Home Offices, Studios, and Workshops Posts

Going to Work from Home in 2018? Avoid the Pitfalls by Creating a Dedicated Space

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In our recent post ‘New Year, New Project’ we spoke about making life changes in 2018. One of these changes might be to achieve a better work/life balance. Working from home can be a dream come true, so why not let Summerwood make it a reality?

Cutting out the daily commute can free up 10+ hours a week, so it’s not surprising that many people consider working from home as a blessing. In fact, working from home is a trend that is here to stay according to labour market research. The New York Times reported last year that 43% of employed Americans spent time working remotely, while CNN reports a 115% increase in telecommuting workers in the decade between 2005 and 2015.

Ambitions to work from home could be one or two days a week, or full time if you have the flexibility or have started your own business from home. Regardless, a home office can be the perfect solution to achieving that greater work/life balance you desire. But how do you do it right?

A shared space where you’re contained within the same four walls, days or weeks on end, can cause cabin fever, where maybe your dining table doubles as your office desk or your couch is the most comfortable office chair. It can mean having to clear away your laptop and work documents so dinner can be served, or family trailing in and out to chat while you’re on the phone. Maybe you can’t fully relax, because rather than the age-old problem of taking work home with you, work literally surrounds you 24/7.

Are we painting an idyllic picture? Probably not, because we know you need a dedicated working space, away from the distractions and interruptions, but also a place where you can close the door and say that it’s the end of the work day.

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A separate backyard prefabricated build may be the answer. Here at Summerwood, we’ve noticed a growing demand for backyard offices and studios, and worked with hundreds of customers to help make their dream a viable reality. We support you in your goals to work from home – to be productive, be comfortable, and be happy while you work.

Working meters from your home has all the advantages you imagined; no more early rises to beat the morning traffic, no more humdrum commutes, and no more comprises to convert your work station back into a dining room. Instead, you have your own devoted office, a place in which you know you are there to work, away from the main house, and personalized to your liking. You can add features to keep the space organized, like module shelves, or livable spaces to gather your thoughts and be creative, like a lounge chair or reading nook. Many of our customers also add a stylish dormer window to create a little more natural light. And best of all, your family gives you space so you can work effectively and efficiently without being disturbed.

Spend time browsing through our home office studio styles and our photo galleries of customer favorites. We have a number of designs that other Summerwood customers have designed, or you can use our Custom Design Center to make the perfect office space for you. Don’t forget: all of our builds, including home studios, include easy-to-follow instructions, diagrams, and assembly videos to help you through the process and we’re always here to answer any of your questions.

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5 Reasons Why Man Caves Should Be On Top of Your Christmas List

Movember has come to a close, and even though the month might be past us, it’s a great reminder to celebrate the positive impacts that the month has every year on men’s health. In keeping with this, we have taken a closer look at the importance of a man cave and the benefits these masculine spaces offer.

 

Elvis had Graceland, Tony Soprano had his Bada Bing room, and Al Bundy had his garage – men carving out their own places is nothing new in popular culture. Even before TV, men have found peace in a number of male-oriented spots, whether in a pub, workshop or den. Places away from the stresses and demands of everyday life aren’t a distant dream; they’re just going by a new name– the man cave.

 

The benefits that come with a dedicated, males-only space make a great case for why a ‘mantuary’ is the perfect Christmas present to yourself or the special man in your life—here’s why.

 

mancave

 

1. Decompress and de-stress

 

Stress relief is the basic reason that every man needs a man cave. There’s no arguing that sometimes you need to escape the everyday grind of life, but vacations aren’t always an option. After the demands and challenges of a long day or workweek, we all seek a place to unwind, where we can surround ourselves with creature comforts to relax. Can you think of a better way to do this than in a space of your own making?

 

2. Rediscover how to “fire-gaze”, reflect and refuel

 

This point really does pay homage to the ‘cave’ in man cave.

 

The act of gathering around a fire dates to prehistoric times. At the end of a long day’s hunt, man would sit and rest in front of the fire, watching the flames. He needed time to recharge his energy for the next day’s hunt. Today, the natural instinct of a man after a long period of work or intense activity, is still to ‘fire-gaze’, or to ‘zone-out’ in another way, like simply watching Netflix or reading a newspaper.

 

Both physical space and headspace are needed for us to decompress and prepare ourselves to jump back into the grind. A man cave offers a space free of demands, where a man has the freedom to completely turn off from the world and prepare for the next hunt, sales meeting, or family dinner.

 

3. Embrace individuality, creativity and masculine expression

 

Female-led decorating and interior design is common in many homes, sometimes leaving male-tastes unfilled. This can be disheartening to men, as their favourite sports paraphernalia, video games, or large-screen television from bachelor days are relegated to the attic or not-so-accidently sold at last week’s garage sale.

 

A man cave is the perfect spot for a man to carve out his own domain, allowing for more masculine items, that may not be suited to the main house, items like a pool table, exercise equipment, game station, reclining chairs, or a bar.

 

Men can style their man cave’s interior to fit the vibe they want, whether this is minimalist and spartan, a traditional pub scene, or an inspired workshop for dreaming, planning and building. Decorating the man cave to reflect personal taste and individuality can be satisfying. While each man cave can be as different as the men who inhabit them, there are no right or wrong ways to decorate. If the space is filled with things that make him happy, how could it be wrong?

 

workshop-mancave

 

4. Explore your interests

 

As we go through life, and face more demands on our time, we can lose touch with earlier life passions – where hobbies fall by the wayside or we forget to explore new interests.

 

Whatever your interests might be, having a space to maintain a lifelong passion or discover a new pursuit and spending time on our hobbies helps our mental health and mood balance. From constructing model planes and miniature railway sets, to fixing motorbikes or household items, many men find working on logical or practical projects is both mentally stimulating and therapeutic.

 

As well as having this mental health benefit for men, a dedicated outdoor building as a hobby or workspace carries the added benefit of keeping the home and garage clutter free!

 

5. Personal space for better relationships

 

Less tense, more inspired— this is how most men feel after an hour spent in their man cave. A man who feels recharged is able to be his very best self, allowing him to bring more to his everyday, including his relationships, especially with friends and family.

 

Personal spaces are important in maintaining overall happiness and a sense of self—and have proved themselves as helpful outlets for those with significant others. What’s more, in some cases they’ve inspired partners to seek out a space of their own, like She Sheds.

 

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Let Summerwood help

 

The benefits of a man cave are numerous, and far-reaching, but the process of setting up your own is easy. The assembly process for Summerwood buildings is safe, simple and fun, as our pre-cut and pre-assembled kits allow you to do-it-yourself, or to hire a contractor for extra help, while our Custom Design Center lets you personalize a building to fit your home, landscape, and lifestyle.

 

We cover the whole spectrum of design choices, and ship our products throughout North America and beyond. For inspiration, browse our cabins and studios or search here among over 1,000 finished project photos submitted by delighted Summerwood customers.

 

Whether you need a little or a lot of help, contacting our experienced design specialist team here can help you get the ball rolling on the man cave of your dreams, and build the foundation for a great year ahead.

 

Tips and Ideas: Home Office Studios

prefab home studiosThere are several important considerations when planning your home studio, but with an eye for detail and careful planning your Summerwood Studio can easily become your own personal sanctuary. The first question to ponder is “what do I intend to use it for?” Some of the most common applications of our home studios are for home offices, personal exercise studios and as guest houses. To some extent the answer to this question will impact all others. We suggest you make a list of all the functions you would like your studio to serve as part of the planning process.

Where to Build your Home Studio?

home studio location Studio Location – Depending on its use, you may want to build your studio in a spot that receives lots of natural light. Especially if your going to be using it for arts and craft activities. If you’re using it as a guest house or the like, you’ll most likely want to build it away from the main house for privacy. If it’s a home office, then building it closer to the main house for convenience may be something you’ll want to consider. As you can see the use of your studio greatly determines other design and construction factors. Other things to think of when choosing a location may be proximity to water (i.e. do I need a hose, do I want to plumb it for a sink or toilet), ventilation and electricity (lighting or outlets may be required, especially when used as a home office). Conversely, you may preclude the need for some of these things by including large opening windows and vents and other design elements. Also think about the pros and cons of your preferred building site in all four seasons. The surrounding foliage (and weather) can be very different from one season to the next. All of these considerations may have some impact on where you locate your home studio. Once you have decided on a size for your home studio (see ‘choosing a size’ below), it’s a good idea to stake it out on your premises to ensure that the fit is comfortable for your needs and that the location is harmonious with your landscape. backyard studio zoning   Home Studio Zoning – Decisions made on the size, location, and style of your garden studio are not entirely in your hands. Be sure to check with your municipality to ensure that you are meeting the local permit and zoning requirements. If your garden studio is under 100 sq. ft. you will not likely require a permit, however, there are usually some restrictions such as a two or three foot set backs from a property line to contend with. Please see permits and zoning for more information. backyard studio shed grade   Location Grade – Ideally your site should be level, with a slight pitch towards the rear. This will allow drainage of water without having to excavate. Your home studio may be located where the ground slopes more steeply (i.e. greater then 12″ from one side to the other), however if this is the case more thought should be put to the foundation. Try to avoid positioning your home studio at the bottom of a hill. If you do, ensure that you beef up the drainage with a 6″ gravel bed or some other appropriate foundation. If there is a slope and you are planning to store large items, be sure to consider adding a ramp for easy storage and access.

Home Studio Design Options

backyard studio design   Our range of studio styles, sizes, and options will allow you to design and build your home office studio for functionality without having to compromise on style. Be sure to spend sufficient time browsing through all the home office studio styles as well as our studio photo galleries. You’re sure to benefit from the many designs that others have come up with before you. Choose a home studio style that reflects your personal taste and fits in to the landscape. Don’t worry about matching your studio to your house, not every thing needs to match. You can customize your studio to your heart’s content, implementing your personal flair along the way of course. Most of our home office studio styles are differentiated primarily by roof lines (i.e. gable, hip, salt box) so this is an important consideration as well. Inside your Home Studio – It’s also important from the beginning of your decision making process to think about the interior design of your studio. Partitions often work well to divide space for the various different uses (although the ‘open’ concept has its appeal as well). Hooks, shelves, benches, bins and other creative ideas are useful in helping to keep things organized. Whatever your requirements, we have oodles of options to choose from so you shouldn’t have much trouble achieving a good fit to your tastes and needs.

Landscape around your Home Studio

landscape backyard studio shed   It’s smart to think about how you may want to cultivate the landscape in the immediate surroundings. Shrubs, flowers, and trellises draped with vines can be a great design addition to your studio’s overall look and feel and will help to define the space. Many people also choose to lay flagstone, interlocking pavers, or use other methods to create a pathway to the door of your home office studio. A little garden decor provides nice finishing touches to a tranquil space. Strategically placed, things like trellises, pergolas, cupolas, lights, wind chimes, wheelbarrows, birdhouses – and even your favorite piece of weathered furniture can go along way to creating the outdoor sanctuary your Summerwood garden studio was intended for.

Home Studio Size

Clearly the key in selecting the size of your studio is to ensure that your space is large enough for its intended purposes while remaining proportional to the setting. What is the studio being used for? Is it a home office? A home recording studio? Exercise center, or guest house? Think of the activities that you have in mind for your hideaway and plan accordingly. If you intend to share you space with items currently residing in your yard, make sure to allow for enough room for you and your stored items. A dual-purpose studio doesn’t have to be huge, but it does need to be large enough to do what you want it to do. Consider assigning different uses to different spaces and incorporate some thoughtful and inventive design into your building plan. Once you’ve decided on a size, place stakes in the ground and physically outline the sides with a string or garden hose. Adjust the stakes until you’re happy with the size and record the dimensions. This is the best way to visualize your studio in its intended space.

Note: if you have chosen an inward opening ‘D’ series door, you will need to have four feet of clearance inside your studio.

Again, be sure to check with your zoning office for any municipal laws that may require you to have a permit before you build a structure of a certain size. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! Please feel free to contact us at any point in the planning process and we will provide you with as much help, as you need.

Home Studio Construction Materials

Most of our products are constructed from a premium grade of western red cedar or Canexel maintenance free wood fibre siding (available in many vibrant colors). We only use the finest materials on the market, so be assured that what you get is truly top of the line – we don’t mess around. Different materials create different looks so you may want to consider that if you want your design to extend or complement the architectural style of your house and other structures on your property. Click for detailed information on our materials and siding.

Home Studio Roofing Options

There are a variety of options when it comes to roofing materials and here you will have to make an important decision. Obviously Asphalt shingles are the most economical and are readily available in a variety of colors at your local building supply store. roofing shingles backyard shed   Although asphalt shingles are not packaged with our structures, cedar shingles are available as an option. They are truly beautiful and will last a lifetime. Corrugated metal roofing is another possibility. Available in many colors, this is an attractive option and is very adept at keeping the snow off your roof (if you live in colder climates). Another popular choice is clay roofing tiles. Many homes use this tile and it’s nice to have the two structures share this similarity. Just be sure to mention this to our design team, as clay tiles add extra weight and the structure needs to be beefed up a little to accommodate these tiles.

Build your Home Studio yourself, or hire a Contractor?

Decide on whether you’re going to take on the project of building your studio yourself or if you’re going to hire someone to do it for you. Size of the studio and the complexity of its design will decide this to a large degree. However, most of our customers tackle the project themselves and quite enjoy it; a form of therapy or family bonding if you will. If you are an accomplished ‘do-it yourselfer’, or are ready to make your debut, make sure that you have both the time and the energy required for the task at hand. If not, be sure to have a look at our how to hire a contractor’ package. For detailed information on assembly and the tools required for the assembly of your studio please click here.

Choosing a Home Studio Style

Style is a personal issue, but basically it comes down to which style suits you best. Remember, all of our studio buildings can be customized to your own personal requirements. They range in size from as small as you want to as big as you want. Get creative and make the size unique to your space.

Summerwood Home Studios:

palmerston summerwood shed

Palmerston Home Studios - The Palmerston gable roof design is our most basic and most popular. The look is clean and the space functional; roof trusses double as storage space for sports equipment and other items that need to be tucked away. Dormers add a nice touch to this style.

 Catalina summerwood shedCatalina Home Studios -The five sided roof design certainly adds an interesting dimension to your landscape. A great choice nestled into a corner facing your yard.

sonoma summerwood shedSonoma Home Studios - The Hip Roof design offers a little more flair and versatility. The use of rafters instead of trusses also creates more of an open feeling. This style is easily dressed up with the doors and windows of your choice.

Melbourne summerwood shedMelbourne Home Studios -This unique design offers an understated elegance that is not usually associated with studios. The Melbourne is a big hit with our landscape architect clientele.

Urban Studio summerwood shedUrban Studio Home Studios - Our Urban Studio is defined by its modern design and rugged natural good looks. This spacious design is ideal for as a home office – the space can be used for equipment storage or can easily accommodate a desk, sitting area and the rest of your accessories.

coventry studio summerwood shedCoventry Home Studios - For the discerning homeowner, our new Coventry range of garden buildings offer a joyous blend of craftsmanship, style, and rich English Garden tradition.

copper creek summerwood shedCopper Creek Home Studios - This studio has a steep roof pitch, providing just the right amount of drama. Its elegant design performs well in any setting and can be dressed up (or down) to suit all of your needs.

Glen Echo Studio summerwood shedGlen Echo Home Studios - Form meets function: the Glen Echo studio is both an attractive accent to your landscape and a practical spot to spend your days. The overhang doubles as an attractive porch for a welcome break in the middle of a hard day’s work.

Verana Studio summerwood shedVerana Home Studios - The Verana design is sure to light a creative spark. Choose your siding, windows and doors and make the space as personal as what you’re using it for. It offers an inviting space to use for relaxing during those long days.

Windsor Studio summerwood shedWindsor Home Studios - The Windsor is regal and striking – an ideal artist studio. With the addition of large windows and French doors, this style is certain to inspire creativity.

san cristobal Studio summerwood shedSan Cristobal Home Studios- is a classic beauty that is truly unique when used as a studio. This exquisite structure is fully enclosed and comes with French doors and beautiful opening windows (complete with screens). If natural light is a priority, the San Cristobal is a wise choice.

baliBali Tea Home Studios – Inspired by traditional Japanese architecture, our Teahouse style home office studio is brilliant in its minimalism. Get out of the house and into a Bali Tea House and transform your work at home experience. (Shown as a spa enclosure)

Tips and Ideas: Workshops

prefab workshops

There are some important things to keep in mind when planning for your workshop. Whether your hobbies include small construction projects, repairing a vintage car or building model airplanes, we can help you design the structure that will fit your lifestyle perfectly. Once you decide that you want a dedicated workshop, we’ll help you determine what size will work best and what options will suit the workshop’s functions.

Check our post on garden sheds for more workshop ideas.

Choosing a Site for your Workshop

workshop size

Location – From a practical standpoint, it is wise to locate your workshop close to your home. You want it to be an extension of your home yet far enough away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. If you’re going to outfit your workshop with plumbing and/or electricity, then you have to physically situate it close to power and water lines.

Aesthetics are important: you may choose to highlight your structure by making it the center of attention (which is fine) or blend it in to your landscape and make it a secret hideaway. Your choice! You’ll also want to think about natural light and ventilation (although we can provide vents for your building) and how these things will affect what you’re using the building for.

 Consider also the location of your building in different seasons. The surrounding foliage, as well as weather can be very different from one season to the next and may influence how and when you decide to use your workshop.

worshop locationsOnce you have decided on a size (see choosing a size below), it’s a good idea to physically stake it out on your property to ensure that the fit is comfortable for you and is harmonious with your surroundings.

Zoning – Decisions made on the size, location, and style of your workshop are not entirely in your hands. Be sure to check with your local municipality to ensure that you are meeting any zoning and permit requirements. Generally, if your structure is under 100 sq. ft. you will not require a permit however, there are usually some restrictions such as a two or three foot set back from a property line to contend with (please see permits and zoning for more information).

Grade – Ideally your site should be level, with a slight pitch towards the rear. This will allow drainage of water without having to excavate around your structure. A structure may be located where the ground slopes more steeply (i.e. greater then 12” from one side to the other) however, if this is the case more thought should be put to the foundation you are going to build. Try to avoid positioning a structure at the bottom of a hill, however – if you do, ensure that you beef up the drainage with a gravel bed around your structure or some other appropriate foundation. If there is a slope and you are planning to store wheel barrels and lawn mowers, be sure to consider adding a ramp to your shed.

Selecting a Workshop Design

Our broad range of workshop styles, sizes, and options will allow you to design and build your workshop for functionality without having to compromise on style. Be sure to spend sufficient time browsing our photo galleries and you will benefit from all the designs that others have come up with before you.

Choose a style that reflects your personal taste and fits in to the landscape. Don’t worry about your workshop matching your house, not everything needs to match…and why not be a little eclectic! You can customize your workshop to your heart’s content, implementing your personal flair along the way. Most of our workshop styles are differentiated primarily by roof lines (i.e. gable, salt box) so this is an important consideration.

workshop design

It’s important from the beginning of your decision making process to think about the interior design of your workshop.  If you require space to work on projects that need a table, be sure to design around that. Incorporate shelving to store things and enough wiggle room to keep comfy. Store large items in the roof (if you have a gable roof) or hang them from the rafters, and leave enough space to use for your larger projects. Partition the building (storage on one side your projects on the other), that will help you keep focused and incorporate large doors and windows for light and access. We have oodles of options to choose from so you shouldn’t have much trouble achieving a good fit to your tastes and needs.

Surrounding Landscape

It’s smart to think about how you may want to cultivate the landscape in your workshop’s immediate surroundings. Shrubs, flowers, and vines on trellises can be a nice complement to a space and will help to define it. Many people will also choose to lay flagstone or other pavers to create a pathway to their building.

 lanscape workshop

A little garden décor will also help to create a tranquil space. Strategically placed, things like trellises, pergolas, cupolas, lights, wind chimes, wheelbarrows, birdhouses – and even your favorite piece of weathered outdoor furniture can go a long way to creating that outdoor sanctuary your workshop creativity requires.

Workshop Size

There is no easier answer when trying to come up with the perfect sized workshop. There is no wrong choice so, you can’t really make a bad decision, and we offer a wide range of sizes so all you need to do is pick one that works.

Clearly, the key is to ensure that your workshop is large enough for its intended purposes, while remaining proportional to the setting. Think of what is going to go inside and how much room is required for you to work. An easy way to do this is to physically map the location out.  Think of the space you work in now and what it lacks. Partition walls may be worth considering if you want to separate contents or activities. If you intend on combining storage needs with work space, make sure to allow for enough room. A dual purpose building doesn’t have to be massive, providing you assign different uses to different spaces and incorporate some thoughtful and inventive design into your plan.

Once you’ve decided on a size, place stakes in the ground and outline the sides with a string or garden hose. Adjust the stakes until you’re happy with the size and record the dimensions.

workshop size

Note: if you choose an inward opening “D’ series door, you will need to have four feet of clearance inside your workshop.

Again, be sure to check with your zoning office for any municipal laws that may require you to have a permit before you build a structure of a certain size. Better safe than sorry!

Please feel free to contact us at any point in the planning process and we will provide you with as much help as you need.

Workshop Construction Materials

Here are some details on the materials and construction methods you can expect with your Summerwood Workshop kit.

Flooring:

Sheathing: We use sq. edge 4 x 8 x 3/4” T & G sheets. You may want to upgrade to fir plywood, or consider a T & G pine for a different look.

Joists: We use 2 x 4 spruce (with perpendicular 2 x 6 (or greater) P.T. runners underneath). Although not necessary, some people prefer to go with P.T. for the floor joists as well. We use 2 x 6 spruce for our larger workshops.

Shingles: We offer cedar shingles that can be purchased for your structure at the time of sale, but there are other choices that may be purchased from your local hard supply store (asphalt shingles, for example). Whatever you choose, be sure to follow the installation instructions closely. Please refer to the roofing section on our website for more information.

Siding:

We generally use four types of siding in the production of our products: cedar channel siding, cedar log siding, cedar shingle siding and Canexel wood fiber siding.

  • The cedar siding is 8” wide western red cedar channel siding with either the rough or smooth side out. It covers 6 3/8” per row and is a lovely material that looks beautiful on every design.
  • The cedar log siding is 2 x 8” and gives a truly rustic effect
  • The cedar shingles are 18″ in length and 7/16″ thick, they give a truly distinct look to the building that they’re put on.
  • The Canexel wood fiber siding is 1” x 12” and it covers approximately 11” per row. It has a 15-year warranty and comes in a compelling range of colors with virtually no required maintenance.

 Walls:

Studs: We use at least 2 x 4 spruce studs every 16″ OC. If you love cedar, consider upgrading.

Roofing:

Sheathing: We use 4 x 8 x 7/16″ OSB. You may want to upgrade to fir plywood, or consider a T & G pine or cedar for a more finished appearance.

Trusses and rafters: We use spruce (dimensions vary depending on size and style). Cedar may be used as an upgrade.

For detailed information on our roofing choices please click here.

Build your Workshop on your own or Hire a Contractor?

hiring a contractor Decide on whether you’re going to take on the project of building your structure yourself or if you’re going to hire someone to do it for you. Most of our customers tackle the project themselves and quite enjoy it; a form of therapy or family bonding if you will. Get your friends and neighbors involved, basically anyone who’s going to be spending time in your house or backyard is fair game.

If you are an accomplished ‘do-it yourselfer’, or are ready to make your debut, make sure that you have both the time and the energy required for the task at hand. If not, be sure to have a look at our ‘how to hire a contractor’ package. For detailed information on assembly and the tools required for the assembly of your workshop, please click here.

Choosing a Style

Style is a very personal issue. That’s why at Summerwood we offer choices. Remember all our workshop styles can be customized to your personal requirements. They range in size from as small as you want to as big as you like. The most popular sizes are the ones that are nudging 100sq. ft. In some municipalities sizes greater than this may require a permit.

Glen Echo garden sheds

 The Glen Echo Workshop – Our Glen Echo kit combines high-quality craftsmanship with modern design. Its functional design features a steep roof overhang for extra storage and a porch feeling. A dormer adds a nice touch to this style.

palmerston garden sheds

The Palmerston Workshop – The Palmerston gable roof design is our most basic and most popular style. Roof trusses double as storage space for items that need to be tucked away.

 

 

Bar Harbor garden shedsThe Bar Harbor Workshop – This is an ideal style for those who are in the market for something eclectic. The saltbox style roof features exposed cedar rafters and 1 x 6 cedar roof boards.

 

telluride garden sheds

The Telluride Workshop – Our Telluride is defined by its steep roof pitch and rugged natural good looks. This spacious design is ideal for both storing and working with tools. It can come all dressed up with large double doors, antique hardware, vertical cedar siding and country quaint windows.

 

highlands garden shedsThe Highlands Workshop – The simple gable roof evokes the no nonsense style of the hearty northern Scots. Consider large sash windows to allow for plenty of sunlight, a Scottish rarity!

 

 

Copper Creek garden shedsThe Copper Creek Workshop – The hip roof style creates a soaring feeling of space and makes for a pleasant view from any angle.

An Office Away from the Office

As Monday morning and a new week approaches, you may find yourself wondering where the weekend went. Maybe you’re not looking forward to a long commute, a stack of papers awaiting you on your desk, or responding to all of those emails. So, how do you make the work week a little bit better?

For those that freelance, or are entrepreneurs, it may be most cost-effective to work from home. But working and living in the same space can cause stress, anxiety and make some feel a little stir-crazy. It’s important to separate work and play, and let your mind relax after a long work day. No one wants to see that stack of papers on their kitchen table! We’re all more productive if we make room for a break, out of sight and out of mind after a long day. But if you’re living in a small space, it can be difficult to achieve this. So what’s the solution? Well, how about moving that space outdoors?

summerwood modern backyard home office

For those with a large enough backyard, a simple home office can completely revitalize the way that you work from home. A home office is a necessity for many, especially with many businesses operating right from their homes. However, for many families the office often becomes a catch-all space where papers and documents are dumped, computers are taken over by kids, and decor is an unfortunately, just an afterthought. So that got us thinking, what if we create an office away from the office, and the home?

Moving your office outside can provide you with privacy and a quiet place to work. We’ll help you create a custom office and separate space in which you can create and explore, while enjoying the nature and solitude of your yard. Whether you work from home, or merely bring your work home with you (as many of us do), having a space that is conducive to getting things done without distraction is essential for many. If you’re tired of interruptions and papers piling up in your office (or anywhere else in the home), a custom office might be just what you’re looking for. Summerwood Products can help you create an office space and private work sanctuary for you, your family or your business, all for less than a home add-on or reno.

Not sure where to get started? Below we’ve got a few points to consider before you begin designing your personal custom home office.

Sizing

When searching for the perfect backyard home office for you, you must first decide how large a space will fit your needs. You want to ensure that you have enough space to work comfortably, without feeling cramped, but also ensure that the constructed office does not overwhelm the entire backyard. That’s why starting with a plan is ideal. You have the freedom to choose an exact size and truly customize your home office to fit the outdoor space you’re placing it in. Just brainstroming? Visit our Design Center to start generating ideas for your new office studio.

Copper Creek home office with painted cedar shingles
Permits

It is also important that you research the bylaws of your municipality to ensure that it is legal to begin building on your property. Generally, any structures larger than 100 sq. ft. require a permit in order to be built, but the rules differ street by street. While building permits are an easy thing to overlook, it is worth taking the time to find out the permit laws in your municipality are in order to avoid a much larger headache – or even a fine – in the future. Find out what you’re allowed to build and we’ll help you build exactly that! For a brief rundown, check out our blog post on the topic: “Building Permits: What You Need To Know”.

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Our 5-sided Catalina style fits perfect in a tight corner!
Exterior Options

Customizing your home office exterior can be the perfect way to integrate it into your backyard, creating a fluidity of style that suits your aesthetic tastes and perhaps even matches your home. Have fun with the exterior and customize to your heart’s content. We’ll help you adjust your roof pitch, add a dormer or a cupola, increase wall height, choose siding and pick the perfect windows and doors. We have over 50 to choose from!


Our flat-roof styles are a great option for your modern backyard. See more interior shots of this beautiful space in: “The Modern Verana Pool House”.

6 Fun And Unique Uses For A Backyard Home Studio

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Sometimes life can be overwhelming and busy, and after a long day of work you may find that you simply don’t want to turn around and leave home again, even to entertain family or participate in leisurely activities. You may want to spend time with family laughing and having fun, but are a bit wiped out and need to stay close to home. However, you don’t need to leave home to have creative or fun down-time after all. It’s time that you found ways to bring the fun to you, within the walls of your backyard studio. You can configure your private, purpose-built studio in any way imaginable to support your passions and further your interests – but get creative with it!  Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing, and with a unique studio space on your lot, the chance to have the time of your life will always be just a few steps away.

1. Video Arcade

If you search through local video arcades for your favorite childhood games, but come up empty handed time and time again, you may want to convert your studio into a private gaming den. You can line up the pinball and arcade machines along the walls for an authentic feel or simply embrace the simplicity of console setups. You can line the walls with bookshelves filled with game cartridges and discs to keep your collection clean and organized for years to come.

2. Personal Gym

When it comes to blasting away stress, nothing seems to beat exercise to the punch. By converting your studio to a dedicated personal gym, you will always have a place to come and run, bike or lift. With the exercise room far from your house, you can actively avoid distractions that would normally interrupt your workouts. You may even want to invite a friend over for a gentle bit of competition and comradery during your exercise sessions.

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When you want to cuddle up with a good book, there is no better place to go than your quiet, secluded backyard home studio. Outfit the space with insanely comfortable furniture, including a chaise lounge, microfiber recliner and glider chair, to feel like you are floating on a cloud as you drift into the literary world. Do not forget to work a window seat into the build, so you can enjoy peeks of your garden space between paragraphs. Add enough seating and you can even use the space to hold lively book club meetings with your friends, family and neighbors.

4. Space Observatory

If you want to see the stars in a whole new light, consider making your backyard home studio into a space observatory. A moderately priced telescope, home computer and collection of stargazing books are all you need to gaze upon the wonders of space. Make sure to reserve several windows for your telescope setup, so you can view the changing sky from multiple angles throughout the year. Consider adding recording equipment to your setup if you want to share your view with your friends, family or local community.  

5. Craft Nook

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As you likely well know, crafting can quickly overtake a room, or entire house, as you build up your collection of materials, tools and completed projects. By moving your crafting nook into the studio, you can expertly control your use of the space without having the situation run out of control. Be sure to use precise interior design techniques, like maximizing your use of vertical space, to keep your materials and tools organized and accessible. Create a separate corner for your crafting partners in crime, or little crafters in training, to join you from time to time.

6. Recording Studio

To create crisp, clean audio or video recordings, you must have a quiet, distraction free space for your equipment. A backyard recording studio can act as the perfect place to create the high quality videos or audio files you always wanted to make. The studio will also keep your recording equipment from overwhelming your living space. Work a comfortable couch or set of recliners into the space to give yourself an area for total relaxation between takes.

Transforming Your Property With A Backyard Home Studio

When you find that you’re ready to transform your home studio, or better yet, when you decide to property with a backyard home studio, give the team at Summerwood a call to discuss your outbuilding needs.

Custom Design Centre Call to Action

You can also visit the website and use the design center to customize a building to your exact specifications. There are ultimately endless building configurations to consider, so don’t hesitate to contact the team directly for assistance and guidance at any time.