From talking to business owners on the topic of working from home, opinion is somewhat divided. Pro supporters claim that working from home is the perfect option: there’s no travel to work, no office politics. While on the opposing side of the debate others say they just can’t focus on work at home. They are a bit reluctant to invite clients to their home, fearing it gives the wrong impression. They may find there are too many distractions around home to get on with their work (like the fridge) and lack the self-discipline required.
Well now there is a choice which will suit all workers: the garden building. Garden Studios are installed in your own back garden, yet remain separate from your house. A garden studio offers you the dedicated space to get work done in a comfortable, creative space, with oxygen producing foliage all around, and is a neutral place in which to conduct meetings. The idea that the garden office is separate from your house is a crucial one. It gives you a chance to break away from home life to business life. Modern technology like wireless or VOIP allows you to easily get a different phone number just for the office.
- COST. Garden studios are very affordable when you consider the alternative business rent and rates cost; the purchase cost is an acceptable business tax allowance if the studio is on a mobile frame – to take with you if you move. Compared to a traditional extension, studios win again on cost, time and disruption.
- VALUE. They add value to your property so the cost is never lost. Garden offices can recoup their cost in as little as two years. Repayments on a loan for a garden studio are often comparable, or cheaper than, office rental costs.
- ECO. Garden studios are environmentally friendly when sourced from a reputable company. The commute from home to garden takes only natural footprints, not carbon ones; the best designs have been responsibly sourced and offer eco upgrades like Sedum planting or solar panels. High density insulation makes them thermally efficient, so there will be no excessive heating or cooling costs. Finished with a fully glazed south-facing wall, natural light is maximized. These measures substantially reduce the building’s energy use.
- TIME. You can conduct business at anytime. Creativity is not a commodity and cannot be turned on and off so if you have a new idea, walk into the garden studio and set it free, anytime. Add up the time saved on the hour’s journey to your former place of work and you have dedicated an extra 20 days each year to spend as you wish!
- QUALITY. It’s a warm, well-lit, natural environment. No bright fluorescent strips, grey walls and white-noise of stale offices. No annoying traffic jams en route or crisp-crunchers at the next desk.
- VERSATILITY. It affords a versatile space which could double as a guest room. Many studios are available with partitions for toilet/shower rooms and kitchenette’s.
- ADDED INTEREST WHEN MOVING HOUSE. As an asset to your home it provides the perfect lifestyle showcase to potential buyers, as a home cinema, games room, play room, teenage den or hobby room. Customers are delighted to exceed their neighbour’s valuations by £10,000 – £20,000.
- ATTACHABILITY. Few select companies have gone that extra step to achieve BBA accreditation on the structure of their buildings. Those who have can offer to attach the studio to an existing building – allowing a fast and affordable extension option.
- SPEED. Garden buildings all take less time to finish than the same size of a traditionally built extension. Many include a service where the studio is factory built then craned into place, offering an instant extra room. This service is very costly and such companies tend to skimp on the specifications of the building, like the thermal qualities or the guarantee offered, to bring their product in on budget to the competitive market. Generally, a flat-pack modular building will be completed in less than 3 weeks. Compare that to the traditional method of building and there is a significant reduction in the dirt, dust, mud and general disruption that traditional building inevitably brings.
- LIFESTYLE. As THE home improvement of the moment, there are some gorgeous designs out there which will allow you to enjoy your garden more and live in a more flexible way. Some days you may choose to have that dedicated time in your studio to perfect a new solution and some days you may feel up to bracing the early traffic to attend a meeting but the CHOICE is now yours. Come the weekend, pull out the studio’s sofa-bed and have friends stay, although you did not have the space for them before, the studio is perfect in terms of privacy and comfort.
By Jewel Gallagher.