Things to Consider when Building an Outdoor Office Space or Summer House

outdoor office spaceOur company Cross-Jones Photography is now expanding and we are starting a sister company to specialise in family studio shoots. To do this we have built a log cabin studio in our garden over the past few weeks, and when we painted it green – Little Green Shed Studio was born! It’s not quite finished yet but we are almost there and hope to have it open by the start of November! We took ages to finally make the decision to build the studio as there was lots to consider (as well as the cost) so here are a few things to take into consideration when building an outdoor office space.

  • Space and building regulations – The obvious first thing to consider is the space you have to place the building, and whether the building will meet or need any building regulations. Different areas, and even different councils have different rules regarding building structures so you will need to check the local building regulation guidelines first before you start planning to make sure you are allowed the type of garden structure you would like. Then you need to decide on how much of a space you have to dedicate to the building and whether that will be sufficient for the purpose of the building
  • Accessibility – Is there easy accessibility? Or will you need to also construct a path or steps. Ours is being used as a studio so we need safe and easy access to the studio, but it is in the centre of our multiple level garden, which has meant we have had to construct 2 lots of steps and a path to make it easily accessible to clients. Take into consideration your access before you start planning
  • Type of structure – There are literally so many different types of garden building you could chose to go for, from traditional log/wood structures (like ours from Dunster House) to more modern garden pods. You need to decide what you would like it to look like as well as how you would like it constructed (as in arriving complete, being assembled by a team or DIY)
  • Power and heat – Now this will depend on what you are using your outside building for. If it’s simply a summer house you might chose to forgo having any power, but if you plan to use it as an office space or studio like us then it’s likely your going to need power (and possibly heat!) You have 2 main options diesel generators or mains electric. Diesel generators are great if you don’t need power all the time and are often cheaper to purchase and run than having electricity installed by an electrician, especially if your garden building is a long distance from your home. 
  • Decorating – Now this is the fun bit! What colour are you going to paint the inside and outside. As you can see ours is green (hence the business name – Little Green Shed Studio!), we chose to use Cuprinol Garden Shades Paint in the colour Willow for the outside, and a bright white for the inside. But then there is all the other bits like furniture, soft furnishings, lighting, storage and general decor. Most of our items have been collected from Home Sense and TKMaxx, but we did buy the odd key piece from and lots of our studio gear is from Amazon.
  • Lastly Security – If you are planning to use it as an office, take into consideration the security of the building and how you will be locking it. We upgraded the locks on the doors and windows when ordering the cabin as we knew there would be things with some value in there (nothing major, no camera gear or computers, just light stands and my props mainly). Make sure what ever you store in there is safe.

Have you ever considered building an outdoor office space or summer house, or do you already have one?

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