How to Transform Your Garage Into an Office
Movin’ On Up
You look around you and see that you’ve outgrown that corner of the kitchen you’ve called your home office for the past couple of years. You’ve got your eye on all that unused space—the space that may be home to a broken lawnmower, bicycles with flat tires, a fitness machine now covered in spiderwebs, and unmarked cardboard boxes—the garage. It can seem like turning that into a clean, comfortable, and efficient office is just too much. What if there are spiders? Have no fear. You can do this. You just need a plan.
You’ll need to get a permit if you’re going to be making any structural changes like plumbing and electrical or physical changes like adding windows or replacing the garage door. Finding a local contractor to walk you through it is imperative. They’ll know what you’ll need to be within code currently and how to plan to stay in code later should you wish to sell. Keep in mind that if you’re laying out money for those renovations now, it’s an investment in your home’s value and appeal to future buyers.
When making home improvements, be sure to document any upgrades. The updates you make could increase the value of your home. Keep receipts and take before-and-after photos of any work you have done.
The beauty of designing your own office space is how beautiful you can make it and still make it your own.
- Choosing your colors is important since various shades and tones affect the mood of the room. Greens are calming, light blue is associated with clear thinking, and purple is known to spark creativity.
- As The Homeworker States, natural or window lighting improves mood and increases productivity. They go on to say that if natural light isn’t feasible, then ambient lighting, like the diffuse light from lamp shades or light, bounced off of walls is preferred to direct overhead lighting.
- While hardwood or tile flooring can be elegant and rich-looking, having carpeted floors will absorb heat, which is a strong consideration when your office has a concrete flooring base. It’s also soft, so it’s less likely your cell phone will break if you drop it on a padded and carpeted floor.
- Rather than moving desks and chairs around to find the optimal layout, get an app that lets you do it virtually. You can see everything in 3D, move things around effortlessly, and even send it to another person to get their input.
Who’s the Boss?
If this is your own business that you’re launching in your garage office, business decisions will be part of your planning too, considerations like how to structure your business. In order to protect your personal assets, you may want to form an LLC. By using an online guide to walk you through the steps, like hiring a registered agent and applying for an EIN, you’ll see that it’s possible to do this yourself without having to pay hours of legal fees.
You’re probably going to be your own marketing team too, so take advantage of free DIY marketing tools like free business card makers and photo design apps to give yourself a professional look without the expense of a graphic designer.
Having a distinct and separate office space from the rest of your home is easier when your office is the former garage, but it’s still within a few steps of family members who may be tempted to look at your space as just another room in their home.
Set up boundaries with both space and time. Have a schedule that you not only expect your family to respect but that you stick to as well. And when you leave your office for the day, let that be the end of your workday.
Your new office is the theater in which your new business will take center stage. As you design your office, make sure to handle important tasks like choosing a business structure. You’re the star of the show, let it reflect your style, your business’s brand, and most importantly, you!
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