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convert a shed into a home office - steps

How to Convert a Storage Shed into a Home Office in 10 Easy Steps

Working from home has become increasingly popular, leading many to look for creative office solutions. Converting garden sheds into a functional home office space is a great option for those with yard space.

With some strategic planning and elbow grease, you can transform your unused shed into a practical and peaceful workspace. Follow these 10 easy steps to convert a basic storage shed into the perfect office shed.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the right shed - Consider size, style, construction, windows, ventilation, and insulation when selecting a shed to convert into an office.

  • Get permits if required - Research local zoning laws and acquire any necessary permits before starting shed renovations. This prevents potential legal issues.

  • Install electricity, lighting, and insulation - Hire an electrician to safely run power to the shed. Proper lighting and insulation make the space comfortable for work.

  • Add essential office furnishings - Outfit the shed with office must-haves like a desk, ergonomic chair, storage, printer, lighting, and décor. Make it a functional workspace.

  • Handle complex construction first - Prioritize structural changes, wiring, and insulation. Save cosmetic details like painting and décor for last. This streamlines the process.

storage shed interior converted to an office

    10 Steps to Convert A Shed Into an Office

    Step 1: Choose the Right Shed for Your New Office

    The first step to converting your shed into a new office is selecting the right shed to convert. You can either purchase a new shed designed for repurpose one you already have in your backyard. Consider the following when choosing a shed:

    Size - The shed should be large enough to accommodate your office needs. For one person, a minimum of 8’ x 10’ is recommended. If you plan on meetings or collaboration, consider a larger 10’ x 12’ or 12' x 12' shed.

    Style - Lean-to sheds attached to an exterior wall are space-efficient. Barn-style sheds offer nice roof pitches for lofts. Gambrel sheds give you more headroom. Pick a style you like that fits your space.

    Construction - Durability is key. Look for sheds made out of moisture-resistant wood like cedar or exterior-grade plywood. Steel sheds can also work well.

    Windows - Natural light makes for a pleasant office environment. Choose a shed with enough windows or add them during while converting a shed to an office.

    Doors - Opt for wide double doors or a larger roll-up door for easy furniture movement.

    Ventilation - Proper ventilation will keep you comfortable. Gable vents, cupolas, and ridge vents promote air circulation.

    Insulation - An insulated shed will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Some sheds come pre-insulated, or you can add it yourself.

    If you already have a sturdy, well-constructed shed in good shape, repurposing it for an office can save money compared to purchasing a new custom shed. Just ensure it is large enough for your workspace needs.

    Step 2: Get Permits if Required

    Converting a storage shed into a home office for running a business may require permits based on local zoning regulations. Research the rules in your city or county and contact your local building department to find out if you need any of the following:

    • Zoning permit - Allows for a structure to be used for business purposes.

    • Building permit - Required if renovating the shed's electrical, plumbing, and structural elements.

    • Home business permit - For operating a business out of a residential property.

    The approval process varies but typically involves submitting an application, plans, photos, and fees to your local building department. They will review your project and issue permits if it meets code requirements. It's better to check first rather than risk fines for illegal construction down the road.

    Here is an overview of the different permits that may be required and their typical cost ranges:

    Permit Type When Required Estimated Cost
    Zoning Permit Using shed for business purposes $50 - $500
    Building Permit Electrical, plumbing, or structural renovations $200 - $800
    Home Business Permit Running a business from home $100 - $300

    Step 3: Install Electricity and Lighting

    One of the key steps in turning your shed into an office is installing electricity and lighting. Good lighting increases productivity and makes the interior space more inviting. Here are some tips:

    • Hire a licensed electrician to handle all electrical work based on your local codes. Improper wiring can be a fire hazard.

    • Run electricity from your main house panel to the shed. Underground PVC conduit is recommended.

    • Install interior LED recessed lighting for ambient overhead illumination. Task lighting like desk lamps can supplement.

    • Include switches, outlets, surge protectors, and cable/phone ports where needed. Having ample outlets prevents the need for extension cords.

    • Consider solar-powered lighting if it's difficult to connect to the main grid.

    • Incorporate natural light through skylights or ample windows to reduce energy costs.

    Proper lighting and electrical will make your shed office a safe and productive workspace.

    Step 4: Insulate the Shed

    Insulating your shed is one of the most important steps in the process. Proper insulation will keep your shed office comfortable in both hot and cold weather. Here are some tips:

    • For the walls, use fiberglass batt insulation with at least an R-13 rating. Place between wall studs.

    • For extra insulation, install rigid foam boards on walls and roofs. Seal any gaps for maximum efficiency.

    • Use blown-in cellulose in the ceiling for an R-30 rating. This dense packing prevents heat loss through the roof.

    • Insulate any crawl spaces or band joists underneath the floor to prevent drafts.

    • Caulk and weather-strip all cracks, joints, windows, and doors to prevent air leaks.

    • Consider radiant barriers on the roof and greenhouse window shades to deflect solar heat.

    A well-insulated shed prevents temperature fluctuations, keeps interior noise out, and cuts down on heating and cooling costs.

    Step 5: Install Wall Coverings and Paint

    After insulation, it’s time to install interior wall coverings and paint the shed. Here are some tips:

    • Drywall is the best option for a smooth finish to paint or wallpaper over. Nail or screw sheets to studs. Mud and tape seams for a seamless look.

    • Plywood, bead board, or tongue-and-groove wood make for an attractive, rustic-style interior wall covering.

    • Fiber cement siding presents nicely as an interior wall surface while being moisture-resistant.

    • For a casual look, interior paneling like T1-11 can be applied over existing walls as accent pieces.

    • Primer helps paint adhere better to surfaces. Opt for low-VOC options when painting interior spaces.

    • Add molding for a polished, built-in look. Crown molding dresses up plain ceilings.

    Proper prep and wall coverings give your shed a clean, finished interior surface ready for paint and decor.

    Step 6: Add Flooring

    Choosing the right flooring complements your design while standing up to heavy use. Good options include:

    Wood - Hardwood flooring looks fabulous but is pricey. More budget-friendly wood-look vinyl planks provide the warmth of wood with more durability.

    Tile - Perfect for bathrooms or mudrooms. Use large format tiles for fewer grout lines. Adds a nice pop of color.

    Concrete - Stained and polished concrete floors are trendy, with a sleek industrial vibe. Durable and easy to clean.

    Linoleum - Made from renewable materials like cork and linseed oil. Waterproof, scratch-resistant, and easy to install.

    Laminate - Synthetic flooring made to mimic wood, tile, or stone. Budget-friendly and simple to install with a click-lock system.

    Consider noise and durability when selecting flooring. Install with adequate subflooring for support. This creates a comfortable walking/working surface.

    Here is a comparison of some of the most popular shed flooring options and their pros and cons:

    Flooring Pros Cons
    Hardwood Beautiful, warm, high-end Expensive, scratches easily
    Laminate Affordable, easy installation Can appear cheap, not moisture resistant
    Tile Durable, easy to clean Hard, can crack, grout needs sealing
    Concrete Industrial look, extremely durable Hard, and cold, pouring new concrete is costly
    Linoleum Made from natural materials, waterproof Not as attractive, dents easily

    Step 7: Add Windows and Doors

    Sheds meant for storage often lack sufficient windows and doors. Adding these architectural elements makes the space feel less cramped and cave-like.

    Windows - Skylights, fixed picture windows, and operable windows all let natural light in. Position for optimal light and ventilation.

    Exterior doors - A pre-hung exterior door with a deadbolt provides secure entry access. Steel or fiberglass are durable, weather-resistant options.

    Interior doors - Doors section off rooms or closets. Pre-hung doors are easy to install. Accordion-fold doors are space savers.

    Hardware - Update old hardware on doors and windows for an upgraded look. Satin nickel or oil-rubbed bronze matches most décor.

    More windows and better doors give your shed an airy, welcoming feel while allowing you to secure the space when not in use.

    Step 8: Furnish the Office Space

    A basic shed lacks creature comforts. Well-chosen office supplies and décor transform it into a pleasant working environment. Be sure to include:

    • Desk - The centerpiece of your workspace. L-shaped desks maximize space efficiency.

    • Chair - Select an ergonomic desk chair with adjustable features for support and comfort.

    • Shelving - Wall-mounted shelves and storage cabinets keep supplies organized.

    • Lighting - Overhead, task, and accent lighting prevent eye strain.

    • Area rugs - Soften hard floors and delineate work zones.

    • Plants - Houseplants purify indoor air and add natural elements.

    • Artwork - Hang inspirational prints or photos to personalize the space.

    Furnishing your shed office with purpose-built furniture maximizes functionality and transforms the vibe.

    Step 9: Install Networking and Connectivity

    To work productively from your shed, you’ll need fast and reliable internet plus devices to connect you to colleagues and clients. Options include:

    • WiFi extender - Boosts your existing home’s wireless signal to reach the shed.

    • Ethernet cable - For the fastest speeds, run an underground Cat 6 cable to your router.

    • Mobile hotspot - Acts as a mini router using your phone’s cellular data plan.

    • Landline - If you take frequent business calls, add a standalone phone line.

    • Webcam, speakers - Essentials for video calls and conferences. Noise-canceling headsets make calls clearer.

    • Printer/scanner - An all-in-one model saves space. Store paper and ink safely.

    With strong connectivity, you can work productively from your backyard shed office.

    Step 10: Add Finishing Touches

    Finally, pull together all the details that give your backyard office personality with finishing touches like:

    • Throw pillows - Cozy up chairs and brighten up sofas.

    • Throw blankets - Curl up with a warm blanket on chilly days.

    • Area rugs - Soften hard floors and tie the whole room together.

    • Curtains - Soft, flowing curtains frame windows beautifully.

    • Accent lighting - Table lamps, sconces, and track lighting add ambiance.

    • Inspirational wall art - Share what motivates you.

    • Greenery - Houseplants bring life to the space.

    • Organizational accessories - Bulletin boards, trays, and baskets keep you tidy.

    • Personal mementos - Family photos, souvenirs, and collectibles show your style.

    Design details provide visual interest while making the shed uniquely yours. A thoughtfully decorated and well-organized office inspires productivity.

    wooden storage shed painted gray converted into an office

    Tips for Simplifying the Shed-to-Office Process

    Converting wooden garden sheds into a usable home office space involves construction skills that can seem daunting. Here is how you can make the process easy for yourself:

    • Hire professional contractors to handle complicated construction like electrical, insulation, and drywall installation/finishing. This expertise is worthwhile.

    • Be selective in demolishing existing shed elements - keep what you can just clean up and reuse. This saves effort.

    • Add new windows and doors once another construction is complete. Cutting openings later minimizes disruption.

    • Choose DIY flooring like floating laminate that clicks together without glue. Easy installation.

    • Use furniture on casters like wheeled chairs and portable tables for flexible configurations.

    • Install shelving, cabinets, and organization systems to maximize usable space.

    • Factor in different lighting like overhead general, task lighting for work areas, and accent lighting. Use dimmers.

    • Keep the existing shed frame if structurally sound. Avoid full teardowns to save on materials and costs.

    • Look for desks and seating with hidden storage to optimize functionality. Multi-purpose furniture.

    large white wooden storage shed converted into an office


      Converting an ordinary storage shed into a perfect home office takes planning, elbow grease, and creativity. Following these 10 key steps will help you transform wasted space into a practical backyard workspace.

      Invest in durable construction, insulation, electricity, furnishings, and finishes tailored to your needs. The end result is a personal oasis that blends work and life in one simplified setting. With a converted shed, you can escape household distractions and be productive while enjoying the outdoors.


      What do I need to convert a shed into an office?

      You will need some basic office essentials such as a desk, chair, storage space, and office equipment. You may also need to install proper insulation and electrical wiring.

      Can I use any type of shed as an office?

      Yes, you use most types of a shed as a home office. However, it's important to consider the size, structure, and condition of the shed before starting the process.

      How much does it cost to convert a shed into an office?

      The cost can vary depending on various factors such as the size of the shed, the extent of renovations required, and the quality of materials used. On average, it can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000.

      Can you hire a shed company to help with transforming your shed?

      Yes, you can hire a shed company or a contractor specializing in turning a shed to assist you with the process. They can provide expertise, and advice, and help you with the necessary modifications.

      What are some office essentials I should consider for my shed office?

      Some essential items to consider for your backyard office shed include a comfortable desk and chair, adequate lighting, storage solutions, reliable internet connection, and any other equipment specific to your work requirements.

      Can I convert my shed into something other than an office?

      Absolutely! Besides an office, you can also turn your shed into a gym, a studio, a potting shed, or any other space that suits your needs and desires. The possibilities are endless!

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      About The Author

      Andy Wu - Resident Expert

      Andy Wu - Resident Expert

      Andy Wu is the resident backyard products expert and hails from Atlanta, Georgia. His passion for crafting outdoor retreats began in 2003.

      As a fellow homeowner, he founded Backyard Oasis to provide top-quality furnishings and equipment, collaborating with leading manufacturers.

      His main focus is on sheds and generators!

      In his spare time he like to hike the tallest mountains in the world and travel with his family.

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