More and more people are choosing to work from home and a log cabin office can make an ideal home office. If you’re fed up commuting and don’t want the outlay of renting an office, why not build a log cabin office in your own back garden?
Searching for a ‘garden office’ or ‘home office’ you will come across several companies offering attractive solutions. These home office solutions tend to be ‘all in one’ type packages with turnkey solutions including design, assembly and fitting out including electrics. But if you look into it, basically what you are buying is a log cabin with extras, and the price is usually pretty high. In a nutshell, anything marketed as a home office comes with a hefty mark up.
Log cabins can be used as home offices, and when generically marketed as multi-use ‘log cabins’, as opposed to specific ‘log cabin offices’, are much cheaper. To make a log cabin suitable for use as a home office you need to choose the right specification. It has to be warm in the winter months so insulation in the floor and roof is essential; this will also help to regulate the temperature in the summer months. Choose double glazed units for the door and windows; these are in any case built to a higher specification and will be far more durable. Any extra outlay will be recouped in lower heating bills.
Wood itself is a pretty good insulator. Don’t consider the thinner logs – go for at least the 44mm logs that will provide good structural support, decent insulation and will last longer. A log cabin office that is too hot in summer and too cold in winter will, needless to say, not be comfortable to work in.
Some of the garden offices or home offices on the market are made to be deliberately ‘officey’ with cheap looking laminate on the walls and extra plug sockets. It’s a matter of personal taste, but it should be pointed out that if you are going to be able to work at home in the garden do you really want to be sat in a ‘mini office’? Many would argue that a log cabin office look, feel and finish is infinitely preferable; more comfortable to work in and better integrated in the garden scene.
Having chosen a double glazed door and windows as well as roof and floor insulation, the only thing left to turn your log cabin into a garden office is the electrics. If you are having the log cabin installed by the supplier they will usually quote for the electrics as an extra. Alternatively get a local electrician to run the electrics to the cabin post installation. In the latter case it’s worth deciding early on how you are going to get the electric cable to the cabin as these works can easily be incorporated when you are designing the cabin base; any trenches for cable can be dug and the cable layed at the same time. Alternatively, get the cabin assembled and treated and then add the electrics last of all by drilling through a log in the back or side wall and surface mounting electrical sockets. If required a qualified electrician can fit a consumer unit in the cabin; these units are inexpensive and the labour charge will be the greatest cost.
If you plan to use the finished log cabin as a studio or writing room an internet connection might not be a priority. But for most people a home office will require a fast internet connection. Once the electric is connected this can simply, cheaply and easily be achieved by using the electrical connection as a local area network with ethernet power plugs. Plug one ethernet plug into the cable modem in the house, and the other into a socket in the cabin. Get the ‘plug through’ type so you don’t even lose a plug socket. And no costly and ugly extra wiring! The internet connection in the vast majority of cases should be fast enough for example to stream movies or ftp bulky files. It will also be faster and more secure than using a wireless LAN connection relayed from the house.
The key point to take away is this – don’t buy an overpriced ‘home office’ package, buy a log cabin and turn it into your own customised home log cabin office.