How to Turn Your Shed into a Home Office
Create a Garden Office
The Utopian vision of working from home, relaxed by birdsong and totally immersed in nature, yet still producing results even the most ferocious of employers would reward is achievable – if you’ve got somewhere to work. That’s where your shed comes in.
Adapting an existing shed to become a fully functioning workspace is relatively easy.
Is your shed up to the job?
You have to have a shed that is capable of taking the few adjustments. Be honest – if one side of your shed looks like Edam cheese, thanks to the local mouse population, and rotten flooring collapses underfoot, then it will take some money to put right. It may even be better to scrap the whole lot and buy something ready made. Only you know the state of your shed. If you do think you need to buy a new shed, click here to explore our garden offices or click on any of the product images below.
Before converting or tinkering with anything, check with your local council planning office that you are allowed to convert a shed into a workspace. It may be classified as a permanent structure or change of use – it may not; no one wants to flout rules and make costly mistakes. It will only take a quick phone call to put your mind at rest. Then once everything is OK, it can be full steam ahead. Assuming all is sound structurally, you can get started.
To keep your laptop charged and the lights on, you will need power for your garden office. We cover this in a separate blog here but, essentially, if you want to connect to mains power you will need to use a qualified electrician. There are other advance solar options in the blog that you can consider too. Click on the image of the solar hub to find out more.
WIFI is a must and if your shed is out of the normal range of your signal it is easy enough to arrange boosters to ensure buffering won’t stop you working.
In the world of mobile phones, a land line isn't a necessity in a garden office. Just make sure your mobile reception works where your shed is situated.
With your shed powered and connected, you have to make it comfortable. And that starts with insulation. Cold toes or a sweaty neck are not conducive to good work.
Easy to cut insulation panels can quickly turn a cold space into a cosy one. You can add a heater or even a wood burning stove - always follow safety guidelines and never leave a heat source unattended. Use insulation tapes and foams to seal cracks in window frames or doors.
Ventilation and shade are vital to keeping your office cool during the warmer months. Blinds will help (and look great) as will ensuring all windows open without any obstructions.
A desk, chair and shelving are the bare essentials. Make sure you account for getting any larger pieces through the door. If you added power, a kettle and mini-fridge will prevent procrastinating walks to the kitchen. Rugs and curtains will soften rougher edges or even hide eyesores. When positioning your desk, consider your view out the window or door. Avoid placing the desk where glare will make using your laptop difficult.
Chances are your garden office is now worth a few quid, especially when you add up the value of your PC, the office equipment such as a printer, that WIFI booster or router, and all the other paraphernalia essential to great garden working. Security is a must and quality locks have to be top of your list. Security lighting is a necessity and even if you don’t have power running to your office, solar powered versions do a great job. All types have motion sensors available.
But even with lighting and locks, you will need an alarm. Not to wake you up from your mid-afternoon creative snooze, but to let everyone know that your office is under threat from burglars. Remember to check your house insurance documents to any fiddly small print details that may exempt the contents of your shed from any potential insurance claims – it’s time well spent.