4 Things to consider when building a studio or backyard office

  1. Quality and Longevity. The lifespan of a shed is very much related to the quality of construction and the materials used to build the shed. In turn, the cost of a given office shed is directly related to cost of materials and quality of workmanship put into the building. Today, most sheds are not built like a home and are not really suitable to be used as an office. They lack a full building envelope, exterior grade doors and windows, a proper foundation and other items that contribute to a long lifespan. However, our sheds make perfect offices or studios because they are built like small houses with long- life roofing, exterior grade doors, windows and siding, and a proper concrete foundation. A properly built office shed will cost significantly more than a cheap shed that is normally used for storage. The old adage: "You get what you pay for", is exactly right when it comes to an office shed.
  2. Heating and Insulation: (Seasonal vs Year-Round). If you are going to use your office shed for more than the summer months, you will need insulation and a heat source. Our sheds are very well insulated, just like a home is, so they only need a small heat source such as an electric baseboard heater. Sheds that are not well insulated will be difficult and costly to heat in the winter, and the fluctuating temperatures may be too uncomfortable to work in effectively. As most office sheds are the same size as a bedroom in your home, we do not recommend fireplaces, wood stoves, or gas stoves as they tend to take up too much of the office space. The two main options that we recommend are a small, electric, baseboard heater or an electric radiant mat from NuHeat, which goes underneath the flooring.
  3. Exterior Design. (Craftsman, Cottage, or Modern)The biggest question to ask regarding your new office shed or studio is do you want it to match the color and style of your existing home, or do you want it to stand out as a landscaping feature in your backyard. We can build a romantic cottage-looking studio shed, a modern office shed, or anything in between. In Vancouver, Richmond and the surrounding areas, craftsman style sheds fit in very well in most backyards and become part of the backyard's character. Often the color scheme of the shed is matched to the existing house. Modern style sheds are generally built with either the stained cedar look or have their color and/or style matched with the existing home. Cottage style sheds are generally a unique building created from the imagination of the client. Our design team is happy to build you a shed that matches your home or to design something that is totally unique.
  4. Location in the yard and landscaping. The location of the shed is very important because the shed should not have to competie with the house for prominence. In neighbourhoods in Vancouver or New Westminster with smaller lots we recommend that the shed be placed in the back right corner or the back left corner of the yard. This normally leaves enough space between the house and shed to avoid any competition. On larger lots, like those found in Surrey and Delta, the main consideration tends to be the distance from the access door of the house to the shed. You want to consider how easy it will be to get from the house to the shed when it’s pouring rain during one of our lovely West Coast winters.

Wherever you put your shed you'll want to consider how to integrate it with the existing or future backyard landscaping. A solid planting and landscaping plan will allow your shed to blend into your backyard and be a landscaping anchor--a feature-- and not a detraction.