Using a Shed as a Garden Office
The frugal way to have an Office and escape!
First we have to ask ourselves 'What do we use an Office for?'. Most of the time it's just for doing Internet work and filing and with a bit of prowess in spacing everything out, it doesn't actually take up too much space.
It's a place to walk in, sit in a nice seat and work in a relaxed and comfortable manner.
Some may convert a disused bedroom into an Office and others may find they can afford building an extension to their house or convert a Garage.
I have a pretty small house, it's rented and I can't afford an Extension, especially when I leave, someone else will get the benefits and I don't get anything!
If I converted a Bedroom, I'd have much less room for living quarters, I wouldn't feel it as being somewhere 'separate' to work in and I'd find myself having many distractions.
I decided on an Economy Shed in the Garden. This would give me a nice spot and view from a window and most of all, feel I was going to an Office and not simply to a bedroom upstairs.
Looking at exactly what I needed; a Desk, a Seat and space enough to put some shelves up for files, all be it, files almost being a thing of the past now, I went for the smallest possible within a comfort zone - for me this was 8 feet x 6 feet.
I brought the Shed brand new for £190 and lined the inside with Plasterboard.
For the desk top, I used an old hardboard covered door and fixed it wall to wall on the six feet width.
I have a small cupboard which is an old Kitchen Wall Unit and a CD Rack I found in a skip.
The floor has a Vinyl Remnant which cost £7.
The most expensive item of furniture and fittings is the Chair for which I paid £29.
Being the size it is, the cost of heating in Winter is minimal, I use an 800W Radiator with a thermostat. In fact the heat from the light bulb in there does pretty well on it's own!
With security in mind, I purchased a Shed without a Window and made a small window, large enough to have a nice view of the garden and also small enough not to get a human body through!
The electricity for the PC, Heater and other bits is simply an extension from the main shed of mine and I've run a 25 meter Broadband cable direct from the Router inside the house. All this is safely buried under the ground.
Security of a Shed / Office
You may think security is a problem, but with a suitable Door Alarm, it is really just as 'safe' as the House itself.
A lot of Shed Burglaries are carried out by simply removing the slats from a wall, but the Plasterboard acts as an extra deterrent and would be quite a noisy affair.
I've found so many benefits doing it this way, not only are you 'escaping' your living environment, but being the size it is, the overheads, fuel and efficiency wise are very good.
All told, my converted Garden Shed to Garden Office cost me, exc. PC etc., no more than £230 - slightly less than a home extension!
Plus of course it's nice to say "Just popping out to the Office" and quite a pose to say "I think that's in the Office" when someone phones!
To others you may appear to be a cheapskate, but you're an artist of your craft; you move as the moment takes you and by doing this, you'll achieve more satisfaction and basically run a better home.