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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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Turn Your Log Cabin into a Garden Office

More and more people throughout the UK are working from home – whether you’re self-employed or telecommuting, you can face a huge range of distractions if you don’t have a set space dedicated to work. Homeowners can turn to loft conversions and house extensions as a way to create more space at home, but a log cabin is a much more cost-effective way to create a work space that separates business and pleasure.

Planning Permission for Your New Office

Most log cabins can be installed and turned into garden offices without the need for planning permission applications. The Town and Country Planning Rules for Permitted Developments do allow for garden buildings to be added to your garden, but you will need to ensure that your log cabin is within the guidelines. For example, the eaves of the building cannot be higher than a maximum of 2500mm, the height of the building overall can’t exceed 2500mm or be within 2000mm of a boundary, and you can’t build the log cabin on a raised platform.

Full details of Permitted Development requirements can be found on the government’s Planning Portal website.

Tax Relief for Home Workers

If you run your own business, you may be able to claim some of the costs as business expenses and get corporate tax relief through the annual investment allowance. Costs you can claim back include office and computer equipment, electrical systems, lighting, air conditioning (which is a good idea in summer), heating and water systems, and insulation (to keep your log cabin warm in the winter months).

VAT registered businesses can also reclaim VAT on all costs if invoices are made out to your company.

However, if your garden office is separate from your home and exclusively used for business, it is possible that your local council may want to charge business rates for running a company from the building. This is at the discretion of your local council.

Tailor the Cabin to Fit Your Needs

Buying your log cabin is just the first stage – tailoring it to your specific needs is essential to a successful garden office. Lawsons offers alterations on larger units if you need some changes made, but adding internet, electricity, and other details to your cabin will need to be done when it is already installed.

Internet is surprisingly easy to extend to your shed; rather than relying on a Wi-Fi connection, extend a Cat 6 cable from your home in a buried pipe (to keep it safe from the elements) through to your cabin. Electricity can be supplied in the same way, to power your technology and keep the cabin cool, warm, or power your kettle. Once you have internet and power, you can even install a VoIP telephone so you can have a landline number attached to your home business, rather than just using your mobile phone. 

The interior is entirely down to you – if you just need a desk and comfortable chair, you can create your dream set up. If your business has other requirements, such as storage, workspace, or even a small meeting area this can easily be arranged.

Many of our clients say that they enjoy their log cabins the most in summer, when they can work with the doors open and enjoy the outdoors and wonderful weather. Even in autumn and winter, a well-insulated log cabin is cosy and perfect for getting deals done and concentrating on work before the world’s shortest commute back home.