Turn a Prefab ADU into an Outdoor Office

Turn a Prefab ADU into an Outdoor Office


March 28, 2023ABODU, ADU

Backyard office sheds and ADUs offer extra space for remote workers to spread out at home and ditch the commute. Here, you’ll find out why ADUs are the perfect outdoor office, the benefits of having an office in your backyard, and a few of our favorite examples of outdoor offices.

The difference between ADUs and sheds

The primary difference between an ADU and a shed is the size and how the structures are used. ADUs — or accessory dwelling units, granny flats, or backyard homes — generally have multiple rooms and are considered a livable space. ADUs are bigger than sheds and range in size from 340 square feet to 610 square feet.

Sheds are much smaller, and can be up to 120 square feet without a permit and up to 500 square feet with a permit. They are not considered livable space and only have one room.

The benefits of using an ADU as an outdoor office

While a backyard office shed might seem like the best way to go, ADUs have a lot more benefits than a shed.

  • ADUs appreciate in value over time, just like traditional houses.

  • ADUs add to the value of your property and to the square footage.

  • ADUs have multiple uses, like an outdoor office, guest house, or rental unit.

The cons to using a shed as a backyard office are numerous. They don’t add any property value, and if they’re not maintained they can detract value from your property. Sheds also only have one use and cannot serve as a dwelling or rental unit.

The benefits of working from home

Many people find working from home to be great for work/life balance. They have less commuting stress, are location independent from their jobs, they save money, and are often more productive because they have more time in the day to focus on work instead of commuting.

But if you don’t have a dedicated work space, working remotely can be stressful, especially if you share space with a partner or roommates, or have children that do remote learning.

The benefits of an outdoor office

Adding extra space to your home is always a plus, but there’s plenty of benefits of adding an office to your backyard, including:

  • Separate your home and working life.

  • Flexible space beyond an office.

  • A dedicated space that’s all your own.

  • Increased property value if you go with an ADU.

  • Potential rental unit.

Backyard office inspiration

Ready to get a backyard office of your own? Here’s a few of our favorite outdoor offices.

Ditch the commute, go with a ADU instead

Vu-Bang is a city planner in the Bay Area who was commuting between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He knew he wanted to travel and continue to live in Los Angeles part time, and so he didn’t want to pay the high price for a home in the Bay Area.

That’s when Vu-Bang decided to build an ADU in his parents backyard in San Francisco. He fell in love with the minimal Scandinavian design of the Abodu ADUs and decided to move forward with the prefab units because the cost and timeline was transparent.

Now he lives and works from his ADU and commutes when he wants to. The flexibility of his backyard office adds a ton of value for him and his parents, who plan to retire into the ADU and then Vu-Bang will transition into the larger home to raise a family.

Turn a studio ADU into an outdoor office

Just because you go with an ADU for a home office instead of a shed doesn’t mean you have to add a ton of square footage.

John and Lauren are no strangers to making small spaces feel like home. The couple has spent years living in the UK and New York City, so the Abodu Studio suited them just fine for a backyard office.

Now, they simply step out into their backyard when it’s time to work — no shoes required.

The Abodu Studio is the smallest ADU we have, and comes in at just 340 square feet. But don’t let the small size fool you — it’s still considered livable space and adds value to your property.

Use your ADU as an office now, granny flat later

Jackie and Dan know eventually they’ll need space to welcome Dan’s aging parents into their lives. But the idea of moving them into the family’s main home felt cramped. So they bought an Abodu One to use as a flexible office space, as a space to host gatherings, and for friends and family to visit.

Currently, the couple uses their backyard ADU as an outdoor office, but they’re excited to have something so beautiful to offer Dan’s parents when it’s time for them to move into the backyard.

Downsize into an ADU, but leave space for the backyard office

Calvin decided to downsize into an Abodu Two, which features two bedrooms and an optimized floorplan that feels larger than its 610 square feet. Now Calvin’s commute is into the second bedroom, which doubles as his home office. That’s the benefit of an ADU. You can downsize but still keep separate living and working spaces.

ADUs offer a turn-key solution to outdoor offices

If you’re ready to add a backyard office to your property, ADUs are a great place to start.

Instead of building from scratch, we suggest going with a prefab ADU for your backyard office because it’s a turn-key solution that eliminates the hassle of working with an architect and contractor.

Abodu ADUs were designed by world-renowned architects to create beautiful spaces for your backyard, without having to make design choices on your own.

They come in a range of sizes to fit your lifestyle and your space, plus our concierge-level services mean we handle each step of the process, from permitting to construction.

We also offer transparent pricing — what you see online covers every cost and is closer to what you can expect to pay when everything is said and done.  Ready to chat with an Abodu representative about your backyard office? Tell us about your project here.

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