Building a brand new home office is costly, especially when you’ve just moved to a new house. So, it makes a lot of sense to turn your yard shed into an office instead. Rather than using your shed as a storage space, you can convert it into a home office and take advantage of a dedicated space providing a quiet environment for productive work.
By the way, did you know that more and more people are looking into converting spaces in their homes for other uses? Some want to get a gym, for instance. A survey from the National Association of Home Builders (source) found that 63% of homeowners want a home office. So, you’re not alone.
The survey also found that 77% of the people interested in a home office want it to be 100 square feet or larger. But if you want a large home office, you might want to consider the legal implications first.
Before Turning Your Yard Shed into an Office
There’s a legal side to everything, and converting a shed into a home office is no exception. So, before you embark on this journey, make sure to cover all the grounds.
Since a home office is a commercial establishment to some extent, you might also qualify for tax deduction (source). Whether you’re self-employed or a partner, you may apply for these deductions.
If your shed is larger than 120 square feet, you should seriously consider getting a permit before engaging in any work. Although, if you’re hiring a professional company, they might obtain the permit on your behalf.
Obtaining a permit may sound strange as of now, but it’s worth investigating the topic on your own. You can start doing so by contacting your local zoning and building departments.
10 Budget-Friendly Steps to Convert Your Shed into a Home Office
You should know that converting your shed is cheaper than building a home office from scratch. But, if you’re looking for an A+ home office, it might get a little expensive, and installing an HVAC system is one of the biggest expenses you’ll have.
But we’ll get to that later. For now, let’s have a shed-conversion guided tour from A to Z, including the costs.
Step #1: Prepare
Take a good look at your shed and consider what changes you want to make. Think of the things you can do yourself and the things you’ll need a professional for, like electricity.
Take your time, shoot some photos, and imagine the results. Once you are done picturing the new space in your imagination, get to work.
Preparation will show you that turning your shed into a home office is good on paper, but involves a lot of work.
So, make sure you clear everything out before moving to the next steps.
Step #2: Insulation
The second step in converting your shed into a home office consists of installing insulation. If you’re living somewhere with a cold climate, insulation will help keep you warm. You have many options with varying price points.
You may want to consider your insulating material based on the weather in your area. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy provided an excellent resource about available insulation materials (source).
If you want to insulate your new home office effectively, spray foam and double-sided foil are affordable.
Spray foam is not only an excellent insulator, but it also keeps pests out of your home office. However, if you wanted to insulate your entire shed, you would need a lot of foam. Thus, you may want to purchase foam cans in bulk to cut down your expenses. Otherwise, you can just install foil panels to cover the ceiling and walls.
A good way to do insulation is using spray foam for the ceiling to protect the space against rain and snow, and fiberglass for the walls. That way, you get the best of both worlds.
Overall, a simple insulation job shouldn’t take more than a few hours and cost no more than $300.
Step #3: Install Walls
Having insulated your home office, like you always should, the third step is to install the walls. For that, you’ll first need to install a wooden or metal framework to support the wall panels.
Although shiplap is the most common type of panel, you have other options, such as:
- Straw boat: With low flammability and eco-friendly material, straw boats make an ideal walling for your home office.
- Wood-wool: This mixture of shredded wood and cement provides extra sound-proofing capability, heat resistance, and durability.
- Wood panels: Always trendy, these simple, affordable wood panels are easy to install.
Wall stud trends come and go. When it comes to walling, you should also consider the weather conditions, budget, and work environment.
Furthermore, you want to take electrical installations into account as once you install the walls, it’ll be difficult to install lighting fixtures, outlets, and sockets. Thus, before installing the walls, you must clear the path for electric installations.
The average cost of wall finishing is anywhere between $40-60 for drywall panels. If assembling brick isn’t a problem for you, expect a price range between $12-17 per square foot and between $5-12 per square foot for paneling.
Step #4: Painting
A new painting job will add more brightness, personality, and vibe to your home office. So, don’t skip this step.
It’s best to use rustic colors and earth tones for a distraction-free workspace. Black, white, gray, brown, and beige are a good base. Deep shades of red, green, and blue are also trendy.
A typical 12×12 shed painting costs between $200 and $300. As long as you have some paint supplies, you can transform your shed adequately.
If you have the time and inclination, you can also draw on the walls. Although it’s a matter of aesthetics, you shouldn’t neglect to give your home office a personal touch. Also, be careful with bright colors as they may be sort of overkill.
Step #5: Flooring
When you are remodeling your shed into a home office, you must install fresh flooring. The right material will enhance the feel and look of your home office. Since there are many options, you want to choose a flooring that’s both practical and long-lasting. Those will usually do:
- Vinyl Planks Flooring (Click to see on Amazon): It is a durable flooring material and it provides a beautiful look.
- Ceramic tile (Click to see to Amazon): Ceramic is so hard it’ll either break dropped items or get cracked. However, ceramic tiles are easy to clean and incredibly tough.
- Carpet (Click to see on Amazon: Best for providing your office home with a cozy feeling. Carpets are soft, stylish, and practical.
On average, you’re looking at $10 per square foot for flooring your converted yard shed.
Feel free to explore other materials that fit your use. For that, consider the purpose of your home office. A simple office for running an online business will call for a different floor than a small carpenter workshop, for instance.
Step #6: HVAC
Now, it’s time to give your home office lungs. Your HVAC system can either be simple or complicated, but it’s mandatory as you want to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In general, a complete HVAC system provides heat, ventilation, and air conditioning.
This is when good insulation comes in handy, as it is what supports your HVAC system.
Heating is essential when the temperature drops. While most people can survive the hot weather, cold weather is harder to withstand. Thus, getting a heater is a must, not only for warming yourself up in the winter, but also to balance the room’s temperature.
You may choose floor heating or a portable heater. Floor heating can be pricey and adds a few inches to your floor’s height. However, it is energy-efficient, safe, and offers you more space. Portable heaters are also energy-efficient, and you can place them anywhere you want.
After natural air from the windows, a ventilation fan is the most obvious option. But, you’ll need to make a space in the wall for a vent. While most are loud, you can still find a silent fan.
If a vent isn’t practical, your next best option is a ceiling fan. It’s relatively easier to install compared to full-blown vents. It can also include a center lamp, which provides light and air at the same time.
Finally, if you want something more low-key and smart, you can try one of these advanced duct fans.
You’ll most likely prefer to use a portable air conditioner than installing a window air conditioner as a portable one consumes less power, is easy to install, and silent.
A unit like that will keep you cool in the summer, so you don’t have to sweat it, as well as warm in the winter so that you can work comfortably.
Step #7: Desk
You can go for a glass and metal desk to keep it minimal. Such a desk also adds that rustic feel that is suitable for a converted shed. On the other hand, if you want to go all industrial, a metal desk will do the trick. You might also consider a desk with a built-in storage unit to reduce clutter.
Regardless of what you end up purchasing, ensure your desk blends with your walls’ colors and flooring material for a universal feel for your home office. A clean, organized workspace will help you stay focused and minimize distractions.
Step #8: Chair
If you’re going to be sitting for hours, you’ll need an adjustable chair designed for that exact purpose. Nowadays, chairs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You have unlimited styling options. For example, a faux leather chair might suit you best.
If you want to go out of the box, you can try a gamer’s chair instead. It’s the perfect chair for people who spent 5+ hours playing and streaming online.
And if you want to really go all out, go chair-less with a standing desk.
Step #9: Lamp
When you’re working late at night, a desk lamp is a must. It reduces eye strain from those long hours spent staring at your computer’s screen. Plus, they look awesome.
You can splurge on a smart LED lamp desk if that item is particularly vital to do a great job. Most of all, it’ll also work as a decorative item with practical use.
Step #10: Shelf
Last but not least, you’ll need a storage unit. You don’t want to run to your house every time you need a pen. A sturdy bookshelf or file cabinet will come in handy when you want to have your work-related items near you.
You can also use your bookcase to display some office accents. Not only will it give your home office a personal vibe, but it may also make up for the lost human contact.
Garden offices (aka outbuildings) are all the rage for good reasons. They’re private, quiet, and personal. It’s all you need to be productive and enjoy working. Since you intend to use it primarily as a work environment, the following thought might have crossed your mind: Can you claim for the garden office? Read our article to find out.
After Turning Your Yard Shed into an Office
Turning your shed into a home office is a lot of hard work. You will need to upgrade your home office for it to become true headquarters for your upcoming success.
To get the most out of your shed office, you may want to consider placing your desk and chair toward your backyard. Capitalize on the idea that you now have an outdoor office, so enjoy the fresh air on a good day!
To have your new home office blend with the natural setting of the outdoor, make your furniture reflect it. Use minimalistic furniture that doesn’t steal the show from your outdoor view.
So, How Much Does It Cost?
The average cost of turning your yard shed into a home office is between $2,500 and $3000. The price includes insulation, flooring, walling, painting, and furniture. You can use that range as a basis for your budget, but you may always go higher if you want a luxurious home office.
Don’t cut corners when it comes to your home office because it’ll become your money-maker as your workspace. Treat it like your indoor office and take it seriously. Still, if you want to start small and upgrade later, try shopping at local thrift stores.
Work-from-home setups are becoming increasingly common nowadays. If you are working from home, having a dedicated work space will help you focus and become productive. It will also allow you to easily separate your home life from your work life. If you do not have enough space inside your house for an office, you can transform your shed instead.
Turning your yard shed into a home office is a good use of space. It may take some work, but you’ll enjoy the results. Keep in mind the tips that we shared in this article while you are transforming your shed to make sure that you are turning it into a good space for working. After you finish adding the finishing touches, you will be amazed at what your simple shed has become.