How to Turn Your Storage Shed Into a Home Office on a Budget
Converting a storage shed into a home office is the perfect way to work from home on a budget.
Putting an addition onto your home would be much too expensive, and working in the house has proven to be too distracting.
Turning your storage shed into a home office is the perfect solution, especially if working from home turns into a long term proposition.
From Storage Shed to Home Office in 11 Steps.
From shed to a home office can be done, and we have outlined a few things to consider along the way.
#1. Check With Zoning Commission
Before you begin, visit the building department in your city or town to determine if you will need a permit.
Find out what you can and can’t do. It would be miserable to begin (or finish!) a project to find out that it is a foot too close to the lot line or that none of it is to code.
Checking first will save you a lot of headaches, time, and money!
#2. Make a plan
Start with what you know you will need in the space; a desk with room for a computer and monitor, office equipment such as a printer, and any other items you need to complete your work.
Decide how that will fit in the space you have in your shed. This will help you when it comes to electrical outlets’ placement or if you might want to add a window.
Regardless of what section of the country you live in, it would be best to insulate your shed. It will help keep the heat in during cold weather or the heat out during the summer months.
While you are insulating, seal up any cracks and plug any crevices to keep wind and moisture out.
#4. Weather Strip Doors and Windows
As you are insulating, it is a good idea to replace or add weather stripping to any existing door or windows.
Not only will it keep drafts and moisture out, but there is also nothing quite as irritating as the wind whistling through those gaps.
#5. Lighting and Electricity
If you know how to DIY for electrical work, you probably already know How to Rough-In Electrical Wiring.
If you don’t, you can find tutorials online, and some of the home improvement stores hold classes in various DIY projects.
If you are not comfortable doing so yourself, budget for an electrician to come in and do the wiring for you.
Refer to the plans you made initially to know where you will need light fixtures and electrical outlets.
#6. Heating And Air-Conditioning
Again, depending on where you live, you may only need a window or two that open and a fan for warmer days, or you may need a small room air conditioner and heater for more significant temperature changes.
It will be comparable to installing heat in a garage, whether done with gas or electric.
#7. Let There Be Light
While you are creating this office space, add some light in the form of windows. Your concentration will be better if you don’t feel like you are in a cramped, isolated area.
If it is tempting to daydream watching out the window, you can always add some Window Film.
Window film still lets the light in so that you don’t feel cooped up and closed off.
Having windows will enable you to get some needed ventilation, too. Unlike a house under construction, you will have flexibility with window size and shape.
There are always sales for overstocked new windows at home improvement stores.
Look online at Craigslist, and even garage sales will sometimes offer up windows.
If you plan on using an in-window air conditioner, make sure whatever window you purchase will accommodate the conditioning unit.
Depending on what type of flooring your shed currently has, or if your shed does not have a floor currently, you have several options.
You can build a floor out of wood or you can do a concrete floor.
Once done, you can put whatever type of floor covering will suit your purpose best. Consider a product that will be easy to care for.
If you want carpet, consider an area rug rather than carpeting. This will save having to vacuum; you can shake it out rather than maneuvering a vacuum in a small space.
Ceramic or vinyl tiling would be reasonably simple to install yourself, too.
The space in your shed may be limited, so instead of taking up space on the floor, add shelves to the walls.
You can use leftover lumber from other projects and add a little paint in your favorite color or stain them. Shelves in your desk area will keep items off your workspace.
See if you have any unneeded furniture pieces in your house, and repurpose them for your shed/office.
Ask family or friends, as it seems someone always has that extra desk or chair taking up space in their attic or basement.
I picked up my office chair at the curb, and it has worked well for years.
Before accepting furniture donations or purchasing anything, look back at your plans to see where you will put items and, more importantly, the measurements of the space you have available to fill.
#11. Put Your Mark On It
This should be the fun part! Make this shed conversion your own by putting your personal preferences and personality into it.
Splatter paint the walls or paper them with old movie posters. It may not be an enormous space, but it can pack a punch if you make it an extension of yourself.
You are in your own office space now, so you can have that remote controlled Godzilla on your desk if you want.
Hang a clothesline behind you to drape a plain sheet whenever a Zoom meeting is on the agenda, but at other times, enjoy your space and have fun being in it.
The Working From Home Paradigm Shift
There Is No Normal
As the saying goes, times have changed! And in a big way. For years, workers have increasingly looked for professions that allowed for full or part-time remote positions.
There were a lucky few who were able to secure such jobs, but the corporate world was resistant to such arrangements.
And then, the work world changed with the advent of the pandemic and the changes that necessitated employees working from home.
Corporations found that, if they wanted their businesses to continue, work would need to be done remotely.
The Shift To Working From Home
The Wall Street Journal gives us its take on the new “normal” in the work-from-home shift and how it shocked many companies. They are now forced to “learn their lesson”.
Businesses have also learned that employees have proved to be just as, if not more, productive working remotely as they were in an office setting despite the relaxed dress code.
In a recent Gallup poll, employers are considering allowing employees the flexibility to work from home after the pandemic ends.
Only retail and manufacturing would not support the work from home, as those industries need in-person employees.
Hopefully, the pandemic will cease to rear its’ ugly head in the near future. Still, in the meantime, more and more Americans are being pro-active by turning backyard sheds into home offices as the pandemic rages on.
It is possible to create a home office on a budget. Turning a shed into a home office is an investment in your future, too.
You will be able to transition to working from home permanently, and your ability to focus and be productive will ensure that you can continue to work from home.
What you save in vehicle maintenance, commuting costs, and wardrobe will offset the conversion costs.
Establish A Work/Life Balance With an Office Shed
Being able to distance yourself, if it is only a few 100 feet, into the backyard helps create a separation between work and home.
As the need to work remotely continues, what had been a temporary measure is looking more like a reality for the foreseeable future.
The office is dead. Get yourself a backyard shed is the refrain that is echoing across the country. Many workers working remotely will continue to do so even after the “all clear” sounds.
And making a clear separation between the office (aka shed) and home is now becoming a necessity to restore the work/life balance.
It is looking more and more like the new “not-so-normal” is here to stay. Even after we are free to resume our lives post-pandemic, many employers will encourage the continuation of remote working.
Lastly, here’s an extra video of a different approach to creating your home office out of a backyard shed.