How to build a home office in your garden on a budget to add value to your property

The pandemic has forced thousands of office workers to work from home.

But what better facility could you ask for than a comfortable spot at the end of your garden?

According to experts, an isolated garden office could also add value to your property.

If you’re lucky enough to have an outside space, there’s an easy way to increase your house price by five percent, says hardware store MyToolShed.

And the investment will make your life a lot easier in the meantime because you have a relaxed workplace.

If you’re a confident handyman, you don’t have to spend $ 20,000 on a fancy, purpose-built outhouse either.

“If you don’t have the financial means to buy an outbuilding and you have the time, building an outbuilding can be a great way to upgrade your yard and add value to your home,” said Ross Goodwin, general manager of MyToolShed.

“Building your own garden building has the advantage that you can design it exactly how you want it, so that it complements your garden and your surroundings perfectly.”

Here’s how to get started …

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How to build a garden office

Step 1: get permission

You may need to apply for a homeowner’s building permit to erect a garden building if that affects your neighbors. So be sure to check out the UK planning portal (Planningportal.co.uk) before you begin.

You can review all restrictions and make sure you are complying with legal guidelines. Otherwise, you risk having your new office demolished before you have even had a chance to use it.

Step 2: level the floor

Level the ground

Once you’ve got the green light, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. You need to level and prepare the terrain and choose a dry lawn that will avoid swampy areas and steep slopes.

“We recommend setting up your garden shed on cobblestones, asphalt and / or concrete,” says Goodwin.

“A lot of people can make the mistake of thinking that because their lawn is flat, they don’t need a base, but when the rain comes it will soon start lifting.”

Step 3: add base frames and decking

Add base frames and decking

Now is the time to add more support to make sure your foundation is as stable as possible. A beam network that sits right on top of a concrete base is the best option, and you can slide right over it.

Luke Spear, MyToolShed’s gardening office ambassador, emphasizes that you shouldn’t skimp on beams and that you should use wood that is strong enough to support a lot of weight.

He says, “Let the timber dealer pre-cut as much as possible. Longer lengths have a higher cost per meter. So be sure to factor this into your budget. “

Step 4: lift up the wall frame

This is a two-person job, says Spear. So plan to have someone in your household or your bladder ready to lend a hand.

You’ll need to calculate the height of the shed structure and trim the timbres for the wall frames if your wood dealer didn’t cut them.

Spear suggests holding the bars in place with inverted angle screws while you secure them to an OSB base (a type of wood-based material that makes up the walls) and each other.

Step 5: lay the roof

Construction of the walls, windows and doors in a garden office project

A roof with a decent overhang offers more protection from heavy rain than a smaller one, and a flat roof is the easiest construction option for beginners.

“Use a membrane around your roof before you add steel sheets,” says Spear.

“The cladding prevents water that gets through the steel from wetting the OSB cladding underneath.”

Step 6: add windows, doors, and trim

If you’ve decided to install a window in your shed, you’ll need to cut a hole in the siding and frame it with sturdy wood.

“While windows can be an expensive part of this process, we recommend not cutting the cost of doing so, as it is important to circulate the air in the shed to make sure the shed is well ventilated,” says Goodwin.

Step 7: look at the electrics

A home office needs a decent Wi-Fi connection, but we would always recommend leaving the electrics to the experts. Spear estimates that hiring a professional will cost around £ 500.

Step 8: cover the roof

“You should always try to buy a roofing with ridges to make sure the water is distributed and the roof is protected from possible leaks,” says Spear.

The best place to cut metal roofs is in the grass, and you need to be sure to use a steel grinder when doing this at home. Have a local handyman cut the roof if you don’t have the experience or equipment.

You could make it even more private by adding shrubbery to seal the space off

Step 9: add insulation and a vapor barrier

An office without insulation will be very cold in the winter months. So think carefully about whether you want to add anything.

Says Spear, “Fiberglass is an inexpensive option for insulation, but you should wear a mask when working because direct contact with fiberglass or inhalation of dust in the air can be irritating to your nose and throat.”

Depending on your local climate, you may also want to consider a vapor barrier to reduce the risk of condensation problems and to maximize heat retention.

Step 10: get to work on the plastering and plastering

“You need a decent trowel, cleaning hook, and cleaning mixer for this step,” Goodwin says.

“And before you start plastering, check whether your walls are heavily vacuumed. If this is the case, you need to moisten the walls before plastering so that the wall and plaster do not crumble. “

Step 11: lay the floor

Hiring a professional for this phase often doubles your flooring budget. Spear therefore recommends opting for an offer for laminate floors.

He estimates you should be able to buy something for about 6 to 8 pounds per square meter and get around for about 1 pound per meter.

You can lay laminate floors as they do not need to be glued and contain neither grout nor mortar. However, you will need to measure and cut your planks with a handsaw, circular saw, or floor cutter.

Once the structure is ready, you can work on transforming your office into a work from home oasis by hanging up some pictures and adding some houseplants – studies show that they reduce stress.

Come on Monday morning, it will feel great to get out of the house and enjoy a cup of coffee over email in your new outdoor work area.

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