How to build your perfect garden office
When it comes to creating your garden home office, location is everything. Knowing where to place your office is key to making sure you get enough light, warmth, air and other essentials in easy reach of your work desk. If you’re thinking of buying a garden office, taking a stroll around your garden and having a good think about how to make those most of the space you have available for your outdoor building is a great way to start thinking about what you want from your office. While you mull it over, we’ve come up with a helpful list of five key things you might want to consider when finding a spot for yours. Read on to give yourself an idea of the perfect spot in your garden for your brand new office:
- Beating the weather
The first thing to consider is the weather. If your garden office is heavily exposed to the elements with nothing surrounding it to protect it from the full force of the wind and rain, the atmosphere is going to be feel colder and damper to work in, especially for the long periods of, say, a working day. Try avoiding open spaces when placing your office and give it some shelter by placing it close, but not too close, to trees or other buildings. Whether it’s a small garden office or a big spacious one, you’ll be glad you kept it protected in the long run. Speaking of the elements, be sure to consider sunlight and sun direction. Generally, we’d advise against placing your office right in the path of the sun. While the idea of the sun keeping the shed warm and full of light might seem attractive – it’s great if you want to bask and relax - having too much sun beating down on the building can heat things up significantly inside, leaving the interior hot and a touch stifling – not ideal conditions for working. Then again, keeping your office in too much shade can leave it cold and dark – especially in the late autumn and winter. Try to hit a happy medium, giving your building the sun exposure that works for you. When it comes to garden building longevity, a great deal of the battle is won right from the start by choosing reliable wood and other materials for your office. All of our garden offices are crafted with quality materials that go the distance, made to order with durability and sturdiness in mind – and in the unlikely event of an issue, we’ve got a 20 year guarantee on of all of our buildings – that’s how much we believe in our products.
- Space and ventilation
You should also make sure you give your office room to breathe, both figuratively and literally. We’d recommend a healthy two feet around the perimeter of the office and this is especially important if you’ve got a leafy and green garden. Having shrubbery and trees touching the walls of your garden office can cause mould and damp to spread quickly by transferring rain and dew onto the surface of the wooden walls. The extra space can also help more light filter through the windows and doors, making for a brighter work space. That extra space will also give you much more ventilation. Ventilation is an essential component to consider when locating your own garden office – it’ll keep things from feeling stale and hot inside, and it’ll protect the building from the damper atmosphere that can accrue without fresh air (check out our other blogpost detailing how you can ventilate your garden buildings for more tips). The extra space you allow for around your office makes for an effective air corridor, keeping stale air moving out and fresh air coming in – and while we’re on the topic of ventilation, it’s a good idea to place your office gables facing the wind – that’s an easy way to get active ventilation flowing through easy access points.
If you’re thinking of working in your garden office all year round, you’ll want to make sure your garden office has the insulation it needs to keep you warm and toasty in the winter and autumn, and cool and airy in the summer and spring. To that end, it’s important that the garden building you buy for your home has the insulation it needs to keep a moderate temperature. Tiger Sheds garden office options come with robust insulation measures as standard, including draft-sealed doors and windows, heavy duty green mineral roofing felt (with an available optional upgrade to more durable roof shingles) and only the finest slow-grown sustainably sourced timber available. If you want to go that little bit further for the highest levels of insulation, we also offer as an added extra high-quality double glazing options for all doors and windows on all of our log cabins, making your workspace as temperature and energy efficient as it can be.
- Space to work and planning permission
One thing you should put a fair bit of thought with your garden office is about where you place yours in relation to your home. Many people have a small garden office as somewhere that’s set apart from their living space, as a demarcation point to make sure that their work life is separated from their home life – that is to say, the office is where they work, the home is where they relax; you’re working from home after all, not living at work. Be sure to keep enough distance between the office and your home to make sure those boundaries don’t get muddled. While we’re on the real-life applications of your garden office, we hear a lot of people asking ‘Do I need planning permission for a garden office?’. It’s a good question and the main thing to consider here is the height of your building. If the building is taller than 4 metres at its ridge and 2.5 metres for its eaves, then you’ll need to apply for planning permission from your local council. Depending on your needs, 2.5 should be plenty for a regular office, giving you enough headspace for those days spent working. Our range of contemporary garden offices are perfect for this – each of our well-designed buildings come at just under 2.5 metres, which should leave you safe in the knowledge that your shed fits the planning permission rules.*
- Electrical supply and WiFi
For garden offices, having access to electricity is essential. You’ll need it to power your laptop, charge your phone and keep the kettle running. To bring electricity to your office, you’ll need to connect your office’s consumer unit to the electric mains in your home and to do that, with the help of a qualified electrician, you’ll need to install an underground armoured cable, running from your house to the garden building. When you’re finding the best place for your garden home office, it can be a good move to put yours somewhere that offers a clear path for that cable, which will help you cut down the operational costs of installation and minimise complications in the future. In a similar vein, WiFi is a must for the modern garden office so checking your proposed office location for WiFi reach is a wise decision. If you realise the signal doesn’t quite make it to your internet device in the office, then don’t worry! Just buy yourself a WiFi range extender – these handy devices plug into any power socket and boost the WiFi signal so it can reach you. You’ll be sending emails and hosting video calls in no time at all.
Other things to consider
- View – If you’re working full-time from home, you’ll want a nice view to look out to from your garden office every day. Try to place your building where you’ve got something to look at beyond your laptop screen. We’d recommend something ever-changing like a colourful flower bed, or perhaps a neighbouring field if you live out in the countryside.
- Noise – Got a noisy neighbour who blasts music from a bedroom window? Maybe there’s a busy road on the other side of your house? Locate your office as far away from the noise as you can to keep things quiet and manageable for your working day.
- Property value – Does a garden office add value to your property? The answer is yes - buying a sturdy, attractive garden office that will last for years will do an awful lot of good to the value of your property, especially if it’s well-placed and well-looked after. It’s thought that garden buildings, in general, can add up to 5% to your house’s overall value.
Working from home is easy when you’ve got a well-designed garden office built from excellent slow-grown and sustainably sourced European timber. Our range of spacious log cabins has been crafted to suit the needs of the modern professional and with each one benefiting from our 20-year quality guarantee, these are garden offices that work for you. If you’re looking for that little more space for your business or your work, we’ve also got larger tanalised shed-style outdoor buildings like our garden studio that’ll suit you down to the ground for your professional purposes. For our garden office collection and other outdoor buildings, you can browse our website here. *Planning permission: To be completely sure, it’s always best to check with your local council, as planning permission regulations can vary depending on location. This list is not exhaustive - for more information, please consult the government Planning Portal