One of the biggest home trends of 2020 is creating more usable space just about anywhere it can be found. With more people working and learning from home, finding quiet spaces where you can concentrate and have a little privacy is key. As such, people are eking out dedicated space however they can. For some, that means converting sheds into purpose-built mini-offices in their home backyards or up at the cottage.
Personally, I love this idea. But if you’re going to do it, make sure you do it right. Here are a few key things to think about.
Insulate for a comfortable, quiet and safe space
One of the most important elements to consider is insulation, as it plays a vital role in creating a comfortable and quiet workspace. ROCKWOOL Comforbatt® is a top choice in this application, thanks to its excellent thermal performance. It’s also DIY-friendly and easy to install. Simply cut it with any serrated blade, such as a bread knife or insulation knife, and press into place. It’s friction fit will ensure the product stays firmly in place to prevent gaps that can lead to drafts and the loss of heated or cooled indoor air. This stone wool insulation product offers some valuable added benefits, too, like excellent sound dampening, fire protection and resistance to moisture, mold and mildew.
Use ROCKWOOL Comfortbatt® to insulate the exterior walls of your shed, as well as floors and ceilings. When you insulate well, you can expect a useable space that is comfortable, quiet, safe, and efficient. For a durable shed space, make sure you check with local building code to understand requirements for and the placement of a vapour control layer, which can help prevent issues such as condensation and moisture in your wall system.
Obviously, electricity is going to play a key role. You’ll need lights, power sources for computers, charging areas, and more. While some people attempt to do this job themselves as a DIY, I really don’t recommend it. To be sure that you’re being safe and adhering to local bylaws, hire a professional and get it done properly and safely.
Windows & Doors
If you’re adding insulation to help with sound absorption and thermal comfort to create a true four-season space, don’t let it go to waste by opting for low-quality windows and doors. Most pre-built sheds are not properly equipped, so if you’re replacing the windows and/or doors, make sure they have secure locks and that they, too, are well insulated.
There are a few different options for ventilation, and what you choose will be determined by the size of the shed, how much time you spend in it, and your budget. In smaller sheds, a roof vent and a vent on each gable wall will do the trick. Skylights that open up are also a great option to provide more natural light.
Furnishings & Décor
Consider everything you’ll need to be comfortable and productive. Ergonomic seating, a desk with plenty of surface area, filing cabinets and extra storage are good places to start. In order to add extra comfort and warmth, be sure to include an area rug, curtains and some soft furnishings (chair or loveseat if there’s space, throws, pillows, etc.) Remember that this should be a space where you actually want to spend time, so consider all the same comforts you would include inside the main house.
Converting a shed or bunkie into a home office can be a great way to create more usable space in and around your home. Just remember that there’s more to it than simply adding a desk and running some power. Proper insulation for thermal comfort and sound absorption, along with natural light, ventilation and the right furnishings all play a part.
For more information on insulating for energy efficiency, fire safety, sound absorption, and to learn more about the other high-performance benefits of ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation, please visit ROCKWOOL.com.