GARAGE CONVERSION AUDIT
STRUCTURAL LOFT CONVERSION AUDIT
PRE-PURCHASE FEASABILITY CONSULTATION
STEEL WORK CONNECTIONS
INTERIOR MINOR ALTERATIONS
CDM & ASSOCIATED REPORTS
HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTS
3D MODELLING (from)
SOIL INVESTIGATION REPORTS
AIR PRESSURE TESTING
BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATIONS
AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
SOUND INSULATION TESTING
PART F VENTILATION TESTING
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVICE & INSTALL
THERMOGRAPHIC SURVEYS & TESTING
CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
PART G WATER CALCS
DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
Whilst working from home you will need a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts and away from the bustle and chores in the home. An outbuilding could be the perfect space for you to achieve a great work/life balance.
In this article, we will give you some ideas and guidelines for designing a home office and we can help you deal with planning permission which you may need. Ideally you want to create a quality space that will turn out to be significantly cheaper than extending your home but could almost certainly add value to it.
What are the main advantages of the garden office?
You must be prepared that the costs of your new garden office will depend upon the size, style and finish. However, this can be a profitable project on multiple levels:
● You will keep your work and family life separate, but you’ll always be there for your family.
● It adds value for potential future sales.
● You’ll be able to be more professional with your clients as you will be able to concentrate on communication with them.
● It will cost about the same as renting an office (monthly or for whatever period you pay) but the space will remain yours forever.
● No commuting costs!
Which layout is the right choice for your garden office?
When you start planning your future office location, there will be many factors to consider: noise, atmosphere, energy and design to name a few. Don’t forget the view from your new workspace, temperature and the quality of air and natural light are crucial.
The location in your garden of your new workspace is very important. Think about noise and light pollution, what is your view like? Will your neighbours be able to see into your office? If your business is making noise itself, acoustics must be efficient and space must be shielded to avoid disturbing your neighbours.
When it comes to glazing, you will want a lot of windows, whether classic ones or skylights. A sun-filled working space will positively affect your work and calming scenes of surrounding nature will relax you, of course this is not always possible but Velux skylights and lanterns could add a really dramatic effect to the work space and at the same time bring a lot of natural light. Top-hung tilting windows have also proven to be a very good solution for bringing light into the garden home office.
The next thing you’ll need to think about in advance is air quality and temperature. If you are working regularly during the winter months, your garden home office must be well insulated and efficient. In this context, you will also need to think about heating and ventilation, so we suggest incorporating your structure to the house’s main system or fitting a dedicated alternative, such as a small air-source heat pump.
When the project reaches this stage, you will also want to think about the health supporting characteristics of the materials you use in an office where you will undoubtedly spend most of your day, so think wisely when you choose them and we are here to help you.
Think about practical things too (to the extent that the size of the space allows): bringing a sofa or an armchair could be a life-saving idea for a brief relaxation in the middle of your work. You’ll also want to avoid issues such as screen glare, so place your work station against a window.
Do you need planning permission?
If you are working from home alone, planning permission for an office space isn’t needed. But if you have staff who will be there throughout the day and who will gather for meetings and consultations, your garden office could be classed as business use, which can disrupt your neighbours. In that case you will need to get the planners involved.
Your garden office room created under Permitted Development rights will need to fall under certain conditions:
● single-storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5m
● overall height of 4m with a dual pitched roof (3m for other types)
● structures assembled within 2m of a boundary can be no taller than 2.m
Also, as an outbuilding your home work space mustn’t cover more than 50% of the original house’s outdoor space to count as Permitted Development. However, rules vary between councils and they are always tighter if your home is in a designated area. You will always need specific consent if you own a listed building.
Designing a garden home office
There is so much choice these days when it comes to building materials - you can make your garden workspace pretty much look however you'd like! If you want a modern look, flat covering and extensive glazing are the right choice. You could use a timber-clad exterior. On the other hand, the heritage look never goes out of style - the choices are endless.
Whichever style you choose, professionals from the STAAC team have worked on designing and building many buildings in the garden; we can make your new garden office room suit your needs perfectly and become an oasis of peace that will contribute to the success of your business.