By January 21, 2015 Read More →

5 steps to your perfect garden office

5 steps to your perfect garden office - The Garden Office GuideJanuary is the perfect time to settle down in a comfy armchair and make plans for the coming year.

Today’s guest post from Woody of The Garden Office Guide is a step-by-step plan to help you get the best garden office for your budget:

5 steps to your perfect garden office – this could also describe your commute to work if you were to buy a garden office!

A workspace that offers you all the benefits of working from home, but with the discipline of going out of the house to work.

I have a lot of experience helping people to create their perfect garden office. I’ve worked closely with clients to design their new workspace, and for the last five years I have written extensively on the subject.

My years of experience tell me that there are…

5 steps to buying your perfect garden office

Step 1: Researching your options.

A garden office is an expensive purchase so you want to make sure you are fully informed about all your options to avoid costly mistakes. You also want to view the work of as many garden office designers as you can before creating a shortlist.

To help you my colleagues and I have created The Garden Office Guide, a website that highlights all the key elements you should consider when buying a garden office. It also showcases the work of specialist garden office suppliers.

Perfect garden office - planning permissionStep 2: Complying with the rules.

This is an important step. Many garden offices are marketed as Planning Permission friendly units, but it is your responsibility as the homeowner to check your individual circumstances.

You will need to consider the size and shape of your building, where you plan to site it, and the type of work you plan to undertake in the building. Your garden office supplier will also advise you during a site visit on whether you will need planning permission.

If you are creating a very large garden office, plan to ever sleep in the room or create a self contained unit with toilet or shower room, you will need to ensure that your building complies with Building Regulations. Your supplier should be aware of this and handle it for you.

Step 3: Setting a budget.

Garden offices vary in price from £5,000 to £50,000 plus for a one-off all singing, all dancing design. You will get a fair idea of what different size buildings and combinations of features cost when researching the market.

It’s a good idea to use this research to set a budget for your project. No reputable supplier will force you to spend more than you are comfortable with and it’s actually useful for them to know your budget to fully advise you on your options.

Many garden office designs are sold as turnkey projects whereby everything from the foundations to the final decoration is included in the price you pay. With other designs there are elements that you have to organise and pay for in addition to the building.

For instance some suppliers ask you to organise the foundations to be installed before they arrive on site. The most common extra you need to budget for is the connection of the garden office electrics to the mains supply.

Perfect garden office - future proofingStep 4: Choosing a design route.

There are three main ways of buying a garden office – choosing a standard design, opting for a modular design or going down the bespoke design route. Each of these routes has its own benefits.

1. With standard design you have limited choice over size, layout and choice of features. But standard designs are often the quickest and most cost effective way to buy a garden office.

2. Modular design has been widely adopted by the industry, and from the buyer’s perspective it offers a great deal of flexibility as you can mix and match sections of solid wall, glazing and doors to create your ideal layout. Because you are able to mix and match standard panel sizes, modular garden offices have an appealing price point.

If you are looking for the perfect garden office, tailored to your garden, your intended use and your aesthetic tastes then you will want to work with a bespoke garden office designer.
When working with a bespoke designer you will be offered input into every aspect of the design process. Some people assume that bespoke design is prohibitively expensive but whilst it’s more expensive than the other routes mentioned, the added expense normally comes from all the design extras that the customers specify!

Step 5: Thinking ahead.

Whilst what you require from your garden office today will be at the forefront of your mind when you are buying, it’s worth taking a moment to think about your long term needs too.

For instance might you need more space as your business grows? Will you always want to use the room as an office? Would adding a shower room now offer up more possibility in the future? Adding a degree of flexibility for the future will cost you a little more today but could more than pay for itself in the future.

Most dedicated garden office designs come pre-wired with data, telephone and audio visual cables, but it’s a good idea to factor in a communications channel when connecting your garden office to your house so that you could easily upgrade these systems in the future. This can be as easy as burying a tubing with draw wire that can be used to pull new cables through. This channel could be buried in the trench with the electric cables.

By working your way through these five steps you will find that your journey to your perfect garden office is an easy and enjoyable one.

Photos by The Garden Office Guide

Posted in: Garden offices

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