Backyard Office Design

by | Last updated Jul 12, 2020 | Houses

With more and more people telecommuting and working from home the home office is becoming more popular. One great way to have a separation between the home and office is to build a small backyard office building.


Backyard Office Building Laws

If you want to build a backyard office the first thing you want to do is figure out the local codes. Some areas will not allow accessory structures like this at all. Some areas will allow it with restrictions. You may need an architect like me to design the backyard office and file with the local Department Of Buildings.

Some counties have a maximum size you can build for an accessory structure like a garden office. This will be critical to find. Also you will want to see what the filing requirements are. Not every county will require much for filing. There will often be regulations about where to locate the structure and maximum square footage.


Backyard Office Plans 

The second thing you want to figure out before you start designing your backyard office is the budget and the quality. Quality is always proportional to budget. Some people build these just like an office shed in the backyard converting an existing or prefab shed into an office. I personally would not do this for myself but that’s up to you. If you are looking to build something better then you can hire an architect to do a custom design. As an architect I personally would only do a high quality backyard office and build it with the same construction techniques as I would build a house.

Backyard Office Plans

Backyard Office Plans example for a Garden Office I designed.

Backyard Office Quality Of Construction

Deciding the quality of construction is very difficult and will affect your budget a great deal. Here are a few things you should consider if you are planning to build a backyard office.

  • Electricity, maybe solar power
  • Heating & Air Conditioning
  •  Insulation
  • Plumbing for utility sink or bathroom
  • Windows natural light and air
  • Location / orientation
  • Storage
  • Construction Materials
  • Budget
  • Size
  • Sustainability


Separation of Home and Office

With home offices becoming more popular I think the real appeal of a backyard office is separation. Separating the home and office is a great way to increase productivity and achieve mental balance. You can keep the office out of the house and keep the house out of the office.


Backyard Office Design Ideas

I recommend you do a little research on backyard offices when thinking about the design. I want to emphasize I recommend you build it like you would build a house with the same construction methods. I always recommend building with sustainability to learn more I have another post on Building a Sustainable Home.

Backyard Office With Roof Deck

Backyard Office With Roof Deck I designed, with rear stairs.


Backyard Office Building Design Ideas

In this backyard office I designed the idea was to make the office have a relationship with the backyard. Linking the indoor and outdoor space. we did this primarily with the roof deck that can be used for recreational purposes or meetings. We also incorporated large sliding doors into the design to make the space open and bring a little of the outside in.

Backyard Office Design with roof Deck

Backyard Office Design with roof Deck and large sliding doors


Thank You for reading our Blog Post on Backyard Office Design

Please feel free to post questions or comments below. If you are interested in discussing a specific project please contact us directly to speak with an architect.


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Jorge Fontan
Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.