Working from home today? You’re not the only one. A staggering 42% of the US labor market’s now in the same boat.
And let’s face it, remote working from the comfort of your own home has its perks! You can stay in your pajamas all day, avoid the office politics, bid farewell to that irksome commute, and conduct calls from the couch. It’s a dreamy deal.
But from endless distractions (we’re looking at you, Netflix) to the kids embarrassing you on conference-calls, there are definite downsides too! Know the struggle?
Creating your very own ‘backyard office’ could offer a brilliant way forward. Separate from the main household, you cultivate a dedicated space to do your work. You get all the perks of working from home while escaping its usual hustle and bustle.
First, though, you’ve got to build the thing. Want some expert input to help you do it? Keep reading for some key considerations when building an office in the backyard.
Build or Transform?
The first thing to think about is whether you even need to build a backyard office in the first place! After all, you might already have a shed outside that could do the trick. A bit of time and TLC could be all that’s required to transform it into the ideal place to work.
Why not find a new storage spot for the tools, gardening gear, and anything else that’s inside? Clear out the space, give it a good clean, and install whatever you need to work. With a desk, light, laptop, and Wi-Fi inside, you could be good to go in no time.
Sure, it might not be as comfortable as a purpose-built office. But transforming your old shed would definitely save you a lot of hassle and money. Just make sure there aren’t any leaks in the ceiling or creepy crawlies keeping you company!
Permits and Codes
Have you decided that building a backyard office makes the most sense? The next thing to do is verify whether you need official permission to get started. Regulations vary in different states as to what you can build and how big it can be.
The last thing you want is to break the rules and get in trouble down the line. That’s why it’s always worth clarifying what’s allowed with the powers that be in your city (be it the local council and/or the Homeowners Association). Do some research, send some emails, and make some calls; it shouldn’t be long before you have all the information you need.
DIY or Professional?
At this point you have a decision to make:
Do you try to build your own backyard office or pay professional ADU services (ADU stands for accessory dwelling unit) to do the job for you? There’s no right or wrong answer here. In all honesty, it depends on your situation.
Someone with the skills, tools, time, and inclination could easily take the DIY approach.
But if you’re too busy and/or wouldn’t have an inkling where to begin, then calling the pros would be a much better bet. Taking this tack would also allow you to continue with your job without having to take time off. Oh, and the final product would probably be completed faster and to a higher standard as well!
Just like buying a property, location is everything when building an office in your backyard. Rule number one: never pick a place at random! You need to be strategic and smart to get the best possible results.
In an ideal world, you’d have somewhere in the yard that:
- Enjoys lots of natural light,
- Is as flat as a pancake, and
- Has no drainage problems.
For anybody who’s forced to pick two of the three, then flatness and high-quality drainage are most valuable. You’ll find the building process far easier and prevent water damage from becoming a problem down the line. If nowhere seems appropriate, then it’s worth looking into landscaping solutions before you get started.
The first practical step is laying a solid foundation on which to build the shed itself. Don’t, and you’ll be wobbling around all over the place or swept away in the first storm! Trust us, we could write an entire article on this single part of the process…
There’s a lot to it, with various stages and considerations to keep in mind.
You’ll need to do some further research to figure out the details. But always keep in mind what the shed will be made from, where it’s going to be situated, and how big it’ll be. These three factors should guide your further reading and help you find the right foundation for your needs.
Building and Decorating
With the foundation done, the actual building of your office can commence. Of course, if you’ve hired pros, then they’ll handle everything from here (though they’re more than likely to have done the foundation as well). They’ll bring all the necessary materials/equipment and set to work while you sit back and relax.
Taking the DIY approach (whether from scratch or with a prefab option) instead? Then be sure to wait for good weather and give yourself enough time to do the job. You could also visit your local lumber store for advice on the best materials and steps required for success.
From there, it’s a matter of deciding how to decorate and furnish your new office space! Make it stylish, in-keeping with your home’s aesthetic, ergonomic, comfortable, and calming, and you’re sure to love working there.
Time to Build Your Backyard Office
More people than ever before are working from home in America. Yet doing so isn’t all hunky-dory! From distractions (like your kids, TV, social media) to logistical problems (like lack of space), a wide range of issues can turn it into a challenge.
Have you been thinking about building an ADU outside to make life easier? Well, we hope the information in this post will help you do it. Keep these considerations in mind and you should be a few steps closer to building the perfect backyard office space.
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