How to build your own garden office without breaking the bank

Posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Due to lockdown and vast numbers of people working from home, there has been a growing trend of buying luxurious garden buildings and outhouses amongst wealthy home workers during the pandemic.

However, at around £20k for a luxury WFH garden office, not everyone can afford one. Luckily, DIY fanatics, MyToolShed have shared their expert insight on how to build your own garden office for around 15% of the price of the pre-built sheds.

Luke Spear, MyToolShed’s Garden Office Ambassador, explains: “There are so many reasons you might want to build an outdoor home office, or an insulated garden building, include wanting a space to write, draw, produce music, be creative or socialise.

“People want somewhere they can disconnect from their usual habits and routines in the house, somewhere to come and read and relax and get away from it all. Without going too far.

Luke was able to build his ideal office building with a budget of just £3k.

Create Your Own Garden Office in 10 Simple Steps:

Step 1: Levelling

A solid, dry and level foundation will ensure that your office stays standing for as long as it needs to and in any weather conditions.

Step 2: Base framing & Decking

Don’t skimp on your joists! Use timber that is strong enough to support plenty of weight.

Luke said: “Get the timber merchant to pre-cut as MUCH as possible. Longer lengths have higher per-metre cost. It was anything over 5 or 6m in my case. I didn’t factor this in and paid the price. Definitely avoidable.”

Step 3: Wall Raising

You may need a helping hand for this part. Make your poles with reverse angled screws to hold them in place whilst fixing them to an OSB base and to each other.

Step 4: Roof laying

Consider using a membrane all-around your roof before adding steel sheets. The wrap will stop any water that gets through the steel from wetting the OSB sheathing below.

Step 5: Windows, Doors & Cladding

Want more windows? Unfortunately, this will cost more money and time to implement. If you've got the time and money - go for it - if not, consider focusing on lighting instead.

Step 6: Electrics and internet

We would recommend leaving the electrics to the experts. Contracting a professional will cost around £500 but obviously, your safety is not something to compromise on.

Step 7: Roofing/Sliding

Get your steel grinder out for this part. The best place to cut metal roofing is on the grass as it will prevent too much sliding. Add a piece of wood to one end of the metal for it to hang over. This will prevent you from cutting into your turf.

Step 8: Insulation & Vapour Barrier

Fibreglass is a cost-effective option for insulation. It is easier to find a deal on a large amount of fibreglass. However, consider wearing a mask when working with it, as direct contact with fibreglass or breathing airborne dust containing fibreglass, may irritate the nose and throat.

Depending on your local climate you may also want to consider a vapour barrier to reduce the risk of condensation issues and maximise heat retention.

Step 9: Plaster-boarding & Plastering

Make sure your plaster-boarding work is neat and you have minimal gaps because these take a long time to smooth over. And hire a plasterboard lift if possible or call on more than one extra person.

Step 10: Flooring

Hiring a professional for this can often double the costs of flooring, so look around for a deal on laminate flooring. You should be able to pick some up for around £6-8 per square metre and skirting for about £1 a metre.

Ross Goodwin, Managing Director of MyToolShed, said: “As seen from the data there are cost-saving benefits to be made from creating your own garden building vs buying a pre-made design.

“You get additional space, increased comfort, the knowledge and understanding of how to fix and repair, and even a house price increase that’ll bring a larger real-terms profit vs simply buying an out of the box office outhouse.”

Back to News Articles