Home Offices Are Sprouting in the Backyard
July 15, 2020
As remote working grows more common, homeowners are trying to carve out more space, indoors and out, for a dedicated home office. When space is tight or household noise is too loud, some homeowners are taking their office outside. The backyard home office is a growing trend, The New York Times reports.
Some homeowners are taking inspiration from the "man cave" and “she shed” phenomenon of the last few years and putting up shed-style home offices. For example, the company Studio Shed offers prefabricated panels that can be shipped, built, and assembled in a backyard to create a 100-square-foot home office. James Wilson in Oakland, Calif., who works in finance, and his wife Meg Wilson, a nurse practitioner who engages in telehealth, used one to create a private backyard office. From the time they ordered it until their backyard office was complete spanned a little over four weeks at a cost of $31,000.
Space-constrained homeowners are looking for solutions for a workspace. For some, it’s even been motivation to move. A recent survey of real estate agents conducted by HomeLight says that a designated home office will likely be the most desirable or important feature to home buyers in a post-pandemic era.
Homeowners who want to stay put are turning to their backyard to make space. Several companies are touting backyard solutions, like Kanga Room Systems (units start at about $5,000 for an 80-square-foot kit the buyer can assemble) and Modern Shed. These companies can ship standalone structures that can be assembled by homeowners to keep their home offices separated from their living spaces.
Studio Shed officials say they’ve doubled their sales over the last year. In April alone, their sales were four times it was a year prior. The company’s units start at $10,000.
The Modern Shed says they’ve noticed their orders drastically increasing as well. “We’ve always offered this very simple solution because you don’t need to tear up an existing house and you can just add it to your backyard,” Ryan Grey Smith, founder of Modern Shed, based in Seattle, told The New York Times. “It’s this little structure where you can feel like you’re working miles away, even though you’re only 30 feet away.”
Updated: October 26, 2021