Garden Office Pt 5 — Reflections

This is the fifth, and final, post in a series about the design and construction of my garden office. You can read the full series here: part one, part two, part three & part four.

Looking back

The first photo for the project in my Google Photos library was taken 15th April 2022, exactly 7 months ago.

As I sit here in the office writing this final post, rain pattering on the roof, it's hard to believe that it's all over… but it's been a long 7 months of learning and hard work. The final result is almost exactly how I had imagined it back when I was researching, designing and planning earlier in the year.


Some numbers

We estimated the project would take around 6-8 months and would cost around £10,000.

Whilst we didn't track our time super accurately, I suspect the total man-hours spent was ~850.

A quick Google search told me that a typical builder charges around £250 per day. Quick maths tells me that if we charged ourselves for labour, the total labour cost would have been £26,500, bringing the project total to ~£40,000.

Interestingly, when I was deciding whether to build or buy, the quotes I got were not far off £40,000!


One of my original concerns was whether the office would be warm and comfortable. Would I want to work there on the coldest days? Or would I end up taking my laptop into the house? I invested heavily in insulation with the hope that it would pay off, and it did. In fact, it worked out far better than I hoped.

I have a Delonghi Dragon 4 oil radiator, in the morning it turns on and quickly warms the room to 21 degrees celsius. Assuming I don't leave the door open, the room effortlessly stays at around 21/22 all day, usually without the radiator clicking on again – I'm especially impressed given that the temperature outside is already in the single digits.


When I started this project, I had no idea how to build a building. But day by day I learned, tried, failed, learned more, succeeded, and kept going until it was finished. The power of small steps and iteration can't be understated.

For a long time my dad and I have discussed working on a project together, although I never imagined we would start with something of this scale. Spending all this quality time with him over the last 7 months has been truly awesome and unforgettable, especially after a couple of years of COVID-19 restrictions.

I’m not really one for life quotes, but it really has been about the journey, not the destination – although, the destination is pretty damn awesome too.