4 Things You Need to Do When Converting Your Garage to a Home Office
Beyond its obvious and intended use, your garage can actually be reworked into a more functional extra room of your choosing, such as a home office that’s useful in many ways. For one thing, it can do wonders for your productivity and focus when you work from home as it offers privacy and a legitimate space to work. For another, it may even make you eligible for tax deductions, depending on where you are in the world. The benefits abound, so here’s how to get started.
Before anything else, do remember that your garage’s original purpose is as a carport. This pretty much means that it is usually not fitted with the requisite infrastructure that makes the rest of the house fit for human habitation. At the most basic level, this pertains to insulation and climate-proofing, but it may also have less-than-ideal flooring and lighting.
It’s safe to say, therefore, that the logical first course of action for your garage conversion is to make it a livable space. This will likely entail fully insulating walls and ceilings and installing heating, cooling, and ventilation, as well as adding windows and doors, resurfacing the flooring, and adding adequate lighting. If space allows, you might even want to add a bathroom or install partitions.
Of course, when creating a home office, the above-mentioned provisions are not the only ones you need to accommodate. Even more important is connectivity by means of internet and phone lines as being able to communicate with your clients, colleagues, suppliers, etc. is the very lifeblood of your home business.
Realistically, though, fully wiring your garage is not cheap, considering labor and material costs. You can, however, explore alternatives. For instance, using a fast and reliable WiFi internet router will give you a stable internet connection sans the wiring.
Furnish for function.
With the barebones requirements of your home office out of the way, you can now focus on filling it up with the furniture and equipment you need to operate your work or business. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to assess your must-haves. Small Business Trends says to think beyond the traditional office gear and add a creature comfort or two, like living plants and some exercise equipment.
At the very least, you will need chairs, work surfaces, and storage spaces, as well as electronic equipment like computers and laptops, printers, phones, and the like. However, depending on your work or business, you may also need other furniture and equipment to accommodate your tasks, so make room for those, as well.
Of course, it’s only prudent that you also consider quality in your home office’s contents, as well as functionality. One very important consideration, especially in furniture, is the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, so it is indeed more than wise to invest in ergonomic furniture that will help mitigate the risk, as well as keep you comfortable as you go about your daily toil.
Design for success.
Lastly, you will want to literally set up your home office for success, which means making it a space that encourages focus and creativity. As a rule, consider your workflow when designing your office layout. Not only that, but you should also take great pains to minimize distractions by reducing clutter and keeping visually-intrusive decor at a minimum. Instead, The Spruce says to maximize productivity by utilizing inspiring colors, as well as introducing greenery and scents that invigorate.
No garage? No problem.
If you don’t have a garage, you may think that none of this applies to you. However, there is a solution: purchase a pre-engineered steel building in your backyard (assuming you have space). Not only are these buildings built to last, but they are also extremely easy to set up, meaning you won’t have to dedicate weeks of your life to its construction. Perhaps most importantly, these buildings are typically much cheaper than building a standard garage, which is very important if you’re operating with a limited household budget.
With these actionable measures, you will ultimately find yourself with a garage that’s unrecognizable from what you started with. Think through your priorities and how to give them life. No doubt, it’s an improvement that’s worthy of the work and investment that was put into it, and your inevitable success will be proof of it.
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