Shed To Home Office: The Ultimate Guide

how to turn shed in home office

Working from home has its perks, but it can be hard to separate work life from home life. One solution is to convert your shed into a home office. This process can be done cheaply and quickly, and you can either hire a professional or make it a DIY project.

First, check if you need planning permission from your local council. Then, plan what kind of office you want. Consider how you will use the space and what requirements you will need, such as power, lighting, and internet access.

Next, choose your shed design. You can buy a ready-made shed or build one yourself. If you are buying a shed, make sure it is strong and well-ventilated, with good-quality doors and windows.

Now you are ready to start converting your shed. Treat the shed exterior to make it waterproof, then add electricity, insulation, and interior sheeting. Finish the space by painting the walls and adding your furniture and equipment.



If you've worked with insulation before, you'll know how itchy it can be! Make sure all parts of your body are covered before you begin.

  • Rockwool: This is a good option if you're interested in noise and heat insulation. Pick the right thickness of Rockwool for your shed—the deeper your studs, the thicker the Rockwool you'll need. For example, if your studs are 90mm deep, you'll need 100mm Rockwool. Jam the Rockwool into the gaps between the studs, then trim it and prepare for the next step.
  • Celotex: If your only interest is heat insulation, you may prefer Celotex.
  • Thin micro-perforated wall wraps.
  • Foil 'bubble' style insulation.

If your shed is small in construction, you may need to build a second stud or install ply with insulation backing, which can be expensive.

Once you've chosen and installed your insulation, cover it with Steling board (OSB). This will help to strengthen the construction. Use full-thread screws so that the boarding will continue to pull tight.

You should also insulate the floor of your shed. Jablite EPS70 100mm and chipboard is an excellent and cheap insulator, giving a nice feeling underfoot.

If you're insulating externally, you can use spray foam adhesive to stick the insulation onto the wooden walls. This will also allow you to 'straighten' any uneven walls by putting more adhesive towards the top. Interlock the insulation boards and use a 'starter track' at the bottom to support the structure. Minimise the gaps between the boards, as these will be filled with basecoat, which has lower thermal performance.

Apply mechanical fixings to tie the insulation boards to the wall. These are large grey washers that you put a wood screw through.

If you're insulating internally, you can cover the insulation with drywall or wallboard.



Before you start, it's important to note that electricity can be extremely dangerous if mishandled. Any electrical work not carried out by a professional can be potentially deadly. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you hire a professional, qualified electrician to carry out any electrical work.

The first step is to decide what you will be using your shed for. If you will be using a laptop or computer, you will need to supply power to your shed. Make a list of all the electrical equipment you intend to use, or might use in the future, and give this to your electrician. They will be able to design the right electrical system for your needs.

Plan on having at least two circuits: one for general needs such as lighting and outlets for accessories, and another for sensitive equipment like computers, routers, and modems. You may need additional circuits for heating and cooling, but an experienced electrician will be able to pinpoint your requirements.

The cheapest way to add electricity is to do it yourself. Depending on your setting and electrical needs, going DIY could cost anywhere from $100-$600. However, hiring a contractor can cost anywhere from $1,000 – $4,000. If you do not have experience with electrical work, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced electrician so that the job is done right. You can use the Electrical Competent Person website to help find a registered electrician.

The safest way to install electricity into a shed is by using an SWA (Steel Wire Armoured) cable. This type of cable is safe to bury underground and will remain free from any rotting or water damage. Choosing the right SWA cable is not as simple as going to a DIY shop and picking one—a professional electrician will be able to advise you on the best cable to use for your job.

Once you have found your electrician, they will work with you to plan exactly where your cable will run from, the route it will take, and where it will access the shed. They will also advise on the materials you will need and take care of this, which could potentially mean a new fuse box in your home or an adaptable junction box on the side of your house.

The next step is to dig the cable trench. This is something you can do yourself, but make sure you do it on a dry day as wet ground will affect the structural integrity of your trench and make it difficult work. Once the trench is dug, it's time to let the electrician do their work. Once the work is completed, your electrician should provide you with an Electrical Installation Certificate.

Now, you can simply plug in whatever you're using in your shed and you're good to go!


Interior design


Planning is the most important stage when converting your shed into an office. Being thorough at this stage will make the process easier. The kind of office you want will depend on the kind of work you do. Think about how you will use the space, and what those uses mean you'll need. Make a list of:

  • Uses: what you will need to use your office for.
  • Requirements: what those uses require.

For example, if you plan to use your office for computer-based work, you will require mains electricity, a strong internet connection, and extra security measures for times when you are not working.


Depending on the type of work you do, you may require a lot of natural light and a comfortable chair. If you're using the office to write, you may not need a large desk space but will need more wall space for whiteboards or bookcases. You may even want to include a kettle and fridge for refreshments.

Layout and Size

Planning the layout and size of your garden office is important as this will help you determine if the furniture or other accessories you like to include will fit inside. When purchasing a shed, consider the size of your garden and see how much space it'd take up. If you already have one, ensure that every furnishing you'll put inside has the right sizes and can fit well.

Condition of the Shed

The next step is to check the condition of your shed and see whether it needs some alterations or if it's fully watertight. Look out for any tears in the roof felt, test the doors and windows to see that they're working correctly, and check for any gaps. Empty out the shed completely and look for any signs of mould, damp, leaks or wood rot. These will need to be dealt with before you can progress to converting your shed into an office.

Converting the Shed

Now you're set to convert the shed into your dream garden office! Treat the shed exterior so that it's weatherproof and won't be at risk of damp. This will also extend the lifespan of the shed. Next, think about lighting, heating, insulation, and electricity. These are what will transform your shed into a real office so you can start working from home!

Interior Decorating

How you decorate your office will depend on your personal taste, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Paint the walls: use bright, pale colours to maximise light in the space.
  • Framed posters or pictures.
  • Add bookends on shelves to organise lightweight books while also providing a splash of colour and style.
  • Colourful pen holders, either purposefully bought or repurposed glass jars, tins or flowerpots.
  • Magazine rack for storing brochures, notebooks or clipboards.
  • Rugs for colour and comfort.
  • Soft furnishings like cushions.
  • Curtains or blinds will give you ambience and help to hide the interior for extra security when you're not there.
  • Living plants will help create a better atmosphere in your office, as well as some natural decoration.
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If you're replacing the windows of your existing shed, make sure the new windows are well-insulated. This will help keep your office warm in winter and cool in summer. It's also a good idea to choose windows with secure locks, especially if you'll be keeping valuable equipment in your office.

When it comes to the design of your windows, consider the size and style of your shed. If you have a small shed, you may want to opt for a window that is proportional to the space. Larger sheds can accommodate bigger windows or even skylights. You can also choose from a variety of window styles, such as casement, sliding, or fixed windows.

In addition to the number and style of windows, you may also want to consider the type of glass. Double-glazed or insulated glass can help improve the energy efficiency of your office, while tinted or low-E glass can reduce glare and heat gain.

Finally, don't forget to decorate your windows! Curtains or blinds can add a touch of personality to your office, while also providing privacy and light control. You can also add some plants or flowers to the windowsill to bring a bit of nature into your workspace.

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A well-insulated shed will retain heat more efficiently, reducing heat loss and saving energy costs. Most sheds are not adequately insulated, so adding insulation is often necessary. Focus on insulating the ceiling, as nearly half of all heat loss occurs through this area. If possible, insulate the rafters up to an R-19 value, depending on their depth. For the walls, you can use R-11, R-13, or R-15 insulation.

Electric Radiant Floor Heating:

Electric radiant floor heating is an excellent long-term investment. It provides efficient and balanced heat throughout the room by warming people and objects rather than the air. It takes up minimal space, adding only about 1/2" to your finished floor height. This system is controlled by a smart thermostat, which remembers your heating preferences. While the upfront costs are higher, the long-term benefits include enhanced comfort and improved resale value for your property.

Transparent Roofing for Solar Heating:

Transparent roof panels can provide free light and heat during the day. Double-walled panels offer better insulation, creating an air space between the top and bottom of the panel, which helps reduce heat loss. However, this method is only effective during the day, and you won't be able to insulate the area covered by the panels. Additionally, ensure your shed roof receives ample sunlight for this method to be most effective.

Space Heaters:

For smaller sheds, space heaters can be an affordable and effective option.

  • Fan heaters are popular for small spaces due to their affordability and ease of use. They distribute heat by blowing hot air over a heating element.
  • Electric radiators are more expensive but can heat larger spaces effectively by heating oil or water inside the radiator.
  • Halogen heaters, a type of infrared heater, are ideal for heating small spaces and are relatively inexpensive.

Electric Panel Heaters:

These are a type of convection heater designed to be mounted on a wall. They are effective for heating larger spaces and are usually inexpensive. However, they may be less efficient than other options and may not be ideal for those aiming to minimize heating costs.

Wood Stoves:

If you have a larger shed, a wood stove can be an efficient and eco-friendly heating option. They can produce a lot of heat with minimal fuel, making them cost-effective. However, they require more effort to maintain, as you need to gather wood and keep the fire going. Additionally, wood stoves produce more smoke, which can be a concern for air quality.

Other Options:

  • Tube heaters are safe and inexpensive, taking up little space.
  • Log or pellet burners add rustic charm but may be too large for smaller sheds and require proper venting to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Solar panels or solar heaters are eco-friendly options that can power electric heaters or use solar energy to generate heat. However, they can be expensive to install and may not be ideal for areas with limited sunlight.
  • Ductless systems and heat pumps are efficient and easy to use but are typically costly to install.

Remember to always prioritize safety when choosing and installing a heating system. Consult professionals when necessary, especially for electrical work and venting.

Frequently asked questions

Typically, no permission is needed if you are only doing interior renovations. However, it is important to check with your local county's building permissions to confirm this.

A minimum of 100 sq. ft. is required for a shed to be converted into a decent-sized office space. Shed sizes ranging from 8x10 to 12x16 are great options.

Here are the simplified steps:

Get or build a shed.

Add security measures.

Install electricity.

Install flooring.

10. Clean thoroughly.

Written by
  • Lara Beck
  • Lara Beck
    Author Home Renovation Professional
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