Dreaming of a better work-from-home space? Try a tiny backyard office.

michael jhon

With COVID-19 making working from home the new normal, and as people are realizing that this situation might go on for the foreseeable future, finding enough space and quiet to concentrate and get your work done has become a priority. If setting up your office at the kitchen table isn’t […]

With COVID-19 making working from home the new normal, and as people are realizing that this situation might go on for the foreseeable future, finding enough space and quiet to concentrate and get your work done has become a priority. If setting up your office at the kitchen table isn’t cutting it, and if you have the outdoor space, you might want to consider a backyard office shed.



a man sitting at a table in front of a window: Bob Clarizio, CEO and founder of Bantam Built, sits inside the light-filled INshed on Aug. 3, 2020. Clarizio designed the shed as a way to have a home office on your property. The INshed is about 100 square feet and is made out of standard four-season building materials.


© Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Bob Clarizio, CEO and founder of Bantam Built, sits inside the light-filled INshed on Aug. 3, 2020. Clarizio designed the shed as a way to have a home office on your property. The INshed is about 100 square feet and is made out of standard four-season building materials.

Tiny house builders and garden shed manufacturers across the country are pivoting to create home office structures that range from compact, prefabricated deluxe sheds to more elaborate custom designs. And business is booming.

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“A soon as the quarantine and having to work from home started, the requests for our sheds doubled,” said Brennan Deitsch, online marketing manager for Heartland Sheds, which has a branch in Glendale Heights. “A lot of people never really had their home set up as an office, so having a quiet place allows them to make the most of the work-from-home lifestyle,” he said.

To make the humble shed more appealing as an office, numerous design options are now available, ranging from classic cottages to styles that mimic the modernist tiny house designs that have become popular in recent years. Companies are also designing the structures to be more functional, adding features like additional operable windows and solar panels for power.

Elgin tiny house builder Bob Clarizio said that his company Bantam Built is getting up to 85 requests a week for backyard offices. “You have this demographic of people that are working from home and they’re getting the sense that there’s a chance that this is going to become a permanent lifestyle for them, which is stressful in itself,” he said. “For a lot of people, they feel like it’s a crisis — they don’t have the space, and they don’t want to spend all of the money to remodel their house with a room addition. That’s why I think we’re seeing so much of this.”

If you are considering a backyard office shed, the need and cost for a building permit varies depending on your location, the size of the structure, and amenities that you may want.

Here are five cool backyard office solutions.

The Solvalla Studio Cabin Kit by Allwood

Features: The modern design of the Solvalla model by Allwood takes two adults about two days to build. The design is split between an indoor and covered outdoor space to give you maximum flexibility. The Solvalla can also be set up on rooftops of multistory buildings.

Size and cost: The 18-foot-by-9-foot model is $6,750. allwoodoutlet.com

The Backyard Office from Bantam Built

Features: These custom-built offices take about two weeks to construct, and can be powered by solar panels and controlled by Alexa. The light-filled structures come in four sizes and can be placed anywhere you can find a level surface to rest them.

Size and cost: The 8-foot-by-8-foot model starts at $7,500. bantambuilthomes.com

The Signature Series from Studio Shed

Features: The prefabricated structure is built with a variety of green materials and comes with prepainted fiber cement siding and aluminum clad double-pane operable windows that are available in a variety of orientations. Installation takes less than one week, including all interior finishes and electrical connections.

Size and cost: The 10-foot-by-8-foot model starts at $10,763. studio-shed.com

The Colonial Gable Greenhouse from The Little Cottage Company

Features: The classic greenhouse design comes with preassembled, primed walls, one with a colonial dutch door and three with operable windows with half screens.

Size and cost: The 8-foot-by-12-foot model is $5,179. littlecottageco.com

The Studio Office Shed from Heartland

Features: The modern design of the Studio Office Shed has residential grade French doors, operable double-pane windows and a sloped roof that’s designed to reflect heat to keep the interior cooler.

Size and cost: The 12-foot-by-8-foot model is $9,999. heartlandsheds.com

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