Giving up a rented office and talking to garden office companies about moving your office home is a good move. But, what do you need to think about in the run up to getting a garden home office?
Taking your office home.
Are you considering giving notice on your rented office and building a garden home office?
It makes sense. Commercial office rental costs can be prohibitive for small businesses and London’s office costs are the highest in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. But are you giving yourself enough time to factor in the six points below, before you can move into your garden hideaway?
1. The garden home office company – First Principles Factor
The garden office company you choose needs time to design and supply the best office for you and your garden. Your office is a major investment and the base for your business, so best to get the size and design right, first time round.
It takes two or three weeks to work through the First Principles of buying a garden office. The company of your choice will:
- visit you
- survey your garden
- discuss the options with you
- produce designs and a quotation.
You will also want some thinking time, once you have your quotation.
2. Applying for planning permission – Fiddly Factor
Planning permission is often needed for garden offices.
Garden office planning permission is usually just a formality but it’s fiddly and eats up time – between eight and ten weeks.
Will your chosen supplier make the application for you and how much will they charge?
3. The interesting details – Focusing Factor
Whilst waiting for planning permission to be granted they will be focusing on:
- designing and installing your foundations
- helping you choose window and door colours and other design details
- selecting sanitary ware if you are having a loo or shower room
- finalising where all the electrical sockets and switches are going to go and helping you choose light fittings
If your garden office needs a building regulations application it should also be made during this time.
And there is still time to tweak the building design one more time!
4. Getting down to it – Foundations Factor
It’s unwise to start any ground works or foundations before planning permission is approved, but your ground works people can be ready and waiting to get started as soon as PP is granted.
Concrete foundations need a couple of weeks of dry weather for digging out and for the concrete to set before the office is built on top. This is simple in the summer, but needs more time and patience in winter.
If you are buying a light weight building that doesn’t need foundations you will still need a solid, well prepared base.
If your garden office company asks you for a deposit before they have got planning permission for you, they are taking advantage of you and using your money as cash flow for their business.
Financial Advice: Don’t hand over a deposit until you have planning permission and have formally agreed a start date for the building work.
6. Building your home garden office – Final Factor
Often garden offices are bespoke buildings. Ordering and manufacturing will start as soon as you pay your deposit. It usually takes between four and eight weeks for your supplier to plan and build the basic structure of your office in their workshops.
A good garden office company will have a full programme and could easily have three months building work in hand when you first contact them. They will need to factor you in to their production plans.
For a stress free garden office project Factor In these 6 points and your chosen garden office company will have enough thinking and planning time to do their best for you.