Unleash Your Creativity: Design your dream garden office and save on full installation costs
So, you considering designing and building your own garden office? It can be an exciting journey if you familiarise yourself with your different options and with the relevant rules and regulations governing such buildings early on in the process.
We’ve put together this guide to give you an overview of those options. We've also included helpful links to further reading and weighed up the pros and cons of self-building a garden office.
You have options self-building a garden office: your own custom design, buy a kit or have a shell building installed
For many of us, the way we work is changing. Working from home or a hybrid of working from home and going into the office for a few days has become the norm. The thing is, creating a professional workspace at home can be tricky, and if you are not careful, you can find work life and family life encroaching on each other.
Many people, like you, are turning to look at the space they have in their garden to create a home office building. These versatile, stylish, and eco-friendly structures offer the perfect solution to combine work and home life in a harmonious balance.
You have indicated that you are thinking of self-building your garden office. You have several options: building your own design from scratch, purchasing a kit of parts, or opting for a hybrid approach where a company installs the shell of the building, leaving you to personalise the interior to your taste.
Design & source the materials
Building your own garden office from scratch is exciting for those with a penchant for DIY projects who want to customise their workspace. This option allows you the freedom to design a unique and tailor-made space that suits your professional needs and aesthetic preferences. However, it does require a significant investment of time, effort, and expertise in construction and planning.
Buy a garden office kit
Purchasing a garden office kit offers a more streamlined approach to the build. These kits typically include all the necessary materials, along with detailed instructions, to assemble a fully functional workspace. While not as customisable as building from scratch, kits offer a balance of convenience, affordability, and the satisfaction of constructing your own office.
A hybrid approach
A hybrid approach is an increasingly popular choice among homeowners who seek a middle ground between the two options. In this scenario, a professional garden office company installs the shell of the building for you. This typically includes installing the foundation and the core structure. With some packages, the core structure is fully insulated; others leave you to do this step. The structure is made temporarily weathertight with a breather membrane or completely weathertight with doors, cladding, and roof covering. This ensures protection from the elements during construction. This leaves you free to unleash your creativity and complete the interior to your own tastes and requirements. This option combines the peace of mind offered by professional construction with the flexibility and personalisation of a DIY project.
Companies offering a hybrid approach
Master your garden office project: The Self Build Garden Room Guide – your ultimate eBook for success
You mentioned your interest in designing your own garden office. We believe our ebook, created for our sister site, will be incredibly beneficial for you. With the sixth edition of The Self Build Garden Room Guide, where we've condensed over 20 years of expertise and industry knowledge to share the construction systems and materials used by professionals. Since 2014, the Self Build Garden Room Guide eBook has helped hundreds of people bring their dream garden office to life.
Pros and cons of self-building a garden office rather than having it installed on a full-installation basis by a company
Building a garden office yourself rather than buying one from a company and having it fully installed has several advantages:
Self-building a garden office can save you money compared to buying on a full installation basis. By removing the labour costs of assembling the building, by doing this element yourself, you will save a significant amount of money. You can also save money by shopping around for materials and using reclaimed materials if you wish.
Building your own garden office allows you to fully customise it to your needs and preferences. You have complete control over the design, layout, and materials used, so you can create a space that perfectly fits your requirements.
Self-building a garden office provides flexibility in terms of design and construction timeline. You can work at your own pace and make changes to the design as needed throughout the process.
Control over quality
When you build your own garden office, you have control over the quality of the materials used and the construction process. You can ensure that the final product is built to your desired standard.
Sense of accomplishment
Completing a project like building a garden office can provide a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. You can take pride in your work and enjoy the space you've created.
Building your own garden office is a great learning experience. You can develop new skills and gain knowledge about construction and design that you can apply to future projects.
Designing, sourcing the materials, and building your own garden office from scratch has several downsides compared to buying one from a specialist company and having them install it on a full installation basis:
Designing, sourcing materials, and building a garden office from scratch can be a time-consuming process, especially if you are not experienced in construction. Depending on the building's size and complexity, a specialist garden office company can install their buildings in as little as a day and certainly within a couple of weeks. Unless you have a team of helpers, it will be a much longer process self-building.
Skill level required
Building a garden office from scratch requires a high level of skill and knowledge in construction and design. If you do not have these skills, you may need to spend time learning and researching before you can begin the project.
Building a garden office from scratch should be cheaper than buying on a full installation basis, but you will need to work out a realistic budget. You may need to purchase specialised tools and equipment, and the cost of materials can add up quickly. You will also need to engage the help of specialist contractors, such as an electrician, as the electrics within the office must comply with Building Regulations.
Risk of mistakes
There is a risk of making mistakes during the construction process, especially if you are not experienced. These mistakes can be costly and time-consuming to fix.
Lack of warranty
When you build your own garden office, you do not have the same level of warranty and support that you would get from a company that installs it for you. If something goes wrong or needs to be repaired, you will be responsible for fixing it.