Working from home is a newfound — and in some cases, forced — convenience that most employees now enjoy. Still, it is often full of distractions, such as kids, pets, laundry, and so on. Despite that, it is a chance that’s hard to pass up when available. If you don’t have an office at home to minimize distractions, your garage may be the best solution to this issue.
Create Your Dream Office
Garages usually get a bad reputation for being dark, cold, and filled with stuff you’re going to throw away someday. However, they have plenty of design potential — you probably just need to clean yours out and reclaim that spacious part of your house. Here are a few tips on easy ways to turn your garage into your dream home office from real estate expert Ed Constable.
Assess the Structural Situation
Before you buy light fixtures, invest in a desk, add a coat of paint on the walls and check your garage’s structure. Since this is where you’ll be spending your nine-to-five, it is important to ensure that the space is hospitable.
The structure has to be sound, and if the garage is older, it could be worth doing an exploratory demolition phase to see what type of bones exist and if you should keep it that way. Also, check into your neighborhood’s zoning rules to see what is and is not possible — this ensures you can add electricity, adjust the flooring, and install plumbing.
As mentioned, when evaluating your garage’s structure, you may be required to change the whole place from top to bottom. In that case, you need to make sure you can cover the costs of renovation. You can access various funds via your home’s equity, or if you are a veteran, get a VA loan by refinancing.
This works because cash-out refinancing acquires your current home loan and exchanges it with a new mortgage for a heftier sum. You get the difference between the two mortgages in cash, which you can then use on the project. Read up on VA cash out rules before you start remodeling your garage.
Cover Up Concrete Flooring
While old concrete may be enough for storing cars, bikes, and sports equipment, a proper floor is imperative for a home office. For instance, an indoor-outdoor tile like porcelain will give your office a sophisticated look while standing up to the elements.
Porcelain is known to be delicate, but the high temperatures it’s heated at says otherwise. The heat creates a dense seal — meaning, moisture and dirt stay out while color is maintained, preventing fading with time.
Think About Lighting
The lighting in your new home office should be a priority because you will need a combination of ambient and natural lighting. Usually, garages have limited access to natural light, but you can make a few changes by installing a few windows and a glass garage door.
You can customize your office to capture natural light while also providing safety and privacy and saving energy by buying window tints. If you cannot add more natural light, fit your Working From Home, office with a desk lamp or a hanging lamp.
Put On the Finishing Touches
After coming up with a general design and placing all the furniture in the office, you’ll want to add a few more touches to finish off your new space. Plants, flower vases, rugs, motivational prints or some canvas art can make that space your own, offering more comfort while still being professional. You want your office to be a practical, functional space and a comfortable room that inspires productivity and positivity.
The Bottom Line
Converting your garage into an office can involve a few simple updates or a complete overhaul, depending on your needs and wants. By taking into account structural integrity, as well as adding decent lighting and other finishing touches, you can easily create your dream office space for Working From Home.