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. Most sheds today are not built like a home, and are not really suitable for an office. They lack a full building envelope, exterior grade doors and windows, a proper foundation and other items that lead 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. However a properly built office shed will cost significantly more than a cheap shed normally used for storage. The old adage, you get what you pay for, really comes true, 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, like a home, so they only need a small heat source, such as an electric baseboard heater. Sheds that are not insulated well, will be difficult and costly to heat in the winter, and may be too uncomfortable to work 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 (ie, romantic cottage look). In Vancouver, Richmond and surrounding areas, craftsman style sheds fit in very well in most backyards and become part of the backyards character. Often the color scheme of the shed is matched to the existing house. Modern style sheds are often used as well with either the stained cedar look or color and/or style matched with the existing home. Cottage style sheds are generally a unique building from the existing home and are up to the imagination of the building and 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 in the yard is very important because you don’t want the shed competing 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 considerations tend 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 in one of our west coast winters.

Wherever you put the shed, you want to consider how to integrate it with the existing or future backyard landscaping. The correct planting and landscaping plan will allow your shed to blend into your backyard and be a landscaping anchor (feature), and not a detraction.