Working from home got a completely new meaning in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. What we used to see as a temporary office, eventually grew to our permanent working environment, and made us transform our homes, in more ways than one. If you’ve been thinking about ways to expand your home office, why not look outside? Do you have a big backyard? How about a shed in the corner just waiting to be put to good use? With a few skills and a lot of will and effort, you can easily make a DIY garden office. Here’s what you’ll need to complete the process.
·Come up with a plan
Before you start any work, you’ll need to plan out the way you want your office to look. If you’re building it from scratch, then you should inspect the lot and see where the best place to build it would be. Is your ground levelled enough? Do you have a suitable flat space to build an office on? Maybe your building process will require some groundwork first? Will the construction be under a tree? Do you want the office front and entrance to face east or west? Will you need a path to the front door? These are just some of the questions that need answers and that will allow you to plan for a sturdy construction. You’ll need a garden office that can last for decades, so you should plan everything thoroughly.
·Transform your shed
If you’re planning to transform your old shed into a new garden office, first, you will need to consider insulation. You’ll be spending the majority of your day there, and you have to make sure you have a place where you’ll be comfortable, no matter the weather. Consider sound insulation as well. Double glazing, heating, lighting and mains connections for water and electricity will be of the essence, allowing you to have all the comfort you’d have if you were working from your company. After expanding your shed, and making sure you have all the main bases covered, be sure to equip it with comfortable furniture. That way, your clients can see no difference between a garden office and the working environment at the company.
·DIY garden office
As mentioned before, when you start thinking about building your garden office from scratch, location is one of the most important aspects to look into. It won’t be the same if you build it close to the back entrance to your home or down at the end of the backyard. Not only will it be different ground-wise, but you’ll likely be disturbed more often, the closer to home you are. You need your garden pod to be somewhere that’s comfortable all year round. Are there any bushes that need to be removed or trimmed? How about weeds and leftover tree roots? You’ll need to stock up on some of the best essential garden accessories and start working on the ground first before you can start thinking about the size and materials you’ll want to use to build the office.
When you do get to the materials point, consider timber. Being a natural thermal insulator while offering outstanding thermal heat transfer properties, timber’s cellular structure allows the material to exchange heat with the outside. That way, the air quality will be top-notch, there will be no humidity, and you’ll have a pleasant ambience to work in. If you choose timber, you’ll install insulation in cavity walls easily, while getting optimal insulation with less wall thickness. When it comes to floors, consider plinth supports because they are more affordable and provide better water drainage. However, if you want more stable and long-lasting support, then solid foundations is a better choice. However, it will be more expensive too.
·Don’t forget about permits
Depending on the size of your garden office, you may or may not need construction permits. It’s essential that you check with your local planning department what the restrictions are. They’ll offer the relevant guidance and save you thousands of dollars of penalties. Aside from paying fines, you can also be instructed to take down your lovely garden office, so make sure you stick within the guidelines. Don’t forget to check your property deeds, as there might be a covenant that prevents building works in specific areas in the first place. It will save you time, money and effort from the start.
·Connect it to the garden
Once you have your garden office ready for furnishing, you’ll want to create a connection between the garden and garden office. Decks are always a good option, as they deal with the raised level of the internal floor, and suit the external timber finishes. Add an outdoor seating space outside the garden office to the plan, and you’ll have a wonderful area to work and rest at, all at the same time. With glass doors on the office, you’ll add more lighting to the interior, and break the visual barrier between interior and exterior. A 1.2m wide pathway will look fabulous in your yard, allowing you easy access to the garden gate and your house.
Building a garden office will take time, money and effort, but once it’s done, you’ll have a lovely sanctuary to work in and spend your free time too. The more you decide to add to it, the more opportunities you’ll have to use it. Make sure it’s well insulated, nicely decorated and has convenient access to the house, and you’ll have a dream garden office.