How To Convert Your Shed Into An Office

Converting your shed into an office can be an economical way of creating a beautiful office space for yourself. With a backyard or garden office, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of nature—all while working comfortably away from home. In this guide, we’ll teach you how! 

Key Takeaways

  • Your first decision point will be determining whether or not to buy a new shed or convert your existing shed. That decision will be based primarily on the cost of conversions.
  • You’ll need permits to convert a shed into an office, or to install a new shed.
  • You’ll need a place to store all of the items that are currently housed in your shed.
  • You may need to install electrical, drywall, flooring, and more—and you may have to hire professionals to help with all of the above.
  • Furniture, Wi-Fi, personal touches, and more will complete your new shed office space. 

Buy or Use Your Current Shed

The first step to converting your shed is to have a shed to begin with. This point might seem obvious, but it brings a few considerations to mind. A shed-to-office conversion can be a cost-effective way to create your own office space, but the extent of the conversion will have an impact on whether or not it’s worth it to convert your current shed or simply buy a new one. 

When converting your existing shed, it’s important to assess what modifications you’ll have to make. Do you need to add electrical? Insulation? You might need to remove shelves, install new shelves, add windows, modify your ventilation, or make any number of other changes to the space.

Buying a new shed, on the other hand, presents several opportunities. You can buy sheds that are already built to be used as offices—here at Horizon, we have sheds with surface-mounted electrical built-in and features like windows, shelving, and more. (Ask us about our Workshop)

No matter which option you choose, there are several points you should consider. Ask yourself:

  • Does the shed have proper ventilation?
  • Does the shed have proper insulation?
  • Does the shed have appropriate wiring? Are there enough outlets?
  • Is there enough natural light?
  • What do you plan on using as a light source? Do you need light fixtures?
  • Do you have a source of heating and cooling?
  • Do you have enough space for the work you want to do?

Answering these questions can help you determine what modifications you’ll have to make to your shed, as well as which professionals you’ll need to work with. You might, for example, require a licensed electrician to run electricity through your shed if you don’t have the right infrastructure. Once you know what modifications you’ll need to make, it will be easier for you to price out whether or not you should use your existing shed or buy a new one. 

Getting all Your Required Permits

Whether you’re purchasing a new shed or converting your existing shed into an office space, you’ll have to contact your local government to acquire permits. Permitting requirements vary from municipality to municipality, but you may need:

  • Zoning permits
  • Building permits
  • Other permits

For Sheds in Manitoba that are larger than 108 Sq. feet, a development permit is required for garages, detached structures and accessory buildings.

Clean and Prepare the Shed for Use

Before you begin the conversion work to create your office shed, you’ll need to clean it out. Whether you’ve got a garden shed or a storage shed, you’ll need a new space to hold all of your tools, equipment, and other items.

You have a few options here. The first is to use your home office shed as a hybrid, acting as both a storage shed and an office. Typically, this is the least desirable solution for a few reasons:

  • You’ll need space for office essentials, like office equipment and furniture.
  • The clutter from the items left in the shed can be distracting.
  • People who need items that you’re storing may walk into your shed office while you’re working.

Most people who are creating an office shed are looking for a dedicated workspace—using it for storage space can come with a lot of headaches. For this reason, we typically recommend finding other storage space—like a basement or another shed.

Once the shed is emptied out, you should clean it thoroughly, getting rid of any dust and debris. Depending on your floors and walls, brooms, microfibre cloths, mops, and other cleaning tools. Cleaning is the last step before power and other infrastructure are added to your office shed, so be sure to do a thorough job! 

Setting Up Power and Other Infrastructure

Insulate your new office

With your windows installed, it’s time to insulate your office shed. There are a couple of different options here—rigid foam board insulation tends to be the most affordable, while spray foam insulation typically offers the highest level of thermal resistance. Here in Manitoba, where the winters can be incredibly harsh (and the summers quite warm), consider over-insulating your office shed to ensure year-round comfort.

Covering your walls

Your shed office should be a comfortable space to work in—filled with decor, painted just how you like, and well constructed. This means you’ll want to cover over your insulation and shed walls with something a bit more practical—and aesthetically pleasing.

Drywall is typically an excellent option for covering your office shed walls; it can be difficult to install, but it’s inexpensive, easy to paint, and versatile. You could also opt for plywood or other wall coverings.

Painting your shed

Once your drywall, plywood, or other walls are installed, you can finally paint your shed! This is your office space—choose whatever colour you’d like! When you’ve converted a garden shed into a garden office, you can opt for neutral colours with big windows to better appreciate the greenery, or paint every wall with your favourite colours.

Adding flooring

Once you’ve painted your shed office, it’s time to improve your flooring—which as of this point, is probably simple plywood flooring. We recommend anything from vinyl to engineered hardwood—though if you’re looking for something more economical, you could opt for floor paint.

Create Your Workspace

Now that all of the work to convert your shed into an office is done, you can start creating your office space. You’ll need to move all of your equipment into the shed office—computers, printers, and more. You’ll also need to bring in furniture—an office chair, a couch to relax on, a desk, and other furniture could all be appropriate.

You’ll also need internet access. The best way of going about this is to utilize your home’s Wi-Fi—a Wi-Fi extender is a great way to extend your signal. You can also run an Ethernet cable from your home to your office, but that will take a bit of cable management.

Step 6: Decorating Your Space!

We’re finally here—the point where you get to decorate your space. You can add plants, decorative ornaments, tapestries, LED strips, artwork, pictures—anything you’d like! Your shed office is your office space—make it your own!

Ordering Your Office Shed From Horizon Storage Sheds

As you can see, converting your shed into an office is quite a process. You may need to install electrical, drywall, wood flooring, and more—and unless you have the skills to do most of it yourself, you’ll have to hire a professional for the conversions.

That can be well worth it to have a backyard office space, but you may also need a storage space for the items you’re moving out of the shed you’re converting. 

Horizon Storage Sheds can help. We have sheds with surface-mounted electrical, plenty of windows, and more—pre-installed. You can purchase one of our sheds and easily make minor conversions to make a perfect portable office.