Home renovations made simple
The days of home and office as separate spheres are long gone. Canadians are eager to continue working remotely, ditching their commutes for new hobbies and more family time.
Unfortunately, running your professional life from the kitchen table doesn’t always go as planned. Toddlers grab the iPad during important Zoom meetings, the cat walks across the keyboard when your back is turned, and your spouse ends up in the background clad only in a towel.
How can you reclaim your productivity while maintaining the perks of working at home? The answer is in your own backyard. Does your shed need a little extra love before it can become a backyard home office? Hire an interior designer or a general contractor to fit out an unfinished shed. Paying for professional assistance is less expensive than wasting your time and money on a failed DIY office shed.
Why a backyard office shed?
With multiple family members working and learning from home, space is at a premium. One Wi-Fi router and a desk in the guest bedroom just don’t cut it when three family members are on business calls at the same time. Check out the three other major reasons Canadians are building home office sheds:
1. Ditching the commute
When you can find peace, quiet, and access to a reliable printer just meters from your kitchen door, driving to the office becomes a thing of the past. Take advantage of new tax deductions to fit out the garden shed with office equipment and furniture so you can ditch the commute. Your gas bill will thank you.
2. Boosting productivity
Your backyard office pod prevents interruptions from family and co-workers, enabling razor-sharp focus on the task at hand. However, increased efficiency isn’t only about limiting distractions. Building a home office shed allows you to take ownership of your job. When you make a mindful investment in your work, you set yourself up for success.
3. Drawing a line between work and home
Having separate spaces for work and play doesn’t just improve your focus; it can have a positive impact on your mental health. Telecommuters in Canada are reporting burnout at record rates. File away your work stress in the garden office shed and save your home for relaxing with your family.
Top home office shed design ideas
First of all, how much does it cost to convert an outdoor shed into a home office? The cost can range from $200 for electrical outlet installation to $5,000-$20,000 for flooring installation, insulation, and roof repairs. Constructing a new outbuilding to replace an old, unusable structure will be pricier than converting an existing shed in good condition. Take square footage, structural integrity, heating and cooling requirements, and the extent of your current electrical installation into account when remodeling your outdoor office shed.
Got your specs and budget ready, but at a loss when it comes to outdoor office design ideas? Check out the projects below for inspiration on how to convert your shed into the backyard office of your dreams.
Writers, digital artists, and musicians work best in a private studio that encourages focus and enhances creativity. Install clear plastic roof panels to let in natural light and use open shelving to store works in progress. Decorate with wood flooring and warm colours to promote the tranquility necessary for entering a state of creative flow.
Crafters and artists with an online presence may appreciate the privacy of a detached studio but worry about the Wi-Fi connection in their new creative retreat. Sheds with metal walls pose a special problem. Even if the office shed is within range of your home’s router, a Wi-Fi signal cannot penetrate the aluminum. Purchase an additional router for your home studio to stay connected. No electricity in your shed? Find out how much it will cost to wire your creative studio by getting three free quotes on SmartReno.
Garage home workshops beat out sheds for square footage, but when you need to use power tools during your partner’s morning Zoom meeting, the office shed starts to seem like a better option since it’s further from the house. Store your tools safely and make as much noise as you want in your detached workshop. Your organizing skills will be put to the test as you find spaces for tools and materials in a smaller space, but with greater distance from the home comes greater autonomy to pursue extensive projects. Incorporate lots of wood in your workshop design to create a warm and organized environment.
Research shows that placing plants in an office environment improves mood, reduces indoor air pollution, and even contributes to good skin hydration. Why not switch it up by moving your office to the plants? Often, a greenhouse will already be equipped with chairs and work surfaces for performing gardening tasks. Complete your DIY office shed with vintage decorations and classic furnishings to accentuate the greenery. With only a few small changes, you’re ready for the abundant natural light of your greenhouse to illuminate your creative and professional endeavours.
Lucky enough to have a spacious greenhouse in your backyard? Go multi-purpose and use it for office space! Talk to a professional landscaper about low-maintenance plants best suited to your circumstances and vision. The plants you choose for your garden office shed should be allergy-friendly, thrive indoors, and improve air quality. You may also need a general contractor to help convert an old greenhouse into a functional year-round office space.
Office with patio
Need outdoor office design ideas that facilitate in-person meetings with clients and customers? While you create your backyard office, consider also investing in a small patio. Going the DIY route for your office patio may be tempting, but working with a qualified masonry contractor will ensure that your backyard waiting room is safely constructed and designed to fit in with the rest of your exterior decor. Add a large parasol to protect your visitors from sun and rain, and a patio heater to extend this space’s use into fall and spring.
Simple and modern
How do you convert a shed into an office without breaking the bank? Keep costs down by embracing a simple, modern look for your outdoor office shed. Put in a weekend of sweat equity, and get a return that is well worth your time and effort.
Clear out the cobwebs, find a new spot for the lawnmower, and bring in an old desk. Modular or detachable home office desks that allow easy rearranging are a budget-friendly way to increase interior design potential. Add potted plants and a string of lights to bring the room together.
Office sheds and work-life balance
Working from home is here to stay. Even Canadians who perform essential, in-person jobs, like healthcare workers and teachers, are spending part of the day on virtual meetings and doing paperwork at their coffee tables rather than commuting to a traditional office. The increased freedom and flexibility comes with a host of new distractions as family life intrudes on work, and work seeps into personal time.
Homeowners with an unused backyard shed have a perfect solution for adapting to the new normal. Whether you choose to create and craft in a state-of-the-art studio or carve out a distraction-free niche for increased focus and productivity, you can use your shed as an office to optimize your work-life balance. Reduce the stress of combining your job and your home by designating separate spaces for two very different parts of your life.
Find a qualified contractor to convert your shed into an office today with Smart Reno.
Calculate the cost of your home renovation project with our cost estimator
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.