While the pandemic has been hugely disruptive and devastating for so many people, it has also opened our eyes to new ways of living and working. So much so that Garden Office sales have soared during the last 18 months. With the power of Teams, Zoom, Slack, Monday.com and the like, working at home from a garden office is no longer seen as a luxury. It’s the new normal, and thankfully (we can hear the sighs of relief), it’s here to stay.
Understandably, we receive many enquiries from freelancers and small business owners who want to know, can I pay for my garden office through my business? In short, the answer is yes. You can purchase a garden office through your company. However, how much you can claim back by way of tax relief will depend on several things.
Garden Office Payment Options
If you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and purchase a distraction-free garden office, your next concern will be how to pay for it. So, let’s explore the most likely garden office payment scenarios.
The first place to start is knowing the HMRC rules around capital expenditure regarding garden office payment options. Everyone’s business situation is slightly different, though. However, in most cases, you’ll be unable to claim tax relief on the garden room itself as it would be considered capital expenditure. Therefore, most of your garden office payment would not count as an allowable business expense.
In other words, any paid-for activity or product related to the building of a garden office cannot be claimed as tax relief. Hence, design, building, core building materials, and installation must be fully paid for. This doesn’t mean that you must finance a garden office personally. A garden room can still be paid for out of your business bank account; it’s just that the build-related costs are not tax-deductible.
Here’s the good part, though – you can claim tax relief on certain elements of your garden office payment (via capital allowances). Things such as electrical wiring, air conditioning, and fixtures and fittings such as office furniture and storage solutions can all be claimed back. The best advice is to ask your accountant for a definite answer. Still, as a good analogy, if you were to tip your garden office upside down, the items that fall out or rattle around are usually tax-deductible.
Other garden office payments you’ll also need to consider are the ongoing running costs. You can claim tax relief on any heating and lighting costs as well as the installation of a new broadband line. Similarly, any decoration, redecoration, repairs and soft furnishings are likely to be tax-deductible too. However, if you have an accountant, it’s a good idea to check this with them first.
What if your business is VAT registered?
If you own a business that is VAT registered, your garden office payment options are different. Crucially, you can claim the VAT on the price of the building (works and materials) as well as the contents. Additionally, you can also claim the VAT back on charges related to heating, electrical and plumbing works.
Just be aware, though, you’ll have to work out the amount of VAT you can claim back based on proportionate use if your garden room is used for any other activity besides work.
Productive Design Ideas
When weighing up the financial outlay of a garden office, the temptation is to think about the immediate lump sum. However, it’s only when writing down how your new working environment could make you more productive, you realise the ‘hidden’ benefits of modern garden office design ideas.
So, let’s just consider how your garden room design could make your business more efficient.
- You no longer need to travel to all those meetings. Instead, you can have a distraction-free virtual chat in an equally professional environment at home. If you’re a self-employed consultant, you’ll be able to charge for every hour rather than losing income stuck in traffic.
- You can get more work done by side-stepping the dreaded commute and having a quiet place to work.
- You can use your space to meet. For example, if a face-to-face consultation is required, you can use your garden office rather than renting a room.
- You can reduce your heating and electric bills. If you’ve already been working from home, you’ll be familiar with the winter dilemma of turning the heating on. After all, heating the entire house every time seems wildly indulgent. In your garden office, you only need to heat one space. Plus, SMART garden offices are incredibly well insulated.
- You can create that extra space you need without moving home. You may even choose to stop renting office space altogether.
As far as modern garden office design ideas go, one of our all-time favourites is the Affinity featured on Sarah Beeny’s programme Renovate Don’t Relocate. Young couple Rhianne and Oliver felt their home was not going to be big enough to work from and bring up a family. So rather than go to the expense of moving home, they decided to have a 3.7m x 2.6m SMART Affinity garden room built.
Sarah explained, “The key with this project is that Rhianne and Oliver are extending without extending to make the rest of the housework so much better.”
Their garden room is incredibly well insulated to give Oliver a comfortable working environment at a fraction of what it usually costs to heat their entire home. The insulation is placed into all elements of the garden office; the floor, the walls and the ceiling to ensure excellent thermal retention.
Office Equipment Essentials
As you’ll see by Rhianne and Oliver’s office, having the right office essentials comes with the territory of owning a garden office. For the large part, all the items you pop into your newfound space should be tax-deductible.
The most essential thing, though, is having a reliable internet connection. So, how do you get Wi-Fi in a garden office? Well, in most cases, the Wi-Fi signal from the home is usually fine. However, sometimes the existing Wi-Fi signal may not be strong enough or not reach at all. So how do you extend Wi-Fi signalling? Quite easily, as it happens, with a Wi-Fi extender.
To extend Wi-Fi signalling, this nifty bit of kit connects your existing Wi-Fi network to strengthen its signal, essentially creating a bridge between the main router and your garden office. All you need to do is plug the Wi-Fi extender into the mains in your house, finding a location that provides the best non-interrupted signal to your garden room. Ranging between £20-£50, they’re well worth the investment and are tax-deductible. If you’re not quite sure what you’re doing with a manual switchover, an IT technician will be able to do this for you; the cost of which is also tax-deductible.
If Wi-Fi really is a problem in your area, you have other options too. You can run an ethernet cable from your home to your garden office. These are usually laid with the power cables that supply your garden room’s electricity. This will absolutely need professional installation, though, which SMART Garden Offices can arrange as part of the electrical connection.
Order Your Brochure Now
When planning your garden room, we always say to clients that the best place to start is to have a garden room design in mind. Downloading our brochure will help you explore the available options (we have seven unique garden room ranges, each available in more than 60 sizes).
Once you have decided on your ideal range and footprint, you can then design and customise your garden office through our new configurator App. Then, using Augmented Reality (AR), you can view your chosen design in 3D in your garden. Best of all, you’ll receive an itemised quote so that you can easily work out your garden office payment options.
Likewise, clients also find our free no-obligation at home design consultations incredibly helpful when planning their ideal workspace. If you live in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex or London, one of our friendly and knowledgeable consultants will be happy to visit you to discuss all your options. They’ll help you consider all the little details, including where the sun rises and falls in your garden, how to maximise space and make the most of your chosen design. Simply contact us to make an appointment.