We wouldn’t be surprised if you are reading this section of the Garden Office Guide before the others, and why wouldn’t you, we all want an idea of what the project may cost us!
You will see in this guide (suppliers were asked to give a price guide for 1 & 2 person offices) that prices for garden offices vary greatly, you can pick up a garden office for around £5,000 from some suppliers whilst others may charge £30,000.
In our opinion garden offices come in three quality/price bands – cheap and cheerful, functional and well built, and high specification designer units.
You can pick up a garden office for under £5,000 but they tend to be cabin style buildings which owe their origin to the garden shed, they tend to be poorly insulated and of flimsy construction compared to more expensive garden offices, on the plus side you can gain quite a lot of space for little outlay but you have to weigh up low initial investment against future running costs and longevity. You have to be aware when looking at offices in this price band that there tend to be a lot of additional costs such as delivery, installation, foundations, double glazing, and electrics which will all bump a low initial price up.
In the mid range of the market you are looking at prices between £5,000 and £12,000, in this sector garden offices are built using house building techniques rather than being posh sheds. More attention is given to design and the material choices – most have been chosen for their longevity and low maintenance properties, the build quality on this range of garden offices is good. Many garden offices in this price band include the foundations and offices tend to be well insulated making them comfortable to use all year round. Many of the high end garden office designers have designed standard design units which fall into this price band and they incorporate all of the popular features at a great price point.
Garden offices in this band can range in price from £12,000 to in excess of £30,000; they tend to be cutting edge design with high spec materials. Offices in this price band tend to incorporate the latest building techniques and are designed by architects and other design professionals. Projects of this cost tend to be turnkey developments whereby the garden office supplier handles everything and hands the keys to the office over when the building is ready to move into. This band of garden offices are highly insulated, often exceeding the regulations for new housing meaning they will be very comfortable to use all year round, cost effective to heat and cool and kind to the environment.
Compare like with like
It’s important that you compare like with like, don’t try comparing a £3,000 log cabin with a £20,000 fully insulated office – there’s no comparison! Set your budget early and then compare garden offices in that price band, compare how well insulated the offices are, the longevity of the materials, and what the package includes – pay particular attention to delivery, foundations and heating.
How do garden offices compare with other types of extension?
This is a question we are often asked, a mid range garden offices start at around £800 per m2 (based on a 13sqm office) high spec garden offices start at £1400 per m2 (based on a 13sqm office) compare this with prices for an house extension built to a standard specification with standard quality fixtures and fitting and you’re looking at approximately £1500 sqm whilst high spec, complex buildings with bespoke features and designer fixtures and fittings can set you can set you back £2000 per sqm. So, significant cost savings can be made by installing a standalone garden office as opposed to a traditional extension, in addition to the cost savings garden offices are normally less disruptive to build with onsite build times varying from 1 day to 2 weeks and totally project managed.
Do they add value to a house?
It is generally agreed that an outdoor room or designated office space adds value to your house when you come to sell up; we think it is fare to say the better quality the garden office the more value it will add. Estimates vary on how much a garden office adds to a houses value, some people predict they add 5% to the value whilst others say you will make back your initial investment. Our advice if you are planning on adding a garden office to increase the value of your house is to choose a design that is not going to date and will appeal to a large audience.
Cut commuting costs
You can find lots of statistics on the Internet about how much we spend on commuting to work each year, a typical commuter travelling from Guildford to London spends £3,300 a year on train travel this is expected to rise by nearly £1000 over the next four years, if you were to work from a £15,000 garden office this would have totally paid for itself in less than 4 years and you would have at least 2 hours a day more productive time and a great work / life balance.
Garden offices for business use
If you are running a business from your garden office and are VAT registered you can claim back the VAT part of the cost, you can also set a garden office against tax, we recommend you talk through the options with an accountant.
You will usually pay for your garden office in stages, your order will be confirmed on receipt of a deposit this can be anything up to 50% of the project cost, a further payment is normally due as the office is delivered to site, often around 45% and a small final payment is due on completion of work, normally 5%.
When budgeting for your garden office project don’t forget that the majority of garden office suppliers don’t include the cost of the electrical connection of the office to the mains supply, this cost can vary depending on your site and the location of your garden office but as a guide you should allow £500 to £1200 on top of the cost of the garden office