Garden workshops and garden offices are increasingly popular spaces for hobbyist and entrepreneurs to hone their skills or grow their businesses. You may have a garden shed that does little more than store old and broken furniture. This autumn, why not convert it into something that you can really use? Here are a few tips on making a practical and beautiful garden workshop.
1. Decide what you’re working on
The perfect workshop is uniquely suited to the work you want to do, so before you start your project, think about what you want to use the space for. Are you looking for a timber workshop for woodwork and carpentry, or a metal workshop? Or are you looking for more of a garden office, for writing or running a business from home? Deciding on how you want to use your space will how you turn your shed into a garden workshop.
That being said, no matter what you hope to do you’ll probably need electricity. If you’re doing wood or metal work your equipment will need a power supply, and even the most basic garden office will benefit from some home comforts like lighting and heating. Again, thinking about what work you’ll be doing will affect how extensive your wiring has to be. For example, how many light fixtures you’ll need to install will depend on whether you plan to use your garden workshop during the day or at night. If you’re using portable equipment that just needs charging, you may not need as many sockets in the shed than if you plan to have a set of lathes and bandsaws. Also, remember to consult an expert if you’ve not done wiring and electrical work before.
As the weather starts to get colder an uninsulated wooden workshop is going to be pretty uninviting. Project Timber has a wide range of insulated sheds that will make your workshop experience much more comfortable, and makes it easy to keep on your new project. If you have a shed already and are looking to install insulation, think again about how you will use the space. A metal workshop will have a lot more dangerous equipment and fire hazards to be aware of than a garden workshop, but both need to be properly and safely put together to avoid any accidents.
Another consideration for early on in the project is installing windows. Using natural light is an easy way to make a small space look bigger, and make an old outdoor shed look new and inviting. If you’re installing windows, think about keeping them east-facing, so you can make the most of the morning light and get a good start to your day. This can also reduce the need for artificial light, saving you some time and money on wiring. Take a look at our garden workshops for some ideas on making beautiful, naturally lit spaces.
Once you’ve got your basic structure, power and insulation, you’ll need somewhere to actually do the work. For timber workshops this might mean putting in a wall of workbenches, to give you enough space for your various projects, tools and clutter. For a garden office, you might just want a desk, perhaps some tables and chairs that can act as a space for reflection or for small meetings. Be creative with the space you have!
6. Free space
One thing to remember, however, is not to fill the space too much. When you finally have a space for yourself, you might be tempted to throw in all of those things that have been on your wishlist for years, whether that’s the shiny new jigsaw or that eight-seater sofa you saw in town the other day. If you’re not careful you run the risk of making your new garden workshop feel small and cluttered. Too much stuff and you might even put yourself off working in it. Less is more, especially when you first start: just put in what you need to do the work you set out to do, and as your projects grow so can your space.
7. Collapsable spaces
A great solution to the clutter problem is getting workspaces that can be folded up and put away when needed. This might be extendable workbenches that roll out from your worktops, or foldable tables and chairs. By keeping your garden workshop flexible you can make sure it works for you, rather than having to change how you work to fit the space.
If you do go for collapsable workspaces you’ll need somewhere to store them when not in use. Planning your storage spaces when you put your garden workshop together will make sure you make the best use of the space, which means no hassle when you’re sitting down to work. Think about cupboards, shelving, or even building loft space to keep away clutter. This is especially important for anyone building a garden office, or anywhere that potential clients or colleagues might see. This is your special space, it should represent the best image of you and your brand.
9. Finishing touches
With that in mind, try and think of ways to make your garden workshop really stand out. Even if this is a space just for you, use this time to make it into something you love to look at and be in. A new lick of paint or some artwork on the walls can make a boring old shed into something cosy and welcoming. This is especially important for garden offices, where a beautiful and inspiring space can be the difference between a good day and a bad one.
These are just a few ideas on converting a wood garden shed into somewhere you can really pursue your personal projects. Giving yourself the right space to make your passions grow can be the jumpstart you need for a new hobby or even a new career. Take a look at the products on offer here at Project Timber for some inspiration for your very own garden workshop.