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How to Build your Perfect Garden Office

Published: 24/08/2020

A Tiger Sheds Optima Log cabin, garden office with desk and couch

Creating a garden office is a transformative project that combines the calmness of nature with the efficiency of a professional workspace. Garden offices have become increasingly popular as they offer a perfect balance between the comforts of home and the productivity of a traditional office. This project requires careful planning, thoughtful design decisions, and a dedication to creating a space where productivity and inspiration thrive.

What is a Garden Office?

A garden office is a separate building located in a garden or outdoor area, created to function as a workspace or office. Usually used as a solution for working from home, a garden office offers homeowners a peaceful and dedicated space to work, free from the interruptions of the main house. These garden rooms are often equipped with insulation, heating, and electricity to guarantee a comfortable and productive work environment throughout the year. As flexible work arrangements and remote work options have become more common, garden offices have gained popularity, providing a convenient and visually appealing alternative to traditional indoor offices.

Do you need Planning Permission for a Garden Office?

Adding a garden office shed to your garden space is a great way to create more storage room. Garden sheds are considered as permitted developments and are classified as outbuildings for non-residential use. This means that you don't need planning permission if your shed meets certain criteria and is in the appropriate area of your garden. Tiger sheds are generally planning-friendly, but it's always a good idea to double-check with these guidelines...

For instance, the size of your garden office should not take up more than 50% of the land surrounding your property. Make sure that the shed eaves are no taller than 2.5 meters and the maximum height of a pitched roof is 4 meters, while a flat roof should not exceed 3 meters. If your shed is within 2 meters of any boundary, the overall height, including the roof, must be less than 2.5 meters. However, if it's more than 2 meters away, only the eaves height should not exceed 2.5 meters. Remember, this is just a brief overview, so it's always wise to consult your local Council before you begin any shed building plans.

What are the Benefits of a Garden Office?

Having a home office comes with a lot of advantages. It gives you the freedom to work on your own terms, saves you time and money by eliminating the need to commute, and boosts your productivity in a space that's tailored to your liking. It also helps you achieve a better work-life balance, as you can create a setup that promotes comfort and focus, ultimately reducing stress. Moreover, working from home allows you to take better care of your health by choosing ergonomic furniture and incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine. On top of that, it's great for the environment, as it reduces carbon emissions from commuting. All in all, a home office often leads to higher job satisfaction and a more sustainable and efficient way of working. 

And don't forget, it can also increase the value of your home!   Some studies show that installing a quality, premium garden building can add in the region of 5-8% to the value of your property.   It will also give your home a wider appeal and make it a more interesting and saleable option for potential buyers.  You could argue that the more saleable you make your property, the more valuable it is.

Garden Office Considerations

If you're thinking about starting or relocating your business to a garden shed or log cabin, it's crucial to carefully consider every aspect, from furniture and equipment to heating and electricity! We've got some easy tips to assist you in confidently planning your garden office.

When it comes to setting up your garden home office, the location is crucial. Finding the right spot ensures that you have enough light, warmth, and fresh air within easy reach of your work desk. If you're considering buying a garden office, take a walk around your garden and think about how to maximise the available space for your outdoor building. While you ponder, we've compiled a helpful list of five key factors to consider when choosing a spot for your office. Keep reading to discover the perfect location in your garden for your brand-new office:

Weatherproofing

The weather is the first thing to think about. If your garden office is fully exposed to the elements without any protection, it will feel colder and damper to work in, especially during long working hours. Avoid placing your office in open spaces and give it some shelter by positioning it near trees or other buildings. Whether your office is small or spacious, you'll appreciate having it protected in the long run.

Sunlight and Shade

Consider the sunlight and its direction. It's generally not advisable to place your office directly in the path of the sun. While the idea of a warm and well-lit shed might sound appealing for relaxation, too much sun can make the interior uncomfortably hot for work. On the other hand, keeping your office in too much shade can leave it cold and dark, especially during late autumn and winter. Aim for a balance that provides the right amount of sun exposure for your needs.

Accessibility

Think about how easily accessible your office will be from your house. You'll want it to be conveniently located, allowing you to easily transition between work and home life. Consider the proximity to amenities like power outlets, Wi-Fi signal, and bathroom facilities.

Noise Levels

Consider the noise levels in your chosen spot. If it's too close to a busy road or a noisy neighbour, it might not be the most conducive environment for work. Look for a quieter area in your garden where you can focus without distractions.

Inspiration and Surroundings

Lastly, think about the surroundings and how they can inspire you. A beautiful view or a serene garden can enhance your creativity and productivity. Choose a spot that offers a pleasant and inspiring atmosphere for your work.

Picking your Office Space

Next, it’s important to select the type of garden office building that will suit your needs. Here are a few popular options:

Summerhouse Garden Office

Summerhouses are ideal for transforming into office sheds because they receive ample natural light, creating a wonderful working environment. With their spacious windows, summerhouses allow plenty of sunlight to flood in, making them perfect for a home office. Moreover, their charming and decorative designs add a touch of beauty and create a welcoming atmosphere for setting up your workspace.

A picture of summer house in the garden with office desk

https://www.tigersheds.com/product/tiger-vista-corner-summerhouse/

Log Cabin Garden Office

If you're in need of a larger office space, consider a log cabin. Not only can a beautiful log cabin accommodate multiple desks, but it also offers ample space for chairs and other essential office equipment. It's the perfect working environment for a team or even just for yourself. Log cabins are built using sturdy logs, giving them a strong and rustic look. Additionally, they can be insulated to ensure year-round comfort, making them a great option for a garden office in any weather. With their traditional cabin-like aesthetic and cosy, natural feel, log cabins provide a charming and inviting workspace.

There are different log thickness options to fit any budget. If you're planning to use your building throughout the year, it might be a good idea to go for a log cabin with thicker logs, especially if you live in a colder area. Tiger log cabins come in various thicknesses, including 19mm, 28mm, and 44mm logs. At Tiger, we offer a range of choices to suit your needs.

A log cabin garden room with a couch and a desk

https://www.tigersheds.com/product/the-optima-44mm-log-cabin/

Shed Garden Office

Sheds are usually used for storage, but with some adjustments, they can be a cost-effective alternative to purpose-built garden offices. To create a garden office shed, you would typically need to add insulation, proper ventilation, electrical wiring for lighting and devices, and sometimes heating for year-round use. You might also want to install windows for natural light and organise the workspace efficiently. While sheds may not have all the features of purpose-built garden offices, they provide a practical and customisable solution for those who want a dedicated work environment in their outdoor space.

A wooden shed with a wood deck and trees

https://www.tigersheds.com/product/tiger-retreat-contemporary-summerhouse/

Insulation 

Insulation does more than just keep you warm. It also has several other benefits:

1. Noise Reduction: Proper insulation in your garden room not only keeps the cold out but also blocks unwanted noise. This is especially important if you use your cabin as a home office or studio, as it helps maintain concentration and productivity.

2. Enhanced Security: Thicker walls in your garden building not only provide better insulation but also make it more secure. A sturdy structure is more difficult to vandalise or break into. Additionally, well-sealed doors and windows offer added protection.

3. Energy Efficiency: If you plan to spend a significant amount of time in your home office, insulation is crucial. It improves energy efficiency, resulting in lower energy bills. Whether you use it as a home office, gym, or entertainment space, effective insulation will help you save on energy costs.

4. Increased Value: Insulating your office opens up endless possibilities and adds value to your property. It can transform your cabin into a professional space like a beauty salon or recording studio. With proper insulation, you can enjoy your retreat all year round, regardless of the weather.

Log cabins are very popular for creating a garden office because they are constructed using interlocking logs, creating a sturdy structure without any visible gaps. This tight fit between the logs ensures that the cabin is highly resistant to dampness and wind, ultimately prolonging its lifespan and keeping it waterproof.

If you intend to use your cabin throughout the year, it is advisable to opt for one with thicker logs, especially if you reside in a colder climate such as the UK. Log cabins are available in various thickness options, including 19mm, 28mm, and 44mm logs. For optimal insulation and energy efficiency, we would suggest selecting a cabin with 44mm thick logs.

A small wooden shed with glass doors and a patio with trees

Tiger Sheds – The Clara | 44mm Log Cabin

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 our log cabins, making your workspace as temperature and energy efficient as it can be.

Remember, garden room insulation offers more than just warmth. It provides noise reduction, security, energy efficiency, and increases the value of your garden retreat.  Check out the collection of insulated log cabins here.

 Wi-Fi and Electrical Supply

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.

Having a workspace in your shed or cabin comes with a major advantage - it's conveniently close to your home, which means you can easily access your Wi-Fi connection! This proximity to your home can save you a significant amount of money and time, as you won't have to deal with installation fees or wait for the service to be set up. Additionally, if you need a phone line for your business, a quick and simple solution could be to use your mobile phone and connect to the Wi-Fi. This way, you'll save even more money and time. 

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 Wi-Fi range extender – these handy devices plug into any power socket and boost the Wi-Fi signal so it can reach you. You’ll be sending emails and hosting video calls in no time at all.

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. 

Before you start running electricity to your garden shed, it's important to follow the rules and regulations set by local authorities. Make sure to check with your local building department to ensure that you comply with all the necessary legal requirements. These regulations are in place to protect against potential dangers like electric shocks and fires. Some common requirements include obtaining permits, following safety standards, and hiring a licensed electrician for the installation. It's also important to use outdoor-rated electrical components, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection, and weatherproof enclosures as required. By staying informed about these legal requirements, you can ensure a safe and legal electrical setup for your garden shed.

Security 

To make your garden office more secure, there are several steps you can take. First, make sure you have strong locks on both the doors and windows to discourage any unauthorised entry. Additionally, consider installing motion-activated lighting around the perimeter of the office. This not only acts as a deterrent but also improves visibility at night. If possible, invest in a security system that includes cameras and alarms. These can be connected to your home network, allowing for remote monitoring. Another effective measure is to strategically plant thorny plants near the windows, as they act as natural deterrents. It's also important to ensure that your garden office is easily visible from your home, as this can discourage potential intruders. Lastly, store any valuable equipment in secure cabinets or lockers within the office. By combining these measures, you can create a more secure and protected space for your garden office. To help garden office owners protect their property from intruders, we have compiled some tips on how to enhance shed security.

Did you know that approximately 22,500 shed burglaries occur in the UK each year? However, by taking the necessary precautions, you can keep your belongings safe. There are four key stages to improve the security of your wooden shed and deter determined criminals:

1. Keep your shed out of reach from thieves.

2. Take measures to prevent break-ins.

3. Safeguard your possessions in case of a breach.

4. Protect yourself if thieves manage to steal your belongings.

Or how about a special security shed?  This comes with extra narrow ‘slit’ security windows that thieves would find difficult to see into from the outside (and from a distance). This building also features a free shed security bar, which makes your building more secure at the door of the building. The bar fits across the door frame and locks it in place, which stops thieves from opening the door from the outside.

A wooden shed with security windows and a ladder

Tiger Sheds – Security Apex Shed

Read our dedicated ‘How to Improve Shed Security’ blog to learn more about keeping your belongings safe and secure.

Lighting

Garden office lighting is essential for creating a productive and comfortable workspace. Start by maximising natural light with well-placed windows to reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day. 

For artificial lighting, consider a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Install overhead fixtures or pendant lights for ambient lighting, ensuring even illumination throughout the space. Task lighting, such as desk lamps or under-cabinet lights, can provide focused illumination for specific work areas. Additionally, consider accent lighting to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space. 

Opt for energy-efficient LED bulbs to reduce electricity consumption and provide a consistent, bright light. Incorporating dimmers allows you to adjust the lighting according to different tasks and moods. Overall, a well-thought-out lighting plan contributes to a functional and inviting garden office environment.

Solar power is a greener and cost-efficient way to provide energy to your garden building. As utility bills continue to rise, there is a growing trend towards self-sufficiency in energy usage. To reduce costs, many people are exploring ways to generate their own energy. One innovative idea is to set up a home office in a strategic location within your garden and equip it with solar panels. By harnessing the power of the sun, you can generate the energy needed to run your home office. This not only reduces your overall expenses but also eliminates the need for shared spaces or costly office rentals.

A solar panel and a power supply

https://www.tigersheds.com/other-buildings/accessories/lights-and-alarms/

Tips on Running a Business from a Garden Office

Running a business from a garden office in the UK comes with its own set of considerations. Here are some tips to help you successfully operate your business from a garden office in the UK:

Strict Daily Routine

It's crucial to stick to a strict daily routine when working from your garden office at home. This will help you maximise productivity and maintain a healthy work-life balance. By setting specific work hours, taking regular breaks, and organising your tasks, you create a structured framework that promotes focus and efficiency. This routine not only improves time management but also establishes clear boundaries between your work and personal life. Having a disciplined daily schedule in your garden office brings a sense of professionalism and consistency, ensuring that you approach your remote work with the same level of dedication as you would in a traditional office setting.

Organised Workspace

Keeping an organised workspace in your garden office is key to maximising efficiency and maintaining a focused work environment. Arrange your office furniture thoughtfully, utilising storage solutions to keep essential items within reach and maintain a clutter-free space. Regularly declutter and organise your desk, ensuring that it remains a dedicated and inspiring workspace. This not only enhances productivity but also contributes to a more pleasant and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere in your garden office, promoting a positive and conducive environment for your work.

Dress for the Occasion

When you dress up for your garden office as if you were going to a regular workplace, it can really make a difference in how you feel and how productive you are. Even though you're working from home, putting on professional clothes helps you switch from relaxation mode to work mode. It sets a clear boundary between your personal and professional life, which boosts your motivation and discipline. By intentionally dressing up, you create a sense of routine and preparedness, which ultimately leads to a more productive and business-focused mindset while enjoying the comforts of your garden office.

Find your perfect space with Tiger Sheds. Choose from hundreds of innovative garden building designs or use our bespoke design service. We offer the Tiger 20 Year Guarantee for your peace of mind.

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