If you are considering converting a storage shed into an office shed then there are some important things to do before moving your computer in. Converting a shed to office space represents a considerable investment so you want to be sure that the shed is structurally sound and waterproof before installing finishes like drywall and floorings. This article discusses the steps to convert a shed to a office.
In this article, you will find information about:
The first step to converting a shed to a office is to verify that the shed is ready to have finishes installed inside. These are the major parts of a shed and the things to inspect and a brief remedy if there are problems with that part: (of course if you are not worried about these items or are doing a more rustic shed office conversion then you may skip these items and go directly to the Installing Shed Finishes section.)
If all the structural items discussed above are up to your liking then you are ready to start building your shed office. If you are modifying the doorway or adding windows then the first step is to install framing so the doors and windows will fit. The best way to get the rough openings correct is to have the doors and windows on site when you are framing then you can double check your measurements.
Door Framing: The rough opening for a doorway will be 2" wider than your door and 2 1/2" taller than your door. If you are installing a 3068 door (3ft. - 0" wide by 6ft. - 8" tall) the rough opening will be 38in. wide by 6ft. 10-1/2in. tall)
Window Framing: Most common vinyl windows are built to be 1/2" smaller than the stated size of the window. This means that a 4020 window, which is 4'-0" wide and 2'-0" tall will need a framed opening exactly 4'-0" x 2'-0" because it will be a 1/2" smaller on each dimension. But you should check with your window supplier before framing.
Install the windows and doors. Use a level to make sure they are plumb and level in the openings and use shims to get them perfect.
After the doors and windows are in you will be ready to install any electrical that you want in your shed office. Install outlet boxes along the walls where you plan to use them. Building codes require outlets every 12ft. along a wall and within 2ft. of a doorway, but most sheds are so small that you will have more than enough outlets if you put them where you need them. The top of the outlet boxes should be at 14" above the floor. Read about installing outlet boxes at How To Install A Outlet Box.
Running Power To A Shed Office: You can run a single 20 amp circuit to your shed and put all the lights and outlets on the single circuit. This circuit does not require a sub panel in the shed. If you want more than one circuit in the shed you will need to run a higher amp circuit and install a sub panel in the shed. Always bury the cable underground. You can purchase direct bury cable at any place that sells electrical wire. DO NOT BURY regular romex house wiring cable.
To do this you will need a free space in your existing electrical panel so that a 20 amp breaker can fit in. Running electricity to a shed includes the following steps.
If you want more circuits you should read the article How To Install A Sub Panel to learn more about installing an electrical sub panel.
Read more about installing and wiring electrical outlets at How To Install An Electrical Outlet.
Read more about installing and wiring light switches at How To Install A Light Switch.
If you are installing a light on the ceiling then read Installing A Ceiling Light Fixture.
If you are planning on using your office year round then you may consider installing insulation in the walls of your office shed. To install insulation you will need to verify the stud spacing and stud depth on your walls and then purchase the proper insulation from your local home store. There is 3 1/2" deep and 5 1/2" deep insulation and widths for 16" on center and 24" on center wall studs. To install insulation you will:
Note: There are other ways to insulate walls that more thoroughly seal the walls. The process described above is adequate for most office shed conversions.
Drywall is installed after the insulation work is complete. Try to use sheets of drywall that go all the way across the floor or ceiling so you have less joints to tape and mud. You will hang the ceiling first and then the walls.
Read the article Installing Drywall to learn more about how to install drywall
Install trim around the windows and doors after the drywall mud is dry. Shed offices are pretty simple since there is usually only a door and a window. The normal order of installing trim is determined by the type of flooring being installed:
Trimming when carpeting is going on the floors: Install the door trim first then the base on the floor, held up 3/8" so the carpet can tuck under it, and finally the window trim.
Trimming when installing wood or laminate or tile floors: Install the door and window trim. Wait until after the floors are installed to install the base on top of the floorings.
You know what to do here. If you are installing hard floors like wood or tile or laminate then you should install the floors and base first and then cover the floors up with a heavy painting paper as a protection. If you are installing carpet then you will want to paint before the carpet is installed.
The basic steps to painting a shed office, or any space are to:
Finish your shed to office conversion by doing some or all of the following:
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