7 Tips for Turning Your Garage Into the Ultimate Home Office
Working from home is becoming a reality for more than half of today’s American job force. Whether you own your own company or telecommute for your company, having a home workspace dedicated to productivity at work is more of a necessity than a luxury.
If you want to maximize space and create an inspiring home office, consider remodeling your garage. Look beyond the car, the bikes, the tools, and holiday decorations to see the productivity potential awaiting there. My Extra Garage offers these tips on how to get started.
Survey Your Storage
Converting your garage means you need to find a place to store the items already there. You might be able to purge some of them by donating them to charity or selling them at a yard sale. Others, however, you’ll need to store at least temporarily while you convert your garage. An easy, cost-effective way to accomplish this is to rent a storage unit.
Invest in Flooring
Most garages come standard with cold, hard concrete floors. And why not? Your car doesn’t care whether you have hardwood or tile, but you certainly will, not only for aesthetics but also for acoustics. As Garage Remodel & Conversion Guide notes, you have some pretty easy flooring options with a variety of materials, from carpet to hardwood to tile. If you have a tight budget and are most concerned with the appearance, consider staining your concrete. If you will meet with clients and customers, consider engineered wood floors, as they handle moisture and humidity better than traditional wood.
Boost Your Tech
You probably didn’t have your garage in mind when you installed your WiFi, phone lines, or upgrades to the wiring in your home. This is especially true for detached garages. Fortunately, you can buy a signal booster for your WiFi so you don’t have to purchase a second modem. This option could be much more affordable than hiring a technician to add a new landline into your garage. Also, since a modem isn’t much use if you don’t have a place to sit, you’re also going to need a versatile, adjustable workstation.
Climate Control Your Space
Garages aren’t known for being the most comfortable spaces when it comes to temperature. They are cold in the winter and hot in the summer, which is far from ideal working conditions. However, there are several ways to address this with a variety of budgets. First, consider removing your garage door and building a wall. If that’s not in the financial cards, you could do your best to weather seal the doors. You can hire a professional to add a duct and vent for your HVAC system, or you can go the less costly route and install a window AC unit for the heat and bring in a few space heaters for the cold.
Bring in a Personal Touch
Unless you’re fixing a car, the last thing you want to feel while working in your garage is that you are working in a garage. So, add personal touches like art, photos, soft lighting, area rugs, and throw pillows to make your home office pleasant and productive. Go the distance to make the space comfortable; you don’t need or want any excuse to abandon your home office for your dining room table or bedroom dresser. Even if no one else will visit your office, use decor that conveys the type of work presence you want to have with others.
Add or Subtract Value
Research to find out the impact converting your garage will have on your home’s potential resale value. For example, if your homeowner’s association requires homes to have covered parking, you could make it harder for your house to sell if you convert the garage without building some kind of other covered parking. However, if there is no consequence of converting a garage, then in many cases, it can add several thousands of dollars to your home’s value.
Prepare for Tax Season… and Beyond!
Converting a garage isn’t a cheap undertaking, so hang onto your receipts! You can write them off on your tax return. For that matter, if you’re starting this building project because you’re also building a new business, it’s important to lay a proper foundation — business-wise, that is.
Much like your home’s structure influences how your space will function, your business structure will also influence how your business functions. For example, a limited liability company, or LLC, provides certain tax advantages, and it can grow with you if you decide to add partners later on.
And while you’re thinking about the future of your business, why not give yourself an edge by taking this opportunity to further your education? Online classes allow you the flexibility to study from home on your own time, and in today’s competitive job market, having that extra knowledge and experience in a given field can really help you succeed as a business owner.
Many people go years without really maximizing their garage’s potential. However, your garage can go a long way in providing the additional square footage you need to grow your career. Now is the time!
My Extra Garage takes pride in offering a simple and hassle-free self storage experience for all of our customers in Waupaca WI. Call (715) 802-9258.