The number of options paving your path to the perfect backyard office make the potential cost difficult to calculate. For example, converting your existing shed into a home office will have a different price tag than building a backyard office from the ground up.
Speaking in the most general terms, the cost to build a home office shed can range from $1,500 to tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, a number of variables will determine that number. Let’s break it all down so you know how much your home office will cost.
The following will examine the most common strategies to acquire an office shed, the pivotal choices to be made along the way, and how much you should expect to spend depending on those choices.
Whether you’re starting with an empty lot or a brand-new shed, there’s a path to your ideal home office. We’ll lay the foundation by noting those various starting points and discussing your options.
Already Have a Shed?
As you’d expect, one of the biggest cost factors is whether or not you have an existing shed on your property. If so, converting that shed into a home office can save you hundreds or more depending on the path you would otherwise choose to erect a building.
With an existing shed, you’ll be focusing on the conversion costs. So, skip over the material and labor costs associated with laying foundation and putting up the shell. And if your shed already has some basic accommodations, like electrical wiring, you could save even more.
4 Options for Building an Office Shed
The idea of building an office shed can mean different things to different people. So, let’s lay out your four choices and highlight where they land on the cost scale…
1. The DIY Home Office (Without Hiring Builders)
This option gives you maximum control but also leaves you with all the work, minus one or two aspects of the job that must be completed by a certified professional, such as electrical work. This will be your cheapest option for a ground-up build.
If you’re confident in your carpentry and general workman skills, do as much of the build as possible and hire contractors for the specific tasks you can’t do yourself. By spending as little as a few hundred dollars for the basic shell and from $1,000 to $5,000+ to create the final building, you can keep your costs extremely low.
Building a new shed on your property will generally range from $17 to $25 per square foot. Using final project costs, you’re looking at $1,500 to $12,000 or more depending on the size, design, and extravagances.
2. Prefab Office Sheds
The simplest and most straightforward option is to purchase a prefab office shed, which is a shed that’s already been outfitted to serve as a home office. For a prefabricated shed or kit, which can require some basic assembly and potentially a few final costs, expect to shell out a few thousand for basic designs.
Somewhere in the ballpark of $3,000 is the cheapest you’ll find, with many prefab office sheds hitting the $10,000 mark and higher. This option will require the smallest amount of effort on your part.
3. Ground-Up Build With Labor Costs
Much like our first option, this choice involves building an office shed on your property. But rather than doing it all yourself, you’ll hire someone to do it all for you. Obviously, this raises your project costs, but you’ll also be receiving professional work from certified experts.
Here are some baseline rates for different hired services:
- Electrician: $50 to $100 per hour
- Carpenter: $20 to $25 per hour
- Steel Worker: $18 to $25 per hour
- Handyman: $35 to $65 per hour
Depending on the size of your building and the material to be used, adding labor costs to your home office shed can range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more.
4. Converting Your Shed Into a Home Office
When you transform your existing shed into a home office, you’re restricted in terms of picking out the size, shape, material, and design of your building. However, those limitations also mean lower building costs.
You’ll likely have to replace doors, insert windows, install electricity, lay drywall, and much more, so don’t expect this to be a $500 project. However, keeping the total cost below $2,000 is a good possibility if your existing shed is in good condition.
Building a Home Office Shed Versus Renting An Office
Many people are considering two office options:
- Building a home office shed
- Renting office space
It can be difficult to compare the costs to determine the best choice, but we’ll use an example to make your options clear. Let’s say the cost to build your own backyard home office will run $4,000, which will likely involve a good size and quality materials.
Now consider that renting office space will likely run you anywhere from $200 per month to $350 per month. The higher numbers come from name brand office rental companies like WeWork and Regus.
Don’t forget, a home office will also mean more convenience, more control, and the elimination of commuting costs.
All things considered, the cost to build your $4,000 home office shed would pay for less than a year of a high-end office rental and not even 1.5 years of office rental at the cheapest options.
Costs for Your DIY Shed Build
We’ll take a comprehensive look at the requirements and costs for building your own backyard office shed. If you’ll be going with a prefabricated shed or transforming an existing shed, you’ll be able to skip many of the early steps.
We’ll start with a breakdown of cost by shed size before moving on to specific material (and other) costs.
Cost of Office Shed By Size
Keep in mind that a number of variables can affect the final price, including the type of siding, the number of doors and windows, the roof structure, and more. With that disclaimer, let’s take a look at examples of wood-framed sheds with three very different sizes to give you an idea of potential costs.
8-Foot x 12-Foot Shed
Coming in at $1,150 for material costs, this relatively small shed is a basic build. If you’ll be hiring professional help, expect to add on another $1,000 for labor costs.
12-Foot x 28-Foot Shed
The additional space offered by this larger office shed will run you $3,500 in materials. Keep in mind that this build will likely include an additional window and door. Labor costs reach over $4,000 for a project like this, so carefully consider how much you can do on your own.
15-Foot x 30-Foot Shed
The most extravagant example we have is a two-story office shed with a washroom on the base floor and storage attic space on the second. This sort of project is one few could accomplish on their own, so expect a final cost around $14,000 to $17,000 for materials and labor.
Basic Material Cost Breakdown
Due to their appealing look and cost-effectiveness, wooden office sheds are the most common type of DIY build. Let’s take a look at the basic material costs involved, noting that only small variations would be made for vinyl, brick, or metal sheds.
The following material costs are relative to a 10-foot by 10-foot shed office:
- Foundation (gravel, cement blocks, floor joists) ~ $150 to $200
- Wood Siding ~ $100 to $750 depending on wood type
- Floor Boards ~ $200 to $500
- Drywall ~ $180 to $250
- Roof Materials ~ $250 to $500
- Wall Framing (including windows and doors) ~ $750 to $2,200
- Insulation ~ $100 to $250
- Paint & Trim ~ $125 to $250
Total Cost: $1,855 to $4,900
Depending on what you’ll be using your office for and what sort of “extras” you’d like to include for comfort, your additional costs can reach a significant number. Here’s a look at the most common additional costs you may wish to consider for your home office shed.
Furniture & Equipment
Any office needs a desk, and every desk needs a chair. Of course, these items run a wide range of prices, so it’s difficult to factor this into your costs until you find the right set. You may already have a desk, so the cost could be $0 for you.
Additionally, consider storage (filing cabinets or shelving) as well as a second chair or couch. And to operate in our online world, you’ll need a computer, internet connection, and potentially a printer. Extravagances like a mini fridge are possible with enough electrical accommodations.
Electricity is essential to your home office shed. That means the hiring of a certified electrician is required. Make sure you request the necessary amount of wiring and outlets to satisfy your electricity needs.
Check with local regulations and building codes to determine whether or not you need permits to build the structure, run electrical wiring, and more. This varies by location, so additional costs may be associated with this task.
Doors & Windows
Every office needs access for people and sunlight, but the most basic builds include only one of each. Every additional door and window will add to your building (and labor) costs, so consider how much natural lighting you’d like before beginning the build.
With direct access to your home, a backyard office doesn’t often include running water or restroom. But if you’re looking for a more extravagant home office shed, you’ll need to factor these costs into your budget.
Keep in mind that there’s a gray area between a total DIY home office build and one in which professionals do all the work for you. You can choose to complete as much of the project as possible and hire contractors for only select tasks. This recommended method leaves you with minimal labor costs and expert work.
If you have an existing shed on your property, remember that you’ll save hundreds to thousands on structural materials and work. But remember to add all the necessities, such as insulation. And don’t forget to factor in costs for installing windows for natural lighting.
Considering a prefabricated office shed? Learn all about prefab shed kits right here. While you’ll pay more for a ready-made kit, the project itself will require far less time and effort on your part.