How to Set Up a Garden Home Office
June 13, 2024

If you’d love an office space but don’t want to sacrifice a spare room or take on the cost of a home extension, a garden home office is the perfect way to create a dedicated home working space. Plus, this extra room will add value to your house – something that’s worth taking into consideration if you plan on moving in the future. However, planning for one of these great practical spaces can come with queries about the planning permission and involve costs, so it can be difficult to know how to go about the project. 

If you want to know how to build a garden office and what exactly it entails, our experts here at Robert Dyas have all the information you need to get started.

Do Garden Offices Need Planning Permission?

Because most garden rooms are classed as outbuildings, they generally don’t need planning permission. There are some exceptions to this though, such as if your home is a listed building or is in a designated area e.g. conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

Garden Room Planning Rules to Consider:

It’s important to plan well before building your outdoor home office to avoid any complications that may arise in future. While most garden office studios won’t need planning permission, they will if: 

  • The garden home office  would be on areas of interest such as a conservation area 
  • It will cover more than 50% of the area around your house
  • It’s not a single-storey building and is more than 2.5 metres in height
  • It will be within five metres of your home as this could then be classed as an extension
  • If your garden office is built in front of your house
  • The area covered is more than 30m2 
  • Your planning on using your garden office as a separate, self-contained living accommodation
  • It has a balcony or alternative

We would always recommend checking the government’s advice on planning permission before you invest in building a garden office, or ask for advice from your local council. 

If you’re worried about breaking any rules when building a garden home office, all of our garden rooms at Robert Dyas meet the planning rules and regulations, which makes adding an outdoor office a lot more straightforward. 

How Much Does A Garden Office Add to the Value of a House?

A garden office can increase the value of your home by up to 5%, according to Halifax. However, it all depends on what type of garden building you add – an insulated garden room, for example, is more substantial than a regular summer house. But on the whole, as homes are partly, or even largely, valued based on the square footage of the property, it’s a no-brainer to add one if you have the funds and ability and are thinking of selling up. 

What to Consider When Designing & Building a Garden Office 

Installing a garden home office is no small undertaking, so it’s important to be thorough when planning. Here are some key factors to consider:

Size: If your garden is small you’ll need to be careful to choose the right size as your building can’t take up more than 50% of the land around your house. Think about whether you’ll have more than just your desk in there too – will you need a printer? Storage space? A heater? Even insulated garden rooms will feel a little on the cold side in winter so you’ll need space for some form of heating appliance. 

Insulation: Summer houses don’t have in-built insulation like insulated garden rooms, but they tend to be much more affordable. If you’re thinking of opting for one of these, read our summer house buying guide to find answers to all your key questions. If it’s an insulated garden room you’re thinking of, which is great for year-round working but requires a bigger budget, our range has plenty of sizes to suit your space. 

Layout: If it’s just you who’ll be working in the building, a square shape will suit. If you’ll be working with a partner, a rectangular design will be much more practical. And if your space is oddly shaped, a hexagonal design may be the best fit. You may even be able to fit in a sofa or dining set if your space is big enough, allowing you to use the room for more than just work. Some garden rooms come with a side shed for added practicality so you can make even better use of your space. 

Ensure Your Garden Office Has a Solid Base

Having a solid foundation is key when installing a garden office studio. There are several different options for office bases but the most common are concrete, concrete slabs and ground screws. Whichever you choose, the base should be slightly smaller than the external measurement of the building to prevent the pooling of water underneath the garden office. 

If you’re uneasy about installing the base yourself, it’s best to leave it to the professionals to avoid any potentially costly DIY mishaps. 

The Installation Process

Installing an outdoor office can be a difficult task. If you aren’t sure how to do it yourself, all of our Mercia insulated garden rooms come with free installation to take the stress away. You simply need to make sure there’s a level base made from solid concrete or concrete slabs. 

How To Build A Garden Office with Our Garden Building Sets

With Robert Dyas’s garden buildings, installation can be done in just a few simple steps which we’ll detail below. All of our Mercia garden buildings come with a ten-year guarantee for peace of mind. 

 

Step 1) Choose Your Ideal Outdoor Home Office  

Do you want a corner design, an insulated room or one with a side shed? First things first: choose the right size and shape for your garden and working needs – at Robert Dyas, we have an array of garden buildings suitable for a home office, from large to small and of all shapes. 


Tip: Remember to follow the planning rules and regulations outlined earlier on in this guide. 

 

Step 2) Create a Base

Before installing your garden building, you need to create a suitable base for it to stand on. To withstand the weight and the weather conditions, it’s important that you firstly choose the right material for it – i.e. solid concrete or concrete slabs – and secondly, to make sure it’s slightly smaller than the external measurement of the building to prevent the pooling of water underneath the garden office, which would cause damage to the building. 

 

Step 3) Book an Installation Appointment Or Build Your Home Office 

Many of the garden buildings available here at Robert Dyas come with the option to book free installation with the experts. There’s also the option to install your new home office yourself of course as they come flat-packed for avid DIY lovers. They may need two to three people to install, so make sure you have some help on hand.

For those who’d prefer to save themselves some time and effort, this Mercia Premium Corner Summerhouse, for example, has an installation process available after purchase by the Mercia garden team. 

 

Step 4) Style Your New Garden Office 

Once it’s installed, it’s time to turn it into your ideal office space. You may want to paint the exterior to keep in line with current trends or your garden aesthetic or paint the interior to suit your style. For more guidance in painting your garden shed, read our expert guide. And of course, there’s the office equipment. We have all the desks, chairs, storage, heating and other equipment you need to kit out and complete your office.

Our Expert Recommendations for the Best Garden Offices

We have a great range of incredible garden offices to choose from at Robert Dyas. Here are some of our experts’ top picks.

Mercia 3m x 4m Insulated Garden Room

This Mercia insulated garden room provides plenty of space and comes with EcoQuilt© insulation to keep the heat in during winter and reflect the heat during summer to create an ambient room temperature. Each window is double-glazed and filled with argon to help retain the warmth when it’s cold, and the construction is robust and durable: With 16mm shiplap+ wall cladding, and high-quality tongue and groove cladding on the roof and floor, it’s designed to last. If you’re not sure what ‘shiplap’ means, read about the difference between different cladding types in our guide.

Shire Hampton Corner Summer House

A corner summer house is ideal for oddly shaped gardens and allows you to utilise an awkward space. I will also give you a panoramic view of your garden so you can enjoy it from every angle.

Mercia 3m x 2m Insulated Garden Room

If you’re looking for a small garden office, this Mercia 3m x 2m insulated garden room is cosy and compact, yet still with plenty of space for all your home office needs. With all the same great features and effective, high-quality insulation as the Mercia insulated room above, it’s perfect for year-round use. 

Feeling inspired? Browse our full range of garden buildings for the perfect garden home office. No need to sacrifice a spare room, no cost or hassle of a home extension, and added value to your property price – there’s benefit after benefit to installing an outdoor home office, and they’re all yours to reap.