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5 Essential things to consider for your Garden Office

Posted in: The Garden Office Blog by admin on April 5, 2011 | No Comments

Firstly, ask yourself…why have a garden office?

Bickering children, barking dogs, blaring TV’s, loud music, general hubbub of daily life, how is a person expected to get things done when all that is going on?

Or perhaps you are sick of getting soaked in the rain, waiting on a freezing cold train platform – and you don’t even get a seat when the train arrives! Other people coughing and spluttering all over you, barging you out of the way.

Or driving your own car, inch by inch each day getting to and from your workplace. Enough to drive anyone crazy! Not to mention the sheer cost of all that travel, and what a waste of time too.

It just adds insult to injury when you just know that you could quite easily be doing all these things from home. Just imagine a peaceful oasis in your own garden, away from daily distractions and a world away from the rat-race and tortuous daily commute. This is where a garden office can really come into its own and is a very sensible and realistic option.

Ok, great idea…but how do I do it?

So you had the idea, and you’ve had a look around the garden and, yes, there is a little corner that could be used (if you can just persuade the kids to part with that 10 foot trampoline). All garden offices will be different, according to the size of land available and its situation within the garden, e.g. a shaded, sunny or semi-shaded position will dictate how the garden office should be designed to make the inside environment as comfortable to work in as possible; not too hot, not too cold.

The following are the main things to consider and arrange when you are planning a garden office:

1. Power

garden office power solutionsThere are options to you when providing power for your garden office. The most obvious one will be to run a cable from the main power supply in the house. Circuits can then be run for the lighting and sockets. Really, the best option is to use a fully qualified electrician. This option can cause complications if you are running a business or company from your garden office though, because it will be difficult to split how much power to house has been used, compared to the office. To avoid this, have the electricity board provide a separate power supply straight to the garden office. This would mean two bills – one for the house, and one for the office, which could be the best idea (although costly to have a new power line installed).
Solar and wind power are also gaining popularity and could be an option. Solar panels and wind turbines can be expensive initially, and this can be off-putting. It can take several years before you realise the savings, but at least you don’t get regular bills to pay and the costs can be tax-deductible as a business expense.

2. Broadband

garden office broadbandAn internet connection is essential to any business these days. It can be tricky to get a good connection into the garden, but there are options. Most people dismiss using a dongle, network card or Wi-Fi sent from the house because it isn’t reliable enough and the connection can drop frequently (the signal needs to get through the walls of the house, the structure of the office, as well as travel several metres through air). There really are only two decent options: one is to run a network cable from the house – preferably at the same time as any power cables are run. This is rock-solid reliable; the ideal scenario. If cables can’t be run across the garden, then a ‘Powerplug’ could be a good option – Powerplugs use existing circuits to transmit and receive the broadband signal.

3. Light and heating considerations

The garden office should be thought of as being just like any ‘real’ room in a house. It is essential that it is built to a very garden office lightinghigh specification in terms of insulation to maintain a really comfortable working environment. A very good solution would be to install under-floor heating .The first place you get cold outside is in your feet, after all, so this heating method seems ideal. Heat rises to fill the entire space very efficiently. This type of heating is very controllable, meaning you get heat when you want it and can set timers/programme it. Another benefit is that no space would be wasted on positioning heaters. Other, cheaper initially, options are electric panel heaters or oil-filled radiators.

The garden office should be positioned to benefit from as much natural light as possible. Productivity increases and there is less fatigue when working under natural light. Beware of positioning screens where they could be subject to glare. Provision of window blinds is essential.

4. Security

garden office securitySecurity of the garden office is essential for insurance purposes so doors should have good quality 5 lever locks. Window locks with keys should also be fitted. Make sure all drawer and filing cabinets are lockable. Remember computer security too, password-protect everything. If you are using wireless broadband from the house, ensure that your connection is encrypted and has a strong password. You might want to consider installing a burglar alarm if you keep valuable equipment in the office overnight.

5. Cool furnishings!

Ok, now you can go to town and be as individual as you like – it’s YOUR space! But remember, the garden office needs garden office furnitureto be an efficient work area. Smaller spaces should make as much use of the desk area as possible, so go for one with extra drawers or shelving configurations. The desk itself should be large enough to accommodate a phone, computer monitor or laptop, keyboard, and enough surface area for paperwork. Choose a comfortable chair that you will be happy to sit in for many hours over the day – test several as they are all very different. Miscellaneous items to also consider include filing cabinets, a shredder, shelving, lamps, hot drinks maker and a ‘reception’ area.

Hope you like the article – please share on facebook / retweet etc.
Thanks Julian – Creativewithtimber