Garage home office conversions

by admin on April 10, 2012

Most entrepreneurs start their small business in whatever corner of their home is free. But as the business grows, so do their needs for an office. Keeping costs down is incredibly important for any startup, so you may not be in a position to be able to rent an office space, even if you desperately want it. One great option would be transforming your garage into a home office. It may require more initial costs than renting a space, but if it better fits your long-term needs, it’s worth the investment. It will also add to the resale value of your home, so could reward you financially in the end. So how do you go about turning your garage into a modern home office?

Start with proper planning. Transforming your garage into a home office requires much more than putting in a desk and a couch. You’ll want your new office to be modern and inviting; the sort of place you could bring clients for a meeting if the need arises. So take the time to meet with an architect and properly conceptualize the space. A licensed architect has done this sort of thing many times before, and will have tons of ideas for how best to structure and design your new office. You’ll also need to check in with the local Planning and Zoning Department to see if you need any sort of permit to have an office within the home. Additionally, you may need a permit to do the work. Any time you make capital improvements to the property, the work needs to be permitted. If you’re adding walls or windows, making any exterior changes or upgrading the electrical system, you’ll need that permit. Make sure you’ve got all your bases covered so you don’t have to quit the project before it’s complete.

Wiring your new office. The simplest way to handle internet connectivity is creating a wireless network through your existing internet plan. Purchase a wireless router if you don’t have one, and make sure it’s set up to cover the new square footage necessary. Plan out any new electricity needs with the architect, and check in with a general contractor as well. The closer you can place the new outlets and wiring to preexisting hardware, the simpler the job. A modern office space should not be cluttered with extension cords, so make sure you’ve got what you need set up close to your new desk, to cut down on unsightly cords.

Design. You’ll want the design of your home office to fit within the overall design of your house, but with some subtle changes to differentiate the space. Consider a sign outside, or a change in the landscaping to mark the difference between work and home spaces. Modern offices are also energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. Do as much as you can to incorporate sources of natural light. Have a skylight or windows added to the garage, and you’ll save on energy while giving the space a clean, inviting tone.

If you’re concerned about pricing, think about starting with movable walls and temporary furniture until your business is further along. Any plumbing, electrical, insulation or HVAC alterations will certainly be expensive, so consider them carefully, and get a range of quotes before choosing the contractor. When it comes to everything else it will take to finish the space, expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 per square foot. Sure, it’s an investment, but for the daily rate of car hire Spain, you’ll end up with a modern, comfortable space for your business to mature and expand. In the end, it will be worth it.

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