Garden office security
Many people are concerned about garden office security. They worry that sheds are common targets for burglaries, and being located away from the main house they are difficult to keep an eye on. While these are fair arguments quality garden offices are designed to be as secure as your house.
If you have read other sections of this guide, you will be aware that garden offices are built like houses using the same materials and building techniques. Garden offices might be known as 'posh sheds', but they are nothing like the flimsy structure where you might keep your lawnmower. Which is easy picking for a burglar.
House quality doors & windows
95% of the garden office designs sold in the UK use the same door and window units used on houses. These units are fitted with the latest multi-point locking systems which make them very secure. Opening garden office windows usually are fitted with locking handles which means the window cant be opened unless the lock has been disengaged. Because of the multi-point locks, the window is difficult to open from the outside.
Some suppliers choose windows that have the glazing bars on the inside of the frame. When we say the glazing bars we mean the strips that hold the glass in the frame. These are added once the window has been glazed and could, in theory, be removed and the glass taken out of the frame to gain access to the building. If the bars are on the inside of the window, this would be difficult to do.
It's not uncommon for a garden office to have multiple doors, whether this is a pair of French doors or a run of bi-fold doors. Each door will have its own locking system to make them less vulnerable with locks bolting into the top, bottom and horizontally into the frame.
We've heard people say that a garden office will be easy to break into because of its timber construction. Unlike sheds which have a thin timber skin, garden offices are made up from a series of layers, creating a thick structure that is difficult to penetrate. A burglar would need to be equipped with several types of tool to break through the walls of a garden office.
The multi-layer construction and house quality doors and windows help make a garden office secure. You can also incorporate an alarm system or CCTV
Garden offices can be fitted with alarms
Just like your house, a garden office can be fitted with a security alarm system. A few suppliers offer hardwired alarm systems, but modern systems are easy to retrofit and connect to your smartphone.
Sensors are positioned at key points within the office. You set activate the system as you leave the office. If the office is broken into the alarm is triggered. Depending on the system you choose the alarm can be connected to a security centre which will notify the police if there is a problem. Other systems will notify you by phone, text or email.
Keep an eye on the office
You could go as far as setting up a CCTV system to monitor your garden office; there are lots of systems available, which fit different budgets. You can even control the system from your smartphone. If the cameras are triggered, the footage is beamed to your phone. CCTV would give you images of activity going on around and within the office when you are not there and could be useful if your garden office is sited a long way from the main house.
Answer the front door from the office
Working from home, you can often be on the lookout for the post or a delivery. This could mean you have to stay in the house instead of working in the office. Over the last few years, video doorbells have become popular. These systems allow you to answer the door while working in the office. You can talk to delivery people via an app on your phone and ask them to leave your parcel, or tell them where you are if they need a signature. They are a handy tool for the garden office worker!
Don't forget to insure your garden office and its contents. It's not safe to assume that your new office will be covered on your existing buildings and contents insurance. It is worth talking to your insurers, but a broker may be of more help, and there are specialist policies available for garden office buildings. Over the years we have had contact with the team at Henshalls, a brokerage which has specialist knowledge of insuring garden office buildings. Buyers we have directed to them, tell us they are very helpful and knowledgeable.