Jun 09, 2021

Lady working, sitting at a desk in a garden room with a laptop, desk lamp, and sofa in the background

Working from home is the norm now, and will be in the future. The dream of having a garden office is within reach for more people than ever before. It's easy to set up Pinterest boards with interior design inspiration, but you might still be wondering, how do I set up an office in my garden?

If you’ve got your sights set on a garden office, there’s never been a better time to get the ball rolling. If you're not sure where to begin, we’ll take you through the steps you need to know to build your own garden office. It’s easier than you think, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Location, Location, Location

The first step in creating your garden office is choosing a location. When you work in a garden office, you’ll be spending several hours there every day. It’s important to choose an area that is private, comfortable, and makes the best use of the sun as natural lighting.

Walk through your garden to get a sense of the pros and cons. You’ll want to set up shop so that you’re not staring into your neighbour’s garden or out onto the street. Privacy for you and others will be a key consideration.

Also, keep in mind that inspiration is a big part of your workday. Is there a particular view from your garden that you find inspiring and energising? Make the most of your choices to build the office you’ve always wanted to have.

In doing all this dreaming, don’t forget to factor in certain practical considerations. For instance, you’ll need to factor in 500mm of clearance on every side of your garden office. This provides a necessary access pathway and is a health and safety requirement for the building process.

Planning Permission

The good news is that most garden offices do not need planning permission. Spaces under 15 square metres and less than 4 metres high do not need planning permission. Some of our smaller Habin garden room models have fit within these guidelines.

In certain cases, garden rooms do need planning permission. Here’s a quick checklist that will help you determine the requirements in your case.

You may need planning permission if your garden office:

  • Requires plumbing
  • Will be used as a living space
  • Will affect noise and traffic levels in your area (e.g., if you will regularly host clients)

We put together a Guide to Planning Permission for Garden Offices that goes in to more detail on this subject. Make sure you plan exactly how you want to use your garden office before you build it. This way you know if you can avoid planning permission, or if you need to factor in some extra steps to creating your idyllic office.

Levelling Ground and Foundation

To prepare your outdoor space for a garden office, you’ll need to level the ground where your garden room will go. Don’t worry about making this 100% perfect or having to hire professionals if you don’t want to. Many of our clients do the levelling themselves. The important thing is to clear away any slopes or large lumps that could interfere with the flooring.

Another thing to check for is tree roots. It’s important to clear those out before we lay the concrete pile foundations. As roots grow over time, they could grow under and through your garden room. Then you'll end up with a whole different kind of garden office!

Electric, Phone and Wi-Fi

Of course, your garden office will need electricity and Wi-Fi. You need to power your computer, coffee maker, speakers, and everything else you need for a productive and pleasant workday.

Habin garden offices have electric wiring and plug sockets pre-built in to the walls. Take this into account when deciding on the layout and design of your office. Let your Habin consultant know where you would like the sockets positioned. A consumer unit comes as standard in our Habins, and a junction box is provided on the outside for easy connection to your mains electric. If you need an Ethernet socket installed, just let us know and we’ll get this squared away for you!

Another convenient option for internet access is to boost your home Wi-Fi. This way you can extend it to your garden office without the need for extra wiring.

If your garden office is close enough to your home, you may already be within range. In which case, all you need to do is simply log in to your existing Wi-Fi network. You can try relocating your router within your home so it’s closer to your garden office. By the back door, for instance. Or you can install a Wi-Fi range extender so that the signal reaches your garden room and provides a strong signal.

Building Your Garden Office

Many people are put off by the inconvenience, noise, and hassle of construction. Habin makes this part quick and simple.

Our garden rooms are compact and prefabricated, so they can be delivered on one vehicle. The slim panels mean the erectors only need a standard access pathway of about one metre. Because Habins are prefabricated, there will be minimal building materials on site. This means no large vehicles blocking the road and no need for noisy and lengthy construction. Any disruption to you and your neighbours will be minimal.

Building a Habin garden room can take 1 to 2 weeks. While you won't need to be on site watching every step, it is important that you are present for some of it. We'll give you your build start date so you can make sure you are available on that day.

Providing welfare to the construction team is an important part of any build that may not be considered. In the UK, there is a legal duty to provide toilets and washing facilities for contractors. We can help you if you are unsure of this process.

Decorate

One of the best parts of a garden office is being able to customise it to your unique needs and preferences.

Some people like a distraction-free area so they can concentrate. To cater to this, all our Habin models come with the option of a white, vinyl-faced plywood interior. This provides a clean, elegant, minimalist look that doesn’t need any decorating. However, you can put up as many inspirational work posters as you like!

If you want to make your office a reflection of their personalities, we also offer a plasterboard option. This will make the wall finish be just like any room in your house. You can paint, decorate and hang up shelves to suit your personal style and taste.

In Summary - Is a Garden Office a Good Idea?

The answer is a resounding yes! If you’ve had even passing thoughts of what it would be like to work in a garden office, you should take the time to see how easy it is to make this dream into a reality. Once you’ve enjoyed the freedom, flexibility, and fun of working from a garden office, you’ll wonder how you ever lived any other way.

Do you feel inspired to start exploring your options for a garden office? Contact us for a consultation and we can start planning your new workspace today.