How to Create a Garden Office Shed
Working from home became an unexpected part of life for many of us during the pandemic, and for lots of people, it will stay a permanent way of working. But what happens if your home just isn’t cut out to double as an office? Whether it be the noise of pets and children or the lack of space on the dining room table, working from home can have its difficulties. If you’ve found yourself longing for a quiet workspace away from the house, the best (and closest!) option could be your garden.
Thinking of creating a garden office shed of your own? Read on for all you need to know about how to convert a shed into an office.
Choosing a shed office
First, you need a suitable building to work with. If you’re not looking to start a massive DIY project by building your own shed office from scratch, the good news is that there are lots of ideal garden sheds you can assemble with minimal difficulty that can be adapted to suit a workspace.
The shed you choose is important, as some are far more suitable than others. A basic shed designed to hold your garden tools isn’t going to suffice, especially come winter, so it’s worth investing more now in an option truly up to the job.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a garden office shed or adapting your own:
Of course, the first thing you need to do before you make any purchases is to measure your space and work out exactly what size shed will fit. You’ll then need to take these measurements to determine whether it will be suited for an office shed.
You don’t necessarily need a huge space to convert your shed into an office. Just remember to factor in the size of your office desk, a chair with enough space to easily get in and out, and any extra storage you may require.
Many standard garden sheds come without windows. But obviously, for a garden shed office, they’re a must. Be sure to choose a garden office shed with at least one window to let light in when you’re working and also provide ventilation.
An office shed needs proper doors. While many traditional garden sheds are padlocked, this isn’t what you want for a home working space. A door will make it easier to come and go, provide more security and will mean you can pull it properly closed and avoid drafts. Not to mention, you’ll feel less like you’re in a shed and more in a professional workspace!
Weatherproofing your shed office
An outdoor office shed needs to be weatherproof in all seasons. Whether you’re choosing a brand new shed or converting the one you have, you’ll need to ensure it’s watertight and insulated. What’s suitable for storing your garden equipment is entirely different to what you need when it comes to safely working in there.
First thing’s first; is your office shed completely waterproof? It’s imperative to check for any ceiling gaps or tears in the roof felt, particularly if you’re updating an older, pre-existing shed. Seal any gaps with roof sealant to ensure there are no leaks. You also need to ensure it’s structurally sound and there aren’t any mould or damp problems.
It’s also crucial to ensure your garden office shed is well insulated. Come winter, you won’t be able to sit in a freezing shed. Insulating it will not only keep it warmer, but will also help to prevent damp, and improve soundproofing (helpful if you have noisy neighbours).
We recommend insulating the floors, walls and ceiling to retain as much heat as possible.
How to insulate a shed
How to insulate a shed roof and walls:
Most sheds have stripped back timber with exposed joists on the internal walls, which makes installing insulation easier. Here’s how to insulate a shed roof and walls:
- Before installing your insulation, you should first install a timber-suited breather membrane, which will provide ventilation.
- Next, measure up and choose your insulation. Insulation boards are a good option, as they’re quite easy to slot between the joists.
- Once your membrane and insulation are installed, you’ll need to cover it up by drilling on plywood boards.
- You can then paint the plywood to finish the look and make it shed office-ready!
How to insulate shed floors
As well as insulating your walls and roof, it’s definitely worth insulating your floor too, as this is where a lot of heat can escape. Insulating shed floors is also quite simple. You can choose to remove your subfloor and insulate between the joists, but you can also install rigid insulation boards on top of the existing floor. To insulate shed floors with this method you’ll need to:
- Measure the square footage of your garden office shed.
- Choose a thin, rigid insulation board suited to floors.
- Cut the board to fit your floor and screw it down.
- Cover it with plywood, ensuring everything is secured down.
Note: you may need to adjust your door to factor in the extra height.
Some people opt to DIY these steps, but if you’re not confident in how to insulate a shed, seek the help of a professional.
Adding electricity to your garden office shed
To convert your shed into an office, you’ll also need electricity. Not only will you need plugs for your devices such as laptops or computers, but you’ll also need lighting, and somewhere to plug in an electric heater come winter.
For this task, you’ll need a qualified electrician. They will be able to advise you on the best means of installing an SWA cable to connect your shed to your electricity supply. This will likely be via a trench so the cables can run underground.
Presuming you want to use the internet, you’ll also need WiFi. Most of the time, WiFi in your home won’t stretch to your garden. But luckily, a simple and fairly cheap option is getting a WiFi extender. Plug one of these in inside your house, in an area roughly between your router and your shed. This will then extend your signal coverage to reach your garden and allow you to work.
The finishing touches
These are the main things you need to think about when converting a shed into a home office. But aside from all the logistics, you’ll also want to spruce it up to feel like a nice space to work in! Browse our range of paint here at Build & Plumb, where you can find weatherproof wood paint and floor paint to make your shed office look the part. And to keep your home office shed protected from all the elements and in the best condition, explore our range of wood treatments.