The global pandemic has made working from home the new normal for many businesses—and not everyone has had an easy time adjusting. For those seeking escape from rowdy roommates and children, backyard offices have become an increasingly attractive way to find peace and quiet without leaving home. From Canada to Texas, prefab companies are working hard to meet increased demand for compact and stylish home offices that can be prefabricated, shipped, and assembled with speed. We’ve rounded up seven firms offering prefab backyard office solutions that range from luxury fully furnished units to more affordable DIY kit options.
1. LIV Pods
The modular office designs by prefab builders LIV Pods bridge indoor and outdoor living, and provide a pop-up work space than can be added to any backyard. Designer and company cofounder Lisa Kooistra says, "The pods create needed separation while inviting the calmness of outdoors into our workspaces." Inside the POD 1 liv simply pod, pictured here, are soothing white finishes, cabinetry and shelving for storage, an espresso bar, and a desk that can accommodate two people. A sliding glass door opens onto a small slatted-wood deck. LIV Pods currently offers three models with prices starting at $32,000, which includes design, delivery, and installation. Unless you order a custom design, no permitting is needed.
Best known for their 107-square-foot prefab Mono cabin, Canadian design studio Drop Structures has expanded their small space offerings with the Micro, an affordable 60-square-foot answer to an uptick of inquiries for home offices due to COVID-19. Unveiled in April, the lightweight structure starts at just $10,900 for the base model, and a variety of add-on options are also available (a version with a full-height glass door starts at $12,900). Customers looking for a bit more room in their office can also consider Drop Structures’ Mono cabin or its simpler counterpart, the Mono Mini. Drop Structures ships all across North America.
For those looking for a more upscale live/work option, Malibu-based Buhaus has created a luxe ADU that can function as an office during the day and converts—thanks to a custom built-in Murphy bed—into a bedroom at night. Designed to emphasize indoor/outdoor living, the 160-square-foot structure is housed within a repurposed shipping container that opens up to the outdoors via large folding panels. The base price for the customizable unit is $96,000, which includes all finishes, custom built-ins, and appliances. Buhaus also meets California wildfire resiliency codes and is off-grid capable.
4. Plus Hus
Beautiful, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly, the Plús Hús—Icelandic for "Plus House" and pronounced like "couscous"—is a multipurpose 320-square-foot ADU that can be used as a home office or guesthouse. Manufactured in downtown Los Angeles by design firm Minarc, the multipurpose prefab starts at $47,000 for the basic Open model. The Full model starts at $59,000 and includes a kitchen and bathroom. The Plús Hús can be flat packed and delivered anywhere in the U.S. and then assembled with minimal waste.
In the heart of Texas, Waco-based Kanga Room Systems is a prefab kit home purveyor that offers a wide range of cabins, sheds, and studios that are engineered for straightforward self-assembly. The company’s most affordable and fastest-to-assemble option is the Kwik Room, which is perfectly sized for a backyard office. Kwik Rooms are available in modern and traditional cottage styles, and they range from 80 square feet to 196 square feet, with shell kit pricing starting at just $5,000. While installed shells and turnkey options are only available for Texan properties, the firm ships shell kits nationwide.
6. Studio Shed
Based in Louisville, Colorado, Studio Shed has been crafting prefab backyard buildings since 2008. While the design/build firm has expanded its offerings to include larger prefab homes, its original Signature Series units are still a favorite among those looking for a little more living space in their backyard. Prefabricated in Colorado, the multifunctional Signature Series units range in size from 8' x 8' up to 12' x 20'. Pricing starts at $10,500, and units can be customized using their online configurator that includes estimated costs. Installation of their most popular sizes typically take less than a week, including all interior finishes and electrical connections.
Small in scale but big in functionality, Los Angeles–based kitHAUS’s k-series prefabs run from 81 square feet up to 491 square feet. Their smallest series, the k3, is perhaps their most popular option for home offices, with pricing starting at $27,000. Constructed with the firm’s patented aluminum framing system, the lightweight and multifunctional prefabs can also be customized with bathrooms, kitchens, and decks for added functionality. KitHAUS has completed projects nationwide.
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