As the world trends toward working from home, individuals are finding all kinds of ways to acquire the ideal home office.
Building onto your home can be expensive and DIYing your own office shed often comes with high labor costs and weeks of effort.
So, how do you get yourself the privacy and convenience of a detached home office without all the hassle, extreme costs, and time requirements?
Many are opting for prefabricated office sheds, the ready-made personal office buildings that go directly into your backyard.
Like anything in life, prefab office sheds have both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a deep dive into this growing home office trend to discover whether or not a prefab office shed is the perfect addition to your home…
3 Ways to Get an Office Shed
As backyard home offices have gained in popularity, three different ways to acquire such a building have sprouted. Each comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and not every person has the expertise to accomplish each one.
- DIY Home Office Shed Building
Whether building it from the ground up or converting an existing shed, building your own home office requires knowledge of building materials and designs or the hiring of professionals and significant labor costs. For those proficient in carpentry and construction, the DIY route is often a relatively cheap alternative to purchasing a kit or prefab home office shed.
When choosing this route, individuals will need to install windows and doors, run electricity to the shed, and accomplish every task necessary to end up with a functioning home office. Of course, the quality of the shed won’t be guaranteed when you’re doing all the work yourself.
- Office Shed Kit
An intermediate option is to purchase a kit that includes all the parts and materials you’ll need to build the shed, plus instructions. Everything is delivered to your home, leaving you to put the various structures together in the right space.
If you’ll have a professional contractor put the building together, you’ll need to add those additional costs into your budget.
- Prefab Office Shed
A prefabricated office shed is assembled in a factory and transported to your home already built. There’s no need to purchase additional materials or hire a contractor to put the building together. You’ll simply need access to the area you wish to place your new home office.
Prefab office sheds generally come with a higher price tag than kits, but they also include minimal labor costs and effort.
Why People are Choosing Prefab Office Sheds
Every situation is unique, which is why there isn’t a straightforward solution that’s perfect for everyone. However, prefab office sheds are rising in popularity because they offer distinct benefits over DIY and kit options.
Faster Project Times
When you get a prefab office shed, you’re getting the entire building that’s ready to go. These often include pre-wired features that allow for a simple hookup to electricity. That means you’ll save weeks or months of work when you choose the prefab route over DIY or building a kit.
With a prefabricated office shed, you don’t have to worry about hiring contractors to put in a foundation, hang drywall, install windows, and more. And you certainly won’t have to do it yourself, which is a requirement for DIY office shed building when you want to save on labor costs.
Building your own home office shed from scratch often results in unnecessary waste due to the construction processes. And thanks to the accuracy and durability of prefab office shed designs, this eco-friendly option is often more energy-efficient.
Is a Prefab Office Shed Perfect for You?
A prefab office shed is likely perfect for you if…
- You need a home office ASAP. Because it can take weeks or months to build an office from scratch, convert a shed into an office, or put together an office shed kit, only the prefab office shed gets your office up and running with speed.
- You’re a relative novice in construction. If you do the work yourself, you’re likely to make mistakes and end up with a lesser quality than you would by hiring a professional. And if you hire a professional, you’re adding labor costs to every stage of the project.
- You don’t have the necessary power tools. Buying new tools to put together a home office shed can be expensive. These are often “hidden costs” that individuals don’t think about when deciding how to acquire a home office.
The Pros and Cons of Prefab Office Sheds
We’ve already hinted or touched on some of the benefits of prefabricated home office sheds. Yet this course of action isn’t without its own drawbacks. You need all applicable information in order to make confident, educated decisions. So, let’s take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of prefab office sheds.
Advantages of Prefab Office Sheds
A prefab office shed delivers benefits over the traditional workplace office paradigm as well as the other strategies for acquiring a home office.
- A Cost-Effective Solution
For full-time commuters, the average commute takes up more than 200 hours of your time each year. Perhaps even worse, the costs to commute rip somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000 from the bank account of the average commuter on an annual basis. With a prefab home office in your backyard, you save all those hours and all that cash.
- Home Value Increase
While exact figures and results vary from location to location, many homeowners see the value of their homes increase by a margin greater than the cost to purchase a shed once they have a prefab office shed installed.
- More Privacy
When you’re in a traditional office setting, coworkers, ringing phones, and other distractions can draw your focus from the task at hand. Converting a room in your home into an office leaves you susceptible to distractions from your significant other, children, pets, and ringing doorbells. With a prefab office shed, you’ll have total privacy while maintaining the convenience of being “at home.”
- Healthier Work Environment
A traditional office workspace keeps you confined in close quarters with other people and a lack of natural sunlight. Contaminated or unclean air and a lack of vitamin D can both prove harmful to your health. With a backyard office, you won’t have to worry about the diseases of others, and you’ll have direct access to sunlight. Plus, you can include ergonomic furniture and equipment for better health.
Disadvantages of Prefab Office Sheds
When comparing prefab office sheds to the DIY office building process, many individuals note several drawbacks.
- Modifications are Still Required
You aren’t 100% finished once the prefab office shed is delivered. You’ll still need to run power to the building, which means you’ll likely need to hire a certified electrician. And if you need running water or a bathroom, the same will be needed regarding plumbing.
- Small Buildings
Because prefab office sheds are transported along roads via truck bed, their size has to be limited. So, those looking for a larger home office may be better off taking the DIY or kit routes in order to satisfy their needs.
- Install Path
The prefab office shed will arrive already built. Since you won’t be able to move it piece by piece, you’ll need a direct path to its destination. To prepare a path, you may be required to cut shrubbery, remove trees, or make other arrangements.
- Questionable Lifespan
Although quality varies by builder, prefab office sheds are often built with cheaper materials in order to keep costs low and increase profit margins. Those “shortcuts” can decrease the lifespan of your prefab office shed.
Hidden Tax Advantages
For those running a personal business from home, the cost of installing or furnishing your prefab office shed may qualify as a tax write-off. You’ll have to check with tax laws, but there’s a good chance that you can find significant deductions and receive a capital gains tax break when it comes time to sell your home.
Speak with a tax professional for the most accurate information on this matter.
Cost of Prefab Office Sheds
Although prefab office sheds are generally more expensive than DIY or kit alternatives, the exact costs fall within a wide range depending on size, design, materials, and more. Features like pre-finished wiring setups and premium exteriors will also play a role in the final price.
If you’re looking for a prefab office shed, expect to pay somewhere between $3,000 and $30,000.
With so many manufacturers and vendors getting into the home office shed game, there’s a huge range of designs and sizes to choose from. Start your search by determining how much space you’ll need, then filtering by the most applicable sizes.
What to Look For In a Prefab Office Shed
Your situation is unique, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution that we can point to. However, we can direct your attention to some vital aspects of shopping for and positioning your new prefab office shed.
Size & Placement
The first thing you’ll consider is how large your new office shed needs to be in order to comfortably hold your office equipment and furniture.
Another sizing consideration is how much room you have in your backyard. This is where placement plays a part as well. When it comes to installation, you don’t want to have to pull up fencing or remove trees.
Buying a prefab office shed is all about convenience, so make sure you measure and plan to ensure your new office will fit perfectly into your space. It’s also vital to aim for flat ground with good drainage.
Different areas may require permits and inspections for different sized buildings. It’s important to check your local laws to make sure you understand what’s required. In some cases, you’ll find that picking out a prefab office shed just one foot smaller can save you from having to acquire expensive permits.
A productive work environment starts with great lighting. In addition to adequate interior lighting, make sure the prefab office shed you choose allows for plenty of natural sunlight. Windows and transparent doors are the easiest way to ensure exactly that.
When it comes to finding the ideal home office, remember that you’ll likely be spending several hours in that space each and every day. Quality and convenience can’t be understated when dealing with something so important.