Creating a backyard office may be one of the best decisions you make for yourself and your business. Just having a space to retreat to in order to get work done without the distractions of home or having to be far away. It not only can create an added space for you, but it also enhances the value of your home, should you decide to sell it later. Consider, for example, a doctor. After spending all day in the office with patients or the hospital providing care, having an office to go back to that no one else has access to can be the mental health break you need. You can get work done, catch up on records, and work on your practice goals without having to intrude on family time. Best of all, you’re only a few steps from home.
How can you create a space like this, one that’s comfortable and functional, without taking up a lot of backyard room? Here are some ideas to help you get started.
1. Convert the Garage
Most often, a garage is an easy conversion into an office. Depending on the size and condition, it may already have electrical power running to it. You can add in walls, portable heating and cooling, and even a bathroom if there’s room. A garage space like this provides a lot of space. It may be a bit more expensive than other options, depending on what you want to put into it, but it already has the basics of a room, foundation, and walls to work on.
2. Consider a Prefab Shed
Many people find that a prefabricated shed is an excellent solution. You may not have the need for a large space, making the garage a bit less ideal. A shed like this comes with all components you need to set up a space big enough for a desk and perhaps a few additional items. Choose the size that’s right for your space. Don’t overlook the importance of a quality product, one that’s durable enough to handle the climates and spacious enough to give you the ability to move well. You can hook up electricity and bring in some heaters or portable AC when there is a need.
3. Build an Exterior Office Space
What if you want a more permanent and professional solution? That’s when building onto your home or building a completely separate suite in the backyard makes the most sense. Connected to your home or not, this type of space gives you the ability to customize it how you would like to. Be sure it has its own entrance without having to go into the home. You’ll want to be sure it allows enough light in, too, since proper lighting is great for focus and mental clarity. Building your own space like this also helps to give you more of a personalized feel. Add the character and charm that’s right for you.
4. Consider a Pod
A pod is a lot like a shed, but they tend to be a bit more elevated. You can choose from a wide range of styles and sizes to fit most needs. Some have large floor to ceiling windows and doors to enable lots of natural light. You may wish to choose one that is fully featured with its own heating and cooling in it. Many come with electricity built in. Some pods are very small, offering just enough room for a door, a desk, and a bit of maneuvering space. These may be a bit more flexible when you want to move them often.
5. Garage Attic Space
Do you have a large garage out back that has enough height to convert the top portion into an office space? For those with large structures like this, it may be possible to add in a set of steps and build out a second floor to become an office space. This can be ideal because it offers lots of space (often the same square footage as the garage itself) and yet offers ample flexibility in laying out the space. You may be able to add a few windows or dormers to help with the customization of the area.
6. Shipping Container Conversion
For those who may be interested in a more interesting solution, consider purchasing a discarded shipping container. This is a trendy option that allows you to create a longer, narrow workspace. You can update and modernize it to include a lot of features. The best thing about them is that you’re turning a recycled container into something usable, which means you’re doing something good for the environment. They tend to be super durable and, with insulation, can work well in most areas.
7. Mobile Office
For some people, having the ability to be more mobile with your office may be ideal. Now, you can get really creative and turn an RV or a renovated school bus into a workspace if you want something a bit more laid back. Or you can build a trailer-style mobile office that allows you to move it as you need to. If you do a lot of location-based services, such as going to your clients, you may want to retrofit this type of space to provide mobile services. It could allow you to create a space that travels with you as you work to build your business.
Finding the Right Solution for Your Needs
Be creative. Embrace the wide range of options available to you today. What you may find is that there are options right for just about any budget. Consider what you need for your office in terms of space, layout, and overall features. Then, embrace the various styles and options out there. Whether you build from the ground up or purchase a pre-fab solution nearly ready to go, creating the ideal backyard office space may be easier than you think. Once in place, you can feel good about the experience.