea that you make it to a 'show piece', this way you can earn a commission on sales to new prospects,
... plus you can most likely get your own house very cheap (or if you are good to haggle :) maybe even for free)
Nov 5, 2010 11:22am
LOl, I wish I had the time, but the conceot in Ireland and Britain is growing away without any help from me
Nov 5, 2010 7:22am
Great Article. I have been wanted to do this for so long. I have wanted one with a second story, but we have so many restrictions here. The one pictured is very pretty, however, I have picked out a wooden that will do just as well. Love this article.
Nov 5, 2010 11:24am
Glad to have given you inspiration. I have ambitions of a car showroom office sized one
Nov 5, 2010 7:38am
Wonderful article - very-very inspiring and original idea! I like it - in fact it is really one of my long term goals. The article really deserves to be featured. Congrats Phil.
Nov 5, 2010 11:25am
Glad you like it. Thanks for your kind comments
Nov 5, 2010 8:33am
Great artice - practical and cost-effective-ideas.
Nov 5, 2010 11:27am
Thanks, certainly way cheaper than an extension, plus no planning needed for most areas for timber buildings.
Nov 5, 2010 8:34am
I've been thinking about this, Phil. It's been on my wish list for some time now. I think it would serve as a tax write-off, making it even more affordable.

It's great to see you featured! You always write such good articles.
Nov 5, 2010 11:32am
Thanks Jason. Go for it. You can write while you are surrounded by your garden. It's certainly part of my plans over the next three years. If you use it just as an office should be 100% tax deductible
Nov 5, 2010 8:39am
Typo Correction

This is what I meant in my previous comment:

Great article - practical and cost-effective ideas.
Nov 5, 2010 11:28am
I was not going to worry, you are obviously a perfectionist
Nov 5, 2010 9:24am
Congrats on the feature. Great article.
Nov 5, 2010 11:29am
Thanks Lynsuz. Glad you like it
Nov 5, 2010 10:15am
Great thinking Phil! I never really thought these sheds could be heated but, I understand now and super congrats on being featured - it's a well thought out article and deserving.
Nov 5, 2010 11:34am
Thanks vetochemicals. Originally I was trying to think ofways of running central heating pipes out to it, then realised that was stupid. Insulation is the key
Nov 5, 2010 11:10am
Very nice Phil, great idea - good job!
Nov 5, 2010 11:36am
Thanks Kevin. I appreciate your comment
Nov 5, 2010 12:11pm
What a good idea! A great article for Home Page. Thanks for sharing.
Nov 5, 2010 12:55pm
Thanks southerngirl, glad you like it
Nov 6, 2010 10:59pm
very good idea
Nov 7, 2010 3:12am
THanks girish. Everyone seems to thin so
Nov 7, 2010 9:51am
This is a great article. I would love to have an office that wasn't in our living room! However, with the kids so little it does work best to be in the middle of them even if it isn't very productive. :-P I was thinking that the first one looks like a great little house! Maybe that's what we should do instead of buying a house. ;-)
Nov 7, 2010 9:55am
Yoiu can alwqays use it as emergency doghouse, sleepovers and unwantted relatives, too. I "share" an office with my very untidy other half. I've thrown her out of it, because I can only work with no clutter and on my own.
Nov 7, 2010 10:48am
I am pretty messy myself and right now my desk is my work desk and my beadwork table so it has piles of beads and tools, several projects in work, piles of notes, note cards, note books, a giant calender that I use to keep track of blog posts, and more crap on it. My husband has a hard time working with distractions, kids, or noise (except soundtracks with no words). Right now he is stuck at the desk next to me. :-P I am sure he will be glad when we have a space for him to have all of his own.
Nov 7, 2010 3:20pm
Congrats on the front page, Phil! I actually do have an office in our finished basement but I prefer to work upstairs in the sunlight in the kitchen. Our shed out back belongs to my husband-it's the only place in the house that is his!
Nov 7, 2010 3:52pm
Thanks Mommy 3. I could NEVER work in a basement. I suffer from SAD as it is. Everyone needs somewhere they can escape to, even if it's the basement or the shed.lol
Nov 9, 2010 11:35pm
Another good aspect is it allows you to put it where you want in your background if you have the space. Under a couple of nice trees would look really nice i reckon.
Nov 10, 2010 1:10am
You are right and very relaxing to be surrounded by green and singing birds, croaking frogs and rustling trees
Nov 27, 2010 6:53pm
"If you have an office in the house you are subject to all the family noise, from vacuum cleaners to children crying and teenagers squabbling."

Wow ! I am struggling with exact same problem on daily basis.

I have a shed but for garden tools. Time to plan for something bigger, isolate and use as a home office.
Nov 28, 2010 2:50am
This comment has been deleted.
Jan 11, 2011 1:21pm
Nice article Phil and congratulations on making the front page, but one point I'm not sure about is the bit about planning permission.

In the England and Wales its more that possible that a building such as that you're writing may well need planning permission. Ultimately its the size and location of the building which will determine whether it needs permission and the fact it may be of timber construction is largely neither here nor there. Although, as you say, its always best to check!
Jan 11, 2011 1:39pm
I still hold by what I said. Yimber buildings less than a quarter of the garden size don't need planning because only counts as temporary, but covered myself by saying to check anyway. Glad you liked the article
Feb 16, 2011 12:16am
I am sure there is an office shed with my name on it somewhere, just need to convince the wife that it's a good idea.

Great article
Jul 7, 2011 11:47am
This is a brilliant idea, especially with so many people working at home - including IBers!
Jul 7, 2011 11:49am
Thanks diva. It is what I am working for anyway
Sep 27, 2011 9:12pm
What a good idea! I've often thought of buying a cheap house in my neighborhood for this purpose someday (Houses around here don't cost much), but this is a much cheaper alternative!
Sep 28, 2011 1:28am
Hey Mike, glad to help. You can get a top notch office shed for $5000. One day...
Sep 28, 2011 1:28am
Hey Mike, glad to help. You can get a top notch office shed for $5000. One day...
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