Working from home is quickly becoming the norm for millions of people in the United States. In fact, the US Census reports that over 5 percent of the working population is currently operating from home. Despite the benefits of working from home, many freelancers and contracted employees are realizing that their kitchen or bedroom can’t cut it as a full-time office. Not only are these rooms unfit to double as an office, but studies have also proven that dedicated work spaces generate more productivity. If you’re in a similar predicament, consider converting your garage into the office of your dreams. Here are some strategies to get you started.
Start with the Basics.
Many garages aren’t built to function as an extension of the home. This means that basic amenities that would make a place livable, such as heating, cooling, and plumbing, might not be present in your garage. So, before you can even consider using your garage as an office, you need to install these basic amenities. This may require some minor demolition to get behind walls, below floors, or above ceilings. It may sound like a headache at first, but you’ll be significantly more comfortable when the project is complete.
Let There be Light
For the most part, garages are notoriously dark and gloomy. With the primary purpose of housing cars and equipment, there’s no benefit to having a lot of light. When you convert this space to the office of your dreams, however, this lack of light will be an obstacle to your work. When the space is gutted to install basic amenities, you should take the opportunity to install a few windows for enhanced visibility and vitamin D. If you want to get really fancy, you could install a transparent garage door for even more ambient light.
Improve the Flooring
Garages are normally built with concrete floors for extra durability. When converting this space into an office, you’ll want to consider some alternative floorings to make the area feel more homey. There are many hardwood or laminate floor options that can easily be placed over the concrete. Carpet is even an option if you place some extra padding beneath. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of laying down a new floor, you can place rugs throughout the new office for a nice combination of industrial design and comfort.
Choose Your Style
Every great office has a coherent theme and style that is consistent. Instead of randomly selecting furniture and adornments, settle on a style for your office and allow this foundation to inform your purchases. For example, you could purchase a wooden desk with natural veins for a natural atmosphere or opt for a standing desk for a more functional and modern feel.
Erect a New Structure
Not every homeowner will have enough space in their garage for an office or the desire to get rid of it entirely. When this is the case, a new structure can be erected in lieu of the conversion. Starting from scratch gives you the freedom to choose the dimensions and style you envision for your dream office. When selecting materials for the build, consider integrating steel or wood into the construction to maximize the advantages of each. Wood has been a favorite of home builders for decades due to its prevalence, versatility, and affordability. What wood lacks in durability and strength can be made up for by using steel, but it will cost a bit more.
Believe it or not, but the office of your dreams could be lying dormant in the dustiness of your old garage. With some creativity and technical know-how, this space can be transformed into a space conducive to work and productivity.
✍️ This guest blog post was written by Tina Martin of Ideaspired.
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