Is it Time for a Backyard Office?

While many folks are now working and learning from home through (at least) the end of 2020, it may be time to look at creating a separate office space or classroom.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) have been around for many years. Also referred to as “granny flats,” or “mother-in-law suites,” they are simply a secondary unit to a main house. Attached ADU’s are just that - attached to the principal dwelling. Examples include an apartment above a garage or in a daylight basement - with its own entrance. Detached ADU’s are secondary structures that usually sit next to a main structure or in a backyard (also with their own entrance).

Home Office
Photo courtesy ASMBL

Proponents of ADU’s have been working hard to make the adoption of these types of structures more acceptable in many cities around the United States. California, Portland, and Seattle are a few areas that have seen laws passed recently that should help with the approval process.

Many ADU’s are put in place for secondary income or to provide solutions for low-income housing options. They are also used as studio or office spaces. And now, with many schools operating with online-only options and work-from-home orders continuing for many people, it may be time to look into this option if you want a noise-free Zoom call.

Here are some modular ADU options:

Gaia Homes offers net-zero and net-positive energy modular homes, including ADU’s that start at 370 sq. ft.

Portland-based SQFT Studios takes part in Earth Advantage: Platinum certified. Earth Advantage certified homes incorporate “design elements, systems and materials that create superior indoor air quality, use natural resources responsibly, protect land, and lower water usage.” Their ADU’s start at 192 sq. ft.

Steelblox designs a specific container office starting at 160 sq. ft. and a price tag that’s easy on the wallet - $26,880. Their 8' x 20' Modular Expandable Office Unit would make a great office ADU. They are based in California but serve most of the United States.

StudioShed ships nationwide and focuses on environmentally-friendly materials. The dimensional lumber is FSC-certified. They use high-quality denim insulation and cork flooring to create spaces that are both comfortable and healthy. And they work directly with GoalZero to provide solar power kits for their smaller spaces.

From simple designs and simple finishes, to high-end finishes and larger spaces, you should have no problem finding an ADU office that works for you.


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