If you have just started your own business, having a home office instead of renting a space in a business centre or on the high street will free you from rental costs and give you a more flexible alternative. A garden office is an ideal solution if you want to create a comfortable working place but are not prepared to give up a room in the house.
There are plenty of flat packed cabins available on the market if you have the time and the DIY skill to construct one yourself, or you might prefer to hire a builder to create a bespoke office tailored to your needs and tastes. A construction company, such as MB Master Builders Ltd., will first build a concrete base and prepare the plumbing and electric connections, before erecting the insulated cladding panels and fitting double glazed doors. You can choose to have your cabin painted in any colour you like. Finally, a building company will install a radiator or underfloor heating as well as hot and cold water taps, so you will be able to use your garden office all year round.
Garden rooms and cabins come in many shapes and sizes, however, if you plan to build without applying for planning permission, the height of your office should not exceed 3 metres or 2,5 metres if within 2 metres of a boundary. Something else to consider when building your office is the exact location. If it is less than five metres from the main house, it will be treated as a home extension and will count as part of your permitted development rights. This may be a problem if you already have a large extension to your home. Also, your neighbours may object if your office overlooks them or blocks light to their property. If in doubt, contact your local authority’s planning department and ask for their advice.
Note: If your office is made out of timber, it is classed as a temporary structure, and building regulations don't apply.
Heating and Insulation
You would not want to work in a cold and draughty garden office. Basic DIY versions will need added insulation, but some garden offices on the market are built with insulation already incorporated. You will also need double glazing to keep a comfortable temperature year-round. When it comes to heating, an electric radiator or underfloor heating present the most natural solution, as your office will need to be connected to the main electricity anyway.
A garden room is often an easier target for an intruder than a house. Make sure all doors and windows have locks that meet your insurer's standards and fit a motion sensor alarm. If possible, keep your PC or laptop locked in a safe place overnight and when away.