With more and more of us working from home, creating a dedicated office space is an ever more popular idea.
But where in your house should you put it? This depends a good deal on what business you’re in. If you regularly host clients, then you might want it at the front.
Others will prefer the peace and quiet at the back – perhaps with a garden view. As to the choice of space, if you want to utilise a box room, then lighting is key.
New LED lighting with a natural look is a good option. And remember, functional doesn’t have to mean boring; there’s a trend to make the home office like a comfy library, with armchairs, lamps, soft furnishings and custom-designed storage.
This softens what might otherwise feel like a clinical space, and means you can use it as an evening escape as well as a workplace. Some consider converting a spare bedroom, but don’t forget when you sell, the more bedrooms, the better.
An office in the garden can be the best way to go and while there are plenty of good off-the-peg products around, many are little more than sheds. A contractor can build you a bespoke design, which will give you more control, particularly with features such as bi-fold doors, proper insulation and electricity.
Think about how much space you’ve got and your design preferences, such as a flat roof or pitched one, and whether you prefer brick to timber.
I would advise talking to a contractor early on, to get a handle on any buildings regulations implications and planning, and to explore options. Try to work within permitted development rights to minimise red tape. It might seem like a luxury, but if your garden office is good quality it will be an asset to your home.
With a timber summer house, you probably won’t make your money back, but a well built and insulated structure can add up to 5 per cent to your home’s value.