Thursday 15 April 2021

Building Your Own Garden Office On A Budget

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there has been an unprecedented number of people working from home over the past year. While offices are beginning to reopen and people are beginning to traipse back into the workplace slowly, many businesses have seen the benefits that working from home can bring and are allowing their employees to continue to work from the comfort of their home, at least for the foreseeable future, if not permanently.

Some people have the luxury of a spare room to repurpose as a home office, but others have had to work at the dining room table, surrounded by the chaos of family life. Others have had to balance their laptops on their knees or work from bed. This is all well and good in the short term, but in the long term, it is not a comfortable nor a productive solution.

There is an alternative: the garden office.

These can be as fancy and luxurious or as simple and basic as you want them to be. Of course, money is required as is space outside, and if you want to do it on as small a budget as possible, time and a few DIY skills. Let’s take a look at how you can build your own garden office on a budget.

building your garden office

Establish whether you need planning permission

Garden buildings do not need planning permission or building regulations in most cases if they are less than 30m2 and less than 2.5m high, provided they are 1m from a boundary, as they are called ‘Permitted Development.' However, if you want a bigger garden structure or live in a National Park or Area of Natural Beauty, you will probably need permission, and listed buildings definitely will. Check before you start your building work. 

Don’t try to take shortcuts

When you are doing it yourself on a budget, it can be tempting to take the odd shortcut here and there, but it is better not to risk it. There is a reason why there are certain things you need to do, such as insulation and Visqueen damp-proofing. Skip these steps and you could find that your building is not suitable to use very quickly.  It is better to spend a little more money and a little more time and do the job properly - the alternative will cost you in the long run.

Use a professional for the electrics

You will want an electricity supply to your garden office to keep you warm, provide light and run your computer, printer and other office equipment. Again, while you might hope to do the project as much as possible yourself, this is one step that should be undertaken by a professional, unless you are a qualified electrician.

Make it comfortable

Without special thought put into making it comfortable, it could feel very shed-like, and not somewhere you want to go and work. Put up some shelves with plants and your favourite prints, put down a rug and make it feel like an extension of your home rather than a building shoved at the bottom of the garden!

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