In January 2023, around 40% of working adults reported working from home at least some of the time. Unlike banana bread and sourdough, home working wasn’t just a pandemic fad. It’s very much a part of modern life and one which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
But of course, there’s home working and there’s home working.
There’s grabbing a corner of the kitchen table and loudly telling everyone to SHUT UP because you’re working, while you grit your teeth and try very hard indeed to drown out the sound of your dear loving family.
Then there’s the home office. A real, clearly-defined space that has no other purpose than to give you a place to work. A place where you can close the door and concentrate on doing your best work, whatever that work may be.
Many of us endure the first situation but dream of the second. Maybe, like Rapunzel, you’ve got a dream of a comfortable, tranquil space in the quiet of your garden, close enough to home to commute in your slippers, but far enough away from the kids to actually get some work done. (Don’t worry. I’ll wait for you if you want to do the sing-along.)
But your garden already has a summerhouse in it. There’s no more space for a garden office. Hang on! Can you use a summerhouse as a garden office?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of working from a summerhouse, and investigate the different options you have to create your dream home working setup.
Is a garden room or a summerhouse better for a garden office?
Our Blackstone Garden Room Sales Office
Let me be frank, Sheddies. If you’re looking for an all-singing, all-dancing, no-expense-spared home office situation, your best bet is a garden room.
These beauties are just as watertight, connected and comfortable as the rest of your house. But they also have a pretty hefty price tag. You may not be looking for that sort of investment for your homeworking space.
What’s the difference between a garden room and a summerhouse?
Garden rooms are built to building control standards, and their five-tier wall specification is what causes the difference in price. These are serious timber buildings, designed to last a lifetime. If comfort is your priority and you have the budget and space, a garden room really is ideal for home working.
What can I use a summerhouse for?
People use their summerhouses for all sorts of things. Over the years we’ve seen train sets, jewellery workshops, bars, pottery studios – you name it!
A good-quality summerhouse can easily be used to house your hobby, or just to provide a quiet space where you can enjoy your garden. A summerhouse doesn’t have the same level of comfort as a garden room, but that’s not to say you can’t work there.
Will a summerhouse work as a home office?
Because a summerhouse is an enclosed, separate space, you can definitely use it to separate yourself from whatever distractions exist in your home. Straightaway we’re talking home office territory.
But will it meet your needs?
That absolutely depends on what you’re looking for. Let’s look at three factors that will help you decide.
Does a summerhouse have enough space for a home office?
Summerhouses start at around 7’ by 7’. This is enough room for a desk, a comfortable chair, a set of drawers or a filing cabinet, and maybe a wee side table.
What are your requirements?
If this is enough space for you, no problem. If you’re looking for something bigger you have plenty of options. 12’ by 12’ jumbo summerhouse?
No bother. Go crazy! Build a wall of filing cabinets!
It can be difficult to gauge how much space your furniture will take up, or how much furniture you’ll need, so being able to see a summerhouse before you buy is essential. Find a local company with show buildings so that you can really get a feel for the space.
Is a summerhouse warm enough to be used as a home office?
This is a big question. We tend to use summerhouses in, well, summer. Most people don’t relish the thought of shivering away at their laptop in a summerhouse in the middle of January. If you want to use your summerhouse as a home office then you will need some sort of heating.
But before you start picking out wood burning stoves or electric radiators, there’s something else to consider. Where will all that expensive heat go?
While it is an additional cost, insulating and lining your summerhouse is a must if you’re going to be using (and heating) this building year-round as a home office. A summerhouse is a single-skinned building, and that’s perfectly fine in the fairer months. But let’s face it, around here summer isn’t necessarily a quarter of the year, is it? We need all the heating help we can get.
As someone who’s been working in a lined and insulated summerhouse since March, I can tell you that a heater warms the building up in no time. In a single-skinned building, your heater would be working flat out all day.
Is a summerhouse secure enough to use as a home office?
Again, this will depend on your work setup. If your home office has to be full of expensive tech, a photocopier, or specialised equipment that stays in the building at all times, security may be an issue. Your summerhouse should have solid mortise and tenon doors with a decent lock that is covered by your house insurance. But given that summerhouses are designed for the fair weather, they do have more windows than the average building.
If your home working set-up only needs a laptop, then you can literally work anywhere with a wifi connection. A lined and insulated summerhouse with an electrical supply is all you need to start your garden office adventure.
Summerhouse garden office – how to decide?
Summerhouses are not as comfortable as garden rooms. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use one as a home office.
You may need to upgrade your summerhouse to make sure that your heating bills don’t bankrupt you, but as long as you’re aware of the limitations and possibilities, a summerhouse can be a beautiful, sweet-smelling timber hideaway
- Not as luxurious as a garden room.
- May not be suitable for specialised equipment.
- Needs lining, insulation, power and heat.
- A quiet, private space that’s close to home.
- Another way for you to enjoy your garden.
- Endless options for the furniture you need to be comfortable.
You’re more than welcome to come and see my summerhouse office. It’s the Hudson Bay blue Vorlich with canopy here at our Show Area. You might even catch me working!