When I first decided to build my own backyard workspace I fell into the trap of thinking I didn’t need any plans or even a rough layout; after all, it’s just going to be a wooden box with windows and a door, right?
Man, was I wrong! After some research, I found several sources for really cool office shed plans.
These sites not only had original designs, they also featured materials lists and building techniques that I never would have dreamed up on my own.
Free plan sites like Construct101, 3DShedPlans, and ShedPlans.org are great places to get ideas for your DIY backyard office. The best plans cost under $100, however, and are available from Family Home Plans and Jamaica Cottage Shop. Turnkey office sheds can also be purchased online for delivery to your home.
Your skill level, the budget for your project, and how much free time you have will determine which of these resources are best suited to your needs.
Read on to learn more details about each option, along with pictures of the most innovative backyard office shed designs!
Free Plans Are Great for the Design Phase
If you are already an expert at framing and other home building skills, the free plans available online might be the only thing you’ll need to get started on your backyard workspace.
For the rest of us, the free sites listed below are great for kicking around ideas. Some of them even offer detailed versions of the plans for a small fee or donation.
Keep in mind that many cities or counties will require a permit for your backyard office, so the more detailed the plans, the more likely you will be awarded permission to start your build.
Folks looking for a no-frills shed design should start by looking at Construct101. Although the ads on this site really distract from the content, I was able to wade through and find some basic shed plans that can be downloaded in PDF format for a minimal donation.
This 12×16 Gable Shed seems like it would make an excellent backyard office:
I found the 3DShedPlans site to be much easier to navigate than Construct101, and reviewing their free plans left me with a much greater sense of confidence.
If you scroll down on their landing page, you will find that they actually include a step-by-step DIY guide that builders of almost any skill level would be comfortable working with.
Although I felt better about using this site, after some research I found that their free plans are pretty sparse on details, and the selection of designs is pretty basic:
Screenshot from https://www.3dshedplans.com/shed-plans/
These free plans might be fine for experienced builders, but most people will probably want to purchase the actual plans, which are very reasonably priced at $29.99 apiece. Even then, all of their designs are boxy and kind of boring.
Of all the “free” shed plan sites out there, I got the most value from browsing ShedPlans.org.
Their free plans are detailed enough that someone with intermediate construction skills, like me, would feel pretty confident putting them into action.
They are also transparent about what you get when you purchase the plans: a full materials and cutting list, additional blueprints to show a permitting office, a list of required tools and fasteners, and a technical support hotline.
In addition to offering a better overall experience, ShedPlans.org has recently expanded their site to include some legitimate office shed plans!
Their backyard office designs would look great in just about any backyard space:
Screenshot from https://shedplans.org/shed-plans/?filter_type=office-sheds
Paid Sites Offer Better Plans
If you really want to step up your backyard office game, you’ll need to seek out the seasoned veterans in the DIY building plans game: Family Home Plans and Jamaica Cottage Shop.
Family Home Plans
The founder of Family Home Plans began selling detailed house construction plans to builders, architects, and DIY homebuilders over 100 years ago.
Since they had developed dozens of original home plans well before they began designing outbuildings, you can rest assured that a fairly simple office shed plan from FamilyHomePlans.com will be well worth the money you spend.
At only $24.95-$49.95 per shed plan, you might be tempted to build more than one!
My personal favorite from their site is their Best Little Garden Shed:
The Fancy Garden Shed is a close second, however:
Jamaica Cottage Shop
Although they don’t have the 100-year legacy, the Jamaica Cottage Shop (based in Jamaica, VT) has been supplying DIY building plans since 1995, and they have amassed a huge selection of unique designs to choose from.
Once you click onto their site, trust me, it will be difficult to contain your imagination! Browsing these designs is guaranteed to get you fired up about breaking ground on your own backyard office.
While most of their small building plans are $59.90- $89.90 apiece, once you see the variety of structures and the detail included in the plans you will be happy to pay for these specs.
The Backyard Retreat stood out to the reclusive writer in me:
While the Florida Room feels like it could be a second home:
Besides purchasing only the plans from JamaicaCottageShop.com, you can opt for several different options, including a pre-cut frame-only kit, an entire pre-cut structure, a fully assembled building, as well as completely insulated kits for all seasons.
Select a Turnkey Design if DIY Isn’t Your Thing
The Jamaica Cottage Shop has made some smart choices by offering so many different options, including the perfect choice for the homeowner strapped for time, or with limited construction skills: Simply buy the structure online, and have it delivered to your door.
Another turnkey shed builder is Sheds Unlimited. They offer many traditional shed designs, along with some modern styles that would make an impressive backyard workspace:
Fifthroom.com rounds out the turnkey shed providers with some unique twists on traditional designs, and a reputation for offering high-quality builds.
Their sheds can be purchased in dozens of sizes and configurations, and they have several different colors to choose from, along with vinyl siding options.
Their website also features a myriad of other backyard structures, from animal shelters to garden bridges. They even offer outdoor amphitheaters!
Although the quality of a structure can be difficult to determine through online pictures, I was immediately struck buy the sturdy look of their cabana shed:
The porch nook shed would also be perfect for a cozy backyard office:
As you can see, there are dozens of backyard office shed plans available online, so you don’t have to settle for a square box!
The beauty of these plans is not only the confidence provided by the materials and cutting lists, etc. but also the knowledge that you can show any one of these designs to your local permitting office and know the specs will pass.
Your skill level, the amount of free time you have, and your budget will ultimately determine the direction you go with your own backyard office build.
After looking over the options, I decided that the free plan sites are great for ideas, but I would gladly pay under $100 for the thoughtful designs from Jamaica Cottage Shop and Family Home Plans.
Hopefully this article helped you decide on a project for your own backyard! If you are fired up about creating your own backyard workspace, check out the other articles on our site to get even more great ideas!