Do you wish to work from home, but don’t have a dedicated space? Transforming your backyard shed into a stylish home office could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Converting an outdoor structure you rarely use into an office will help balance your home and work life. You’ll avoid the lengthy commutes, invest value into your home, increase your productivity, and most importantly, you’ll have more time to spare.
Also, if you’re a business owner, you’ll save thousands of dollars by building a home office shed rather than renting a commercial building. You get to design the layout to fit your preferences and needs, as the type of home office you want depends on the work you do. By reading this article, you’ll learn step-by-step how to transform any ordinary garden shed into a fully functional home office.
Write A List Of Ideas And Requirements For Your Garden Office
Planning is the most important stage of any renovation or remodeling project, as recognizing the details early on will make the process easier. You want to think about how you’ll use your home office, as well as what those uses demand. For example, if you plan to host virtual meetings with your clients and associates, you’ll need to run your mains electricity to your office shed. Also, you’ll require heavy-duty soundproofing materials, such as sound-deadening fiberboard, perfect for stopping sound from traveling through your shed’s door and walls.
When you write a list of ideas for how to use your office shed, building a space that fits those needs becomes simple. Here are some things to consider:
Designing And Furnishing Your Home Office
If you’re running an IT business, an average day for you involves sitting for long periods of time, managing computer-based systems, as well as providing technical support for the users of your software. These particular uses for a home office shed signal that you need a comfortable office chair, an adjustable standing desk, high-speed internet, a powerful computer system, and most importantly, a quiet space where your phone calls won’t be interrupted.
Do you work best in a minimalist office? Will you want a space for your mid-day workouts? What kind of lighting do you need for your job? Do you require a separate seating area for breaks and in-person meetings?
Adding Electricity, Heating, And Internet To Your Shed
In the modern office, electricity, heating, and internet access are necessities when running a successful business. How many outlets will your office shed require to power all of your business’s equipment? What’s the process of running electricity to your shed? Do you want a self-contained office, equipped with a personal executive bathroom? What type of router do you need to connect to your home’s wifi? Have you considered installing a solar roofing system to help power your office shed?
Designing Your Office Shed’s Floor Plan
If you live in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, and plan on using your office shed year-round, the shed should be thoroughly insulated, weatherproofed, and connected to your home’s utilities. During the colder months of New England, a shed can be susceptible to damage from the elements, so it’s essential you take the proper measures to make sure your shed’s structurally sound and won’t leak any water.
Your best bet is to design a wooden shed, which comes in an array of designs to suit the look of your garden. Sturdy and windowed, wooden sheds give you the option to alter the design in the future. You’ll always have the option to upgrade the size of your windows, build a wrap-around deck, or even increase the size of your office shed to accommodate an additional bathroom. The exterior of a wooden shed is normally built using overlap or tongue and groove cladding. Overlap is considered more cost-effective, but tongue and groove is the stronger of the two materials. When designing your office shed, you want to choose the right materials that fit your lifestyle and budget.
When building an office shed, consider the size of your backyard, and be aware of any setbacks and building codes that could impact your project’s completion. How you plan to furnish your office shed, as well as any functional uses, help you determine the size. You want to make the most of your floor space by thoroughly planning your new office layout. Be realistic with your expectations. Give yourself enough room to move around and work. During this point of the design-build process, you can experiment with different-sized windows and doors, different layouts, and different-sized sheds.
Assess The Condition Of Your Current Shed
The next step in transforming your current shed into a home office is finding out if it’s up for the job. Empty out your shed and check for any visible damage, including rot, mold, and leakage. Assess the doors and windows for any air gaps. Check your shed’s roof for any tears in the roof felt, whilst ensuring the roof is still intact. Maintenance issues need to be addressed before converting your current shed into a home office. Some changes can be a DIY project, but if you’re worried about your shed’s stability, you can always ask a contractor to take a look at it.
You’ll want to inspect the base of your shed. Is it currently strong enough to support the contents of your office, or will you require a stronger foundation? Ideally, the ground of your chosen site will be level, but if there’s a slight slope, we recommend using timber and bricks to smooth it out. Another option would be to dig into the slope and construct a retaining wall in the back, but to ensure structural stability, consulting with a local contractor is still your best bet.
Converting Your Shed Into A Home Office
Once you’ve finished the planning process, you can finally begin converting your shed into your dream home office. To create a cozy and functional office space, your shed needs to be well-insulated, leak-free, and connected to your home’s utilities. If you want to extend the lifespan of your shed, make sure to consider all your options for lighting, insulation, heating, and electricity.
What Types Of Lighting Will Your Office Need?
Choosing the right lighting for your office shed will allow you to work no matter the weather or time of day. Different types of lighting can serve you in different ways. Halogen lights offer bright overhead lighting, perfect for spotlights and track lights. Desk and floor lamps offer a cheap, moveable lighting option, perfect for decorating any space. Smart LED lighting is the most versatile option, as they’re cheap to run, and offer endless color and brightness choices to fit your needs.
Insulating Your Office Shed
Proper insulation will add an extra layer of damp-proofing to your office shed. Insulation keeps a room warm, including the inside surface of the walls. Condensation is less likely to develop on a warm surface, so insulating your entire office shed is important. Many types of insulation also offer soundproofing properties, which is useful to prevent any outside distractions from disturbing you, while at the same time, keeping you from disturbing the rest of your home.
For the best coverage, you should insulate your office shed’s floors, walls, and ceiling. An excellent option is fiberglass and roxul, as they’re easy to install, and provide great thermal insulation and soundproofing. Be warned, when handling any insulation materials, make sure to cover your eyes, mouth, and nose, and don’t forget to wear gloves.
When insulating your shed’s floor, an excellent option is foam insulation boards, which are expensive, but extremely thermally efficient. A cheaper alternative would be to install a breathable membrane under a carpet or vinyl flooring.
When insulating your office shed’s ceiling, leave space between the insulation and the roof, that way moisture has somewhere to escape. You should consider sustainable materials, such as sheep’s wool or hemp, which are easy to install, and breathable enough to prevent dampness. Alternatively, you can always use the same glass or mineral wool insulation that you used for the shed’s walls.
How To Heat Your Office Shed
Heating will keep your shed pleasant to work in, no matter the time of year. It will also help prevent dampness from ruining any paperwork, furniture, and electronics inside your office shed. You can install a wall-mounted radiator, or even a thin tube heater that takes up less space. Underfloor heating systems are an excellent way to evenly distribute heat across your shed, but they can be more expensive to install, and any repairs could require you to rip the entire floor up. Other heating options for your shed include wood stoves, which provide carbon-neutral heat, as well as electric convection heaters that can easily be stored away during the summer months.
How To Add Electricity To Your Office Shed
Modern offices require internet connection, a computer, and plenty of lighting. To accommodate these needs, you’ll need to dig a trench at least 50 cm deep to run the mains electricity from your house to your office shed. Undertaking electrical installation yourself is rarely a good idea. You should hire a certified electrician to carry out any electrical work. You’ll also need them to sign off on the work for insurance purposes.
It’s important to specify the number and location of all the power sockets and light switches in your shed. This will help speed up the process for your local electrician. You should also provide them with details on all the electronics you plan on using inside your office shed. If for whatever reason your office shed won’t require much electricity, you can opt for an alternative energy source such as solar or wind, but know that both of these options are not as reliable as the mains, especially during the winter months of New England.
Optimize Your Office Storage To Boost Productivity
Keeping a well-organized office space helps keep your work running smoothly. Depending on the size of your office and how much storage space you want, there are plenty of options that help you minimize clutter, and maximize production.
Open shelving is an awesome way to utilize a shed with high ceilings. Constructing vertical shelves gives you more room to work and move around your shed. You could also try wall-mounted peg boards, perfect for storing all your office supplies and keeping clutter off your desk.
One inexpensive storage alternative for any office shed is to purchase clear storage containers which usually can stack together. These are ideal for storing items like printer cartridges, paper, and important tax documents for your business.
Another cool idea for organizing the materials in your office is to use magnetic strips to hold objects such as scissors and craft knives. This storage method is particularly useful when trying to keep dangerous objects out of reach from children.
You could always save money by repurposing old items, such as wine or spice racks, which you can mount to the walls of your office shed. Unused items like these are excellent for storing items such as pens, paperclips, and sticky notes.
Decorating Your Office Shed
To create an atmosphere for productivity, you’ll want to use light, bright colors on the interior of your office shed. White-washed walls are a very popular option for modern office sheds. You could also add personality to your office walls by hanging your favorite framed photos and posters.
Plants offer a natural decoration that not only helps create a better work environment, they also detoxify the air, and if you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry, artificial plants are just as good. Even if your office shed is where you’ll be working, you still want it to be as comfortable as any room inside your home. Consider different designer rugs and furniture to really spruce up the interior of your office shed.
Let’s Convert Your Garden Shed Into A Home Office
After reading this step-by-step guide on transforming any old shed into the home office of your dreams, you should have a clearer picture of the entire design-build process. The planning stages of any home remodeling project really are the most important. Be sure to consult with and hire a professional contractor who can be sure your office shed project conforms with all your local building regulations.
If you’re looking to convert your current shed into an accessible home office, Perry Brothers Construction is always here to answer your questions and concerns. Schedule your free consultation with one of our project managers to see how we can help you design and build your dream home office.