My roommate is still enjoying life in his 20s. I only mention that because he enjoys the flexibility of working from literally anywhere. He'll venture into town and work from any table and chair he can find. He's currently on a road trip up the coast of California and then on to Alaska and will no doubt be (somewhat) productive all along the way.
For me, I really appreciate my two big monitors (at the correct height) and my comfy chair. I also enjoy the use of a "real" mouse and keyboard instead of being limited to the trackpad and laptop keyboard.
I say all of that to simply note that it is becoming more obvious that this little dance we're doing with the virus is not going to end soon. The reality of kids being home for school this fall is starting to take hold and that means (likely) that even more of you will be joining me in the home office. (I'm going to have to find some more chairs!)
Your kids will need a place to do their schoolwork (no reason to call it "home" work anymore) and you will likely want/need some privacy to get your job done as well. Enter the backyard office.
When space is tight (and budgets are not vast) many homeowners are carving out space for the home office — outside of the home. Think tiny home with good Wi-Fi. The primary benefit (over a tiny home) is the lack of a need for plumbing. If you look around the standard office today, it's just a desk, computer and phone.
Since you will be within spitting distance of the house, the bathroom and kitchen are taken care of. Let's take a look at some of the benefits. Perhaps, you'll start working on a space for yours this weekend.
Remodeling inside the home brings with it a slew of challenges. You need to be cognizant of load-bearing walls, electrical and plumbing routes, the noise and mess of the construction, and let's not forget: actually having the extra space to begin with. Some home associations and towns will also have zoning limitations as well as building permits and other red tape you will have to wade through.
By adding an outdoor space the biggest challenge would simply be digging the trench to bring electricity to the unit. You also have the freedom to keep it nice and small (around 100 square feet if you want). It is literally a room with a roof.
"With this small of a unit, you may still have some permit and zoning stuff to work through, but it will be far simpler since you won't have a foundation," Badger Realty agent Bernadette Donohue said. "You are essentially building a shed, but including power so you can get some work done."
There are many options when it comes to creating your backyard business building. I was only slightly surprised to find there were many companies selling prefabricated "kits" that will ship right to your home. The sizes (and costs) vary depending on how fancy you want it to be.
One of the least expensive ones I found was around $5,000 and about 80 square feet. They also vary with the amount of work you are willing to do when it arrives. If you are handy with construction projects, you can get much more "office" for much less.
This is also yet another great way to add value to your home when it comes time to sell. I don't think the trend towards working from home is going to wane anytime soon. Providing your buyers with this feature they don't even have to think about is going to be a hot selling point for years to come.
To that end, you may want to lean more towards the higher end when it comes to features and functionality. A shed with no air conditioning, power or windows is a far cry from the tiny office/homes we're talking about.
Whether for "real" work, "home" work, or "hobby" work adding a functional home office to your backyard is going to be an awesome addition. It will provide the whole family with the privacy and quiet they need for whatever it is they are working on. Who knows? You may end up with more than one.