Many people love their garden sheds and enjoy using them for hobbies or getting away from it all. But if you’re starting a remote business, your shed could get a whole new lease of life as the perfect place for your new office.
Here we take a look at some top tips on how to start ‘shedworking’.
If you’re planning on using your shed all year round, you’ll definitely need to insulate it. Sheds can be freezing cold in winter and unbearably hot in summer, so insulating it will help to prevent both extremes. You could consider insulating the foundations underneath the shed. This will take a bit of effort but will result in a warmer floor and lower energy bills. You’ll also need to insulate the walls and roof to prevent heat from escaping. Rubber matting or an extra layer of plywood on the floor will also help with heat retention.
2. Let there be light
Some storage sheds don’t have windows, but it’s a good idea to add some, as it can be very depressing to work day after day in a windowless space. If money is tight you could find some second-hand windows through a local building supplier. If the shed is small and there isn’t much space for windows, consider installing a skylight instead.
You’ll definitely need access to electricity to power your office equipment and lights. Unless you’re an expert in electrics, you should hire an electrician to run an armoured power line from your house to wire up your shed. You may also need to add a separate electric panel box for the shed.
If you’re mainly going to be working during the day, you could also consider installing a solar PV system. A local solar installation company should be able to advise you about off-grid solar options.
4. Internet connection
Unless your Wi-Fi signal is really strong and still works in your garden, you may have to set up an additional internet connection in your shed. The first thing to try is a network adaptor or wireless extender to expand your Wi-Fi connection. If these options don’t work, you’ll have to dig up the garden and run an Ethernet cable to the shed. If you have to do this, you can bury the cables in the same trench as the electricity cables.
Sheds are normally dark and dingy, so it’s important to decorate the interior in a comforting way. You’ll be spending lots of time in your new office, so make sure you feel at home. Painting it white or cream can help make your shed feel more spacious and light. If you’ve got room, adding some soft furnishings, such as a rug, cushions and an armchair will make it feel more homely. Add some of your favourite photos or pictures for the final touch.
If your expensive office equipment, such as your computer, printer and scanner, are permanently stored in your shed, you’ll need to make sure it’s properly secured. The most essential item is a heavy-duty padlock for the door. You’ll also need to make sure the door hinges are secure, so use coach bolts or non-returnable screws to prevent would-be thieves from prizing them off. You could also install an alarm to ward off intruders. Some alarm systems will set off an alert in the house or ring your mobile phone in case the shed is too far away to hear an ordinary alarm.
Posted by Andrew Issott