Before buying, it is worth getting some tips on choosing an oak framed garden building as a home office. According to government figures, in April 2020, 48.6% of people in employment conducted at least some of their work from home. Of these, 86% did so as a result of restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Now that restrictions have eased greatly, many workers have returned to their previous offices and places of work. However, the months of lockdown made it apparent that many could fulfil most, if not all, of their duties from home. As a result, many people are now electing to do the majority of their work from home with the blessing of their employers. Obviously this creates the need for a permanent, efficient workspace compared to the temporary solutions most were forced to find.
Due to loss of work resulting from the pandemic, many people decided to start their own businesses. With a few months of trading behind them, many of these new business owners are also looking to create a more permanent workspace. As business increases, a larger, professional base of operations will be needed. Few fledgling businesses have the capital for independent business premises. Converting some of their home space or choosing to build an office at home can be a much cheaper, easier alternative. Oak framed garden buildings can be the perfect solution, combining practicality with an attractive workspace near home. The following points are all worthy of consideration if considering an oak frame home office:
1. Attached or Detached?
There is no doubting the visual impact of an oak framed orangery or oak framed conservatory. Some contemporary oak framed houses already possess such features, or an extension that could be converted. If you are hosting business clients at home, this will certainly create a positive first impression. However for a freelance worker needing only a basic space to work or those conducting online business, this is not necessary. A smaller detached building such as an oak summer house or even an oak garden shed could be just as useful.
Whether extending modern oak framed houses or constructing new, freestanding oak framed rooms, location is important. A large part of the appeal of oak framed garden rooms are the large areas of glazing and the light they provide. Building in a shaded location would make this feature largely redundant. Also, during the winter, the added sunlight these allow reduces heating costs, making the office more energy efficient. The calming effect of natural views is well known and this is another obvious benefit of a glazed workspace. This also promotes focus and concentration, increasing productivity. Why have a home office without the benefit of a nice view? Building on uneven or sloped ground can delay construction and increase building costs, so a level location is also desirable where possible
3. Size and Purpose
The purposes you put your home office to will have a significant impact on office size. Entertaining clients or colleagues will require additional space and a couple working together at their own business will need more room than a sole freelancer. If building a freestanding structure, it can only legally occupy 50% of the ground area surrounding the property. Oak pergola kits, with the addition of cladding and glazing, can be a simple solution for a one room office for a sole worker. The size and use of your garden building will also affect whether planning permission is required.
If you will be using a freestanding home office for extended periods all year, it will probably need a power supply. Electrical equipment and lighting in winter or the evenings will always need a power source. Similarly, will it need plumbing for a separate toilet? Obviously for a garden room built onto the house this is far simpler as it will already be connected to the plumbing and mains for the house. If these are extended to an outdoor structure, they must comply with building regulations. If working or hosting meetings online, a strong enough WiFi connection is also a must.
Knowing how to build a garden room on a budget can avoid costly mistakes and delays. Few home workers have a large budget or know how to build a timber framed garden office themselves. If they do, then any costs beyond the price of the oak framed building kit itself will be minimised. If you are not building the office yourself, professionals will need to be employed at further cost. Installing plumbing and other utilities will require additional materials and qualified professionals to do the work. As long as you have a clear picture from the outset and a plan for how to achieve this, cost can be accurately assessed.
6. Ease of Construction
For those with basic building knowledge, oak framed building kits are designed for ease of construction. They are delivered as a set of frames, ready to be erected with joints and other oak frame construction details already finished. Most oak framed garden buildings can be erected and finished in two weeks. Foundations are laid (sometimes only screw piles), frames and SIP panels are erected, the roof is constructed, then doors fitted. This avoids unnecessary delays before the office can be used compared to masonry or steel structures
7. Planning Permission
For garden rooms less than 4.5 metres high, with eaves no higher than 2.5 metres, erected at least 2 metres from a boundary, this should not be necessary. It is always worth checking. If you are only using it as a personal office and not running a business where customers will be present, it will usually be exempt also. However it is always worth checking with your local council to be sure. If the council decides your office needs planning permission after building, they can demand a retrospective planning application. If this is refused you can be forced to take the structure down and fined if you do not comply.
At Hardwoods Group, we offer a range of oak framed garden buildings for all purposes. If you are planning a unique project, we also offer a bespoke design and manufacture service. Contact us to discuss your requirements, we will be happy to help.
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