These are the top ten questions we have been asked about Backyard Offices and Studios
1. What do I do about WiFi?
Yes, you will have WiFi in your office assuming you have it at home. There are 2 ways to go:
Option 1 is to use mesh routers. The nice thing about mesh routers is they are far easier to set up than a normal router. You will need one in your backyard office and one at the back of your home. We like the Netgear Orbi and TD-Link models, you can also get a Google Nest WiFi mesh router that does a superb job.
Option 2 is to run an outdoor data cable (Cat 6) at the same time as you run electrical power to the backyard office. This solution will give you the fastest and most reliable connection to the internet.
2. How to best heat a Backyard Office
For your backyard space, we recommend baseboard heaters. They work efficiently and get the job done. We can now link modern heaters to a remote thermostat so you can program them to be a little cooler at night and come on in the morning ready for whatever you want to do.
3. What happens when its -25?
We put a lot of effort into insulating our offices and making the building envelope tight so there is no unnecessary air flow and loss of heat. For additional protection from Canadian winters we suggest going for triple glazed windows, deeper 7.5”/R30 insulation and a fiberglass door, each of these will help reduce heat loss.
4. Can I have water on tap, sink, etc?
This is a difficult one as it moves the building from being categorized as “shed” into permanent structure and likely needing a planning permit. If it is something you need, we will work with you through the process.
5. How does electricity and power work for a Backyard Office?
You will need power for your computer monitors, heating, lighting and the coffee machine. A cable will need to be run to the office, likely buried 18” and the office will need its own junction box. Again, something we can help you with or we can work with your own electrician.
6. Can I have a gas heater?
We only recommend closed heaters that have their own external air intake and venting. Done properly, they look fantastic and work wonderfully. Done badly, they are a health and safety risk we do not endorse.
7. Can 2 people work in the same Backyard Office
Collaboratively, there is plenty of space, especially if you put a workbench along the whole of the length of the office. If it is two people working separately it is very able, we would recommend a divider that goes halfway across the office and a heavy curtain to complete the division when needed. With separate workplaces the positioning of windows becomes especially important and we will work through that with you.
8. Do I need a planning permit?
Planning permits are normally required if the footprint of the structure is over 107/108 square feet and not for smaller structures. Our standard offices are 12’ x 8’ (96 sqr ft) so rarely need a permit. Please call us anytime 403 470-1659 and we will work through the rules with you.
9. Can you build in the winter 😀?
Yes, we can. The ground screws go in lovely whatever the temperature. Our only restriction is that some adhesives and tapes we use for the building envelope are not recommend below certain temperatures. We do our work properly and don’t cut corners so there will be times we can’t work or can only work certain hours of the day.
10. How long should I expect my Backyard Office to last?
Disposability is not a word we like at BOS&S. Many construction people would say we over build our structures and could get away with a lot less. Doing regular maintenance and a little care, there is every reason our building should be around for a lifetime or longer.
We like to take a European style view that buildings should be around for as long as we need them and should have multiple lives, so we build well.