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Garden Office

Creating your dream garden office: a few things to consider

The number of people working from home is rising rapidly. A garden office can make remote working more effective: it offers a quiet space with few distractions, allows to easily separate work and personal lives and increases productivity. However, building a garden room is not a matter of seconds. It is important to consider your needs and various options. In this article, we will discuss some things you should take into account.

Positioning

The light can greatly affect your experience in the garden office negatively or positively. By allowing as much natural light in as possible, you can save on expenses. For the houses in the Northern Hemisphere, making the doors and the windows face south might be the best choice. On the other hand, this way the garden room could overheat in summer, diminishing the work experience and productivity. You might want to think about deep eaves or installing screen panels.

The view might not seem important but if you are planning to work in your outdoor office, it is better to ensure the windows go out to a pleasant sight. Think about privacy too: is it okay if you see neighbours walking by or not? This is about making your work experience pleasurable.
Finally, there is one more important thing to consider: planning permissions.

Planning permission

There are cases when you can build your garden room completely freely and cases when you need to get a planning permission. Whether you need one depends on the building’s position, height, and purpose.

Let’s start with the position. If the building is located close to the boundary, its ridge cannot be higher than 2.5 m, which makes it quite uncomfortable as an office. Insulating it would make it even lower and you would not be able to stretch and work comfortably. Such a height is okay for a shed but not for a garden office. There is more freedom if the building is located at least 2 m from the boundaries. In this case, a ridge cannot be more than 4 m tall, eaves no more than 2.5 m. With a mono-pitched roof, the higher edge cannot be more than 3 m tall and the lower edge taller than 2.5 m.

Secondly, if you are planning to work regularly in the office or even accept clients there, you will also need a planning permission. If you will be working alone quietly, getting the permission should be easy. More trouble might arise if you are planning to accept clients since it can be considered a behaviour that might disturb the neighbours. The permission is also required if you are planning to sleep in the garden room, so keep that in mind.

Material

It might also be worthwhile to consider the construction of the garden office. Two of the most common types are SIPS (Structural Insulated panels) technology and timber frames.

Timber has been used to build houses for hundreds of years but it might be becoming outdated. Wood can be considered a sustainable material as tress can be regrown. However, such buildings need a lot of maintenance as the wood can start rotting or catch on fire easily.

SIPS technology is comparatively new but increasingly popular. Such panels consist of OSB sheets with insulation foam in between. SIPS buildings are very hermetic, considered to be the warmest on the market, while timber frames do not have any thermal properties on their own. SIPS structures also have good sound insulation, are fire and moisture resistant. Such houses are easy to build, taking only a few days.

If you are planning to work in your office all year long, it might be better to choose the SIPS technology, mainly because of insulation, as you will be able to save on heating expenses.

Small but significant

Finally, there are some other things that should be thought about. Think about utilities: perhaps you do not need a shower but electricity and sockets might be very necessary. You could even think about installing solar panels on your roof. What about heating? You have to stay warm in winter, after all.

Finally, the design. You will be spending a lot of time in your garden room so make sure you like it. There are many designs to choose from and everyone will be able to find something they like.

To sum up, there are a lot of things to consider. Do not hurry and think carefully about everything: building a garden office is no small deal.
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