Working at home has been a steep learning curve during lockdown - particularly for parents with children who require home schooling.
Balancing the demands of your day job with childcare when all the family is under one roof is difficult and can lead to a pressure cooker atmosphere.
But if you have room to expand, why not create a peaceful haven by building an office in the garden?
Here are some top tips for designing and constructing your dream office...
Do I need planning permission?
Failing to comply with planning laws could land you in trouble with the council and your neighbours.
Essentially, outbuildings like sheds, cabins, greenhouses and garages don’t need planning permission if they meet the following guidelines:
Single storey with roof eaves no higher than 2.5 metres;
Covers no more than half the area of land around the original house;
Will only be used by members of the household;
Not used as living accommodation;
Made from timber
Rules can vary between councils. If you’re unsure, speak to your local planning office.
Where is the best place?
Think about whether the new building will impede the view or block light into your house. and the same goes for your office space. Often, people place their home office at the end of their garden to tick both boxes.
Garden structures are best built on level ground with concrete piles, so avoid sloping areas or parts of your garden that get waterlogged after heavy rainfall.
Bespoke or ready-to-build?
Unless you’re a builder by trade or an expert DIYer, get the help of an expert company.
There are self-assembly kits available on the market, but these are often the most basic of designs and have limited functionality.
If you have more complex needs for your garden office, a bespoke supplier can help create your perfect structure.
Home offices can range from a couple of thousand up to more than £30,000.
Are home offices safe from burglars?
Garden offices are a prime target for burglars, being empty at night and often filled with expensive equipment.
At the end of the day bring in any portable devices and sensitive documents to your house to reduce the risk.
There are also many deterrents you can install to stop thieves, including motion sensor security lights above the entrance door, blinds to block their view of the inside, and a gravel pathway to your office.
These tips were provided by experts at log cabin company Eurodita who also supplied the photograph.