With this question it is important to remember that garden offices are not just posh sheds. They are actually designed more like a one room house. They are made up from several layers like a house which combine to create a building which is a comfortable place to work all year round.
But are they warm all year
When asking if a garden office is usable all year round, most people are really asking are they warm to use in winter. We have all had experiences of buildings like conservatories which are difficult to keep warm in the winter months. A garden office is nothing like this, and will be as warm as working in an office within your house.
Garden offices are highly insulated structures. They use the same insulation systems as used in modern timber frame house building. In fact may garden office designers see it as a challenge for the insulation levels in their offices to outperform the levels of insulation in a new house.
Going hand in hand with these high levels of insulation are house quality doors and windows which feature double glazing as standard. Some suppliers go one step further than double glazing offering triple glazing or glass filled with special gases and coatings that increases its thermal performance further.
So by design a garden office is a highly insulated structure, but you will still need the option of heating for the coldest days of the year. Most garden office designs come with heating as standard. Commonly this takes the form of electric wall panels or free standing oil radiators. With higher spec designs you will get the option of underfloor heating or air conditioning. Some bespoke garden office designers will incorporate central heating systems into a larger office, this is often powered by LPG gas.
A garden offices heating is fitted with a thermostat and normally with a timer so you can control when your heating is on and at what temperature. Some suppliers offer remote control systems so that you can control the heating in your garden office from the main house.
It’s not only winter you need to think about
Whilst the winter months are people’s primary concern when thinking about how comfortable a garden office is to work in, you should also ask how comfortable will a garden office be in summer. After all being too hot can be just as uncomfortable as being too cold.
Thankfully because of the high levels of insulation we talked about earlier a garden office is cool enough to work in on the hottest days of the year. Like we said you would need a heater in winter, in summer you will need some ventilation to cool the building further.
It’s important to think about how you will ventilate your garden office at the design stage. Obviously you can open the door, but some door configurations offer a bigger opening than others. Also think about your windows. It has become very popular to have fixed panels of floor to ceiling glazing and whilst this looks great it does limit your ventilation options. If this is a design feature you fancy, consider mixing it with at least one opening window.
Control over summer temperatures is one of the reasons many garden office buyers install an air conditioning unit. Whilst an expensive choice it allows them to have their office set to an even temperature all year round.
Also think about natural light
The amount and quality of natural light will also play its part on the usability of a garden office. Focusing glazing on the south, east and west elevations will mean you will have good levels of natural light all day.
You would also want to consider where you site your office in relation to any trees, particularly evergreen ones. A deciduous tree is a friend of a garden office worker – in summer the leaves help diffuse light when the sun is at its highest. In winter when the sun is low the tree will have lost its leaves so not block the valuable light.
Does it cost a fortune to run a garden office all year
Many people ask us how much it costs to run a garden office all year round. It’s difficult to give a precise answer as it really depends on the size of the building and its levels of insulation and the heating used. Here at Garden Office HQ we think it costs us about £1 a day to run our office, this figure is for all our electricity use ie heating, lighting and power.
We, like thousands of others work very comfortably in our garden office all year round – join us in the revolution!