Garden office kits: The satisfaction of self-building mixed with the peace of mind of a tried and tested system
If you're looking to create a dedicated workspace in your garden, building a garden office using a kit can be an attractive option. Buying a kit can save you time and hassle compared to sourcing all the materials yourself while still allowing you to have some flexibility in the design and construction process.
We’ve put together this guide to give you an overview of your options. We've also included helpful links to further reading and weighed up the pros and cons of buying a garden office kit.
There are a range of different kit options: One’s with everything you require, others that provide a weather-tight shell and those that are just the core structure
When it comes to buying a garden office kit, there are four main options available to you. Firstly, you can head to one of the big garden building marketplaces where you can choose a standard design garden office building in a range of sizes. These are delivered to you, and you will need to assemble them yourself. This option is ideal if you are looking for a quick and easy solution that doesn't require much customization.
For those who want more flexibility, some specialist garden room companies offer standard designs that you can customise. You can choose the layout of doors and windows to suit your needs. This is a great option if you have specific requirements for your garden office but don't want to go down the bespoke route.
Alternatively, you may opt for a bespoke design from a garden room company. This is the most personalised option available and allows you to work with the company to create a design that is tailored to your needs. The company will then create a kit of parts for you to assemble, which means that you will need to have some building skills or hire a contractor to assemble it for you.
Finally, you can choose to buy a core structure kit. This option supplies you with the core structure of your garden office, in panels for you to assemble. You will need to source the other finishes yourself, such as roofing materials, cladding, and internal fixtures and fittings. This option requires more time and effort to complete, but it does give you complete control over the finished product.
Kits are available in a variety of core structure types
When you start exploring the garden office market, you may notice that there are several construction systems used for the core structure of garden offices. The most common ones you are likely to come across include traditional insulated timber frames, structural insulated panels (SIPs), interlocking timber systems, and light gauge steel frames. You will find self-build kits that utilise all these different systems for the core structure.
Check what is included in the DIY kit
If you are buying just the core structure, such as a SIPs frame, it's important to check if the kit includes a breather membrane to make it temporarily weather-tight while you finish the exterior. Some kits are designed to provide a weather-tight shell, so they may include exterior finishes, doors, and windows, leaving you to source the interior finishes. Other kits may include all the finishes for both the interior and exterior of the building.
It is also important to note that while some garden office kits may include all the necessary components, there may still be some things that you need to source separately. For example, it is common for garden office kits to require a suitable foundation, which you will need to organise yourself. Similarly, some garden office kits may include an electrical pack, which provides the cabling and fittings for light and power in the finished office, but you will still need to organise an electrician to fit them and connect the office to the mains supply.
When budgeting for your project, it's important to consider these additional costs and factors that may not be included in the garden office kit. By doing so, you can ensure that you have a realistic budget and timeline for your project, and avoid any unexpected costs or delays down the line.
Garden office kit guide: The essential handbook for office self-builders
Our sister site, the Self Build Garden Room Guide, has a popular kit guide that is perfect for those who are considering going down the DIY garden office route. This eBook is designed to help you understand the key elements you need to consider when building a garden office and includes details about kit options from experienced names within the industry.
Pros and cons of buying a garden office kit rather than sourcing the materials yourself or buying a building on a full installation basis
Buying a garden office kit rather than designing your own building and then sourcing all the materials yourself or buying one from a company and having them fully install it, has several advantages:
Garden office kits are often more cost-effective than buying a garden office on a full installation basis, as you are saving on the labour component of the on-site assembly stage. Kits can also be cheaper than sourcing the materials yourself as the companies have economies of scale.
Price peace of mind
Garden office kits offer greater budget certainty than sourcing the materials yourself, as you know your price for the building.
Kits are designed to be assembled quickly and efficiently, which saves time compared to designing and building a garden office from scratch. This is particularly beneficial if you need your garden office up and running quickly.
Buying a garden office kit is more convenient than designing and sourcing materials yourself. Kits are delivered to your door, and all the materials and fixtures you need are included in one package.
Tried and tested
When buying a garden room kit, you are getting a tried and tested building system, which should go together smoothly and stand the test of time.
Garden office kit manufacturers provide written guides demonstrating how the building goes together. Many companies also have video guides which show you how to undertake certain elements.
There are downsides to buying a garden office kit compared to designing a building and sourcing the materials yourself or buying on a full installation basis. They include:
Limited design options
While many garden office kits offer customisation options, there are limits to what you can do with a kit. If you have a specific design in mind that cannot be achieved with a kit, you may need to consider designing and building a garden office from scratch or working with a full installation company who offers a greater range of options.
Limited cost savings
You will definitely save money buying a garden office kit compared with buying on a full installation basis, but you need to remember that the company is still making a good profit on the kit, so you may not save as much money as sourcing the components yourself.
Quality of materials
There can be variations in the quality of materials used across different garden office kits. It is important to research the manufacturer and read reviews to ensure that you are getting a kit made from quality materials.
Limited size options
Garden office kits come in a range of sizes, but if you require a specific size that is not available in a kit, you may need to consider designing and building a garden office from scratch.