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Considering putting a shed in my backyard, as an office. What issues should I consider?


Rodf
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At this point I'm still working from home (WFH). Thank God! (However, I don't expect that to last forever, so I'm looking for other opportunities that will allow me to WFH. So, if you or the company you work for has WFH opportunities, please let me know.)

 

For most of the pandemic I've been using an old, metal military desk in a corner of our living room. It worked fine. However, other members of my family are looking at needing space for doing recordings of videos and audio for publishing to YouTube, or promoting their writing careers, etc. We've been discussing this over the last couple of weeks. I've finally realized it would be better if we had a separate place to do all of this as our house is just not big enough. However, we do have a large yard that can accommodate a shed, separate from the house. Today, thinking about it I realized I could use it to continue WFH during the day, then others of my family could use it for working on influencer videos/audio recordings, private places for doing interviews while talking with publishing agents, etc. I can see this getting a lot of use by everyone in my family.

 

I've never done anything like this before, so I'm sure I've not thought of all that I should. Here's what I have considered.

 

At this point I don't see the need to run water to this new shed. Anyone wanting to use the bathroom or wash their hands, etc. can just go into the house. It would be 20 to 30 feet from the backdoor. And I don't think anyone intends to use this as a place to record cooking/baking demos. Plus, water in my neighborhood is expensive! So, I think putting in the necessary plumbing would be as much as building something like a mother-in-law's cottage, which is more ambitious than I plan on.

 

We'll need to run electricity to it to power computers, lighting, microphones, etc. For that I'll have to get an electrician as electrical work is not in my wheelhouse and I'm not going to endanger anyone's life by trying to DIY it.

 

While talking about this with my family I realized that somehow, I'll either extend our Wi-Fi signal to the building/shed (my preferred approach) or some other mechanism to get good internet access to that shed. For the state I live in and our neighborhood we've got good internet service. It's cable Internet using Sparklight (formerly Cable One). I've got 300 Mbps down with about 10 to 20 Mbps up. I know some of you have gigabyte access, but now that's only just coming into my state. It could be a few years before that's available to me. However, I'm doing better than any of my coworkers are, so I'm happy. I've got a Synology router in the house, which because our home is small the router reaches everywhere. I just don't think it will reach where we'd put the new structure in our backyard. How do I extend the signal to a small building/shed in the backyard?

 

My wife believes that we'll have to put the shed on a cement slab. She could be right. We live in the southwestern US, so it tends to be dry year-round. But we can get short duration, heavy rainfall that can leave puddles in the back yard. Fortunately, the rain runoff in our area is good. It would take something like one of those once in a hundred-year floods to cause serious flooding. Normally any heavy rainfall just runs down the street towards the east where the water runoff is directed to go.

 

Those are the thoughts I've had on this subject. What do you folks think of which I've not thought of, but should consider? Or if you've got some corrections to my thoughts, please let me know.

 

Thank you!

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For networking, I would run Ethernet cable, at least two, from the house to the shed. Burial grade Cat6a cable could be run to the shed in a trench, separate from the electrical trench. If the Synology router you have in the house is a RT2600ac, you could use a MR2200ac in the shed, to cover both buildings with the same WiFi:

MR2200ac | Synology Inc.

adding a small Ethernet switch in the shed would be a good idea as well.

 

What about air conditioning or a heater so the building is comfortable year round?

How large of a building are you looking at putting up?

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I would second the slab, suggesting to attach the shed to the slab, wind can really surprise you!

 

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11 hours ago, schoondoggy said:

For networking, I would run Ethernet cable, at least two, from the house to the shed. Burial grade Cat6a cable could be run to the shed in a trench, separate from the electrical trench. If the Synology router you have in the house is a RT2600ac, you could use a MR2200ac in the shed, to cover both buildings with the same WiFi:

MR2200ac | Synology Inc.

adding a small Ethernet switch in the shed would be a good idea as well.

 

What about air conditioning or a heater so the building is comfortable year round?

How large of a building are you looking at putting up?

 

Hmmm, I didn't know that Synology had a Mesh router. That's good to know! I do have the RT2600ac Synology router. 

 

As to your other questions, that is something to consider. My wife and i were talking it over and thought that doing some insulation would be wise. We were thinking of something like one of those in-the-window evaporative coolers. At least during the warm months. I'm not sure what we would do about heating. Got to do some more thinking about that.

10 hours ago, nrf said:

I would second the slab, suggesting to attach the shed to the slab, wind can really surprise you!

 

That is an excellent point! We live in New Mexico, which always experiences high winds in the spring. I am sure that some of those winds could pick up a shed that's just sitting on the ground, and at least blow it onto its side. Or worse. So, that settles that, the shed will have to be grounded with a cement slab.

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If you are just looking for the shed to only be an office, designs like studio shed are functional:

Design a Shed Online | Studio Shed (studio-shed.com)

Traditional yard barn with a loft is an efficient use of space:

DIY 10x12 Barn Style Shed With a Loft PDF Plans two Story | Etsy

If you need storage space with an office, there are lots of office over garage designs:

Garage Plan 51609 - 1 Car Garage Apartment Modern Style (familyhomeplans.com)

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