If you telecommute or work from home, chances are you appreciate the importance of having a comfortable workspace that helps you stay focused and productive. And you know that separating your home and work life is critical in your quest to get your work done at a high level. If it’s time to create a dedicated workspace at home and you have a garage that is seldom used, you already have the perfect space.
Empty it out.
The first step in your transformation project is to empty out the garage and give it a deep cleaning. Sift through every item in your garage and decide what to do with it. For the items you need or use often, figure out how to store them discreetly in the garage or in another part of your home, or rent a storage unit. Everything else should be discarded, donated, or sold.
Once you declutter the space, clean it thoroughly so you have a nice blank slate to start designing your home office.
Seal it off.
Temperature control in a garage sometimes takes a little work. If your garage lacks adequate insulation, you will want to add the proper amount of insulation to the walls and ceiling, which WeatherImagery says will cost around $1,000. And if you want the office to look as clean as possible, you will need to put up drywall as well. This will also help keep heat and air from escaping your office. Look to a local remodeling contractor to ensure work.
Lastly, you also want to ensure that your garage door is sealed properly, or you could still be looking at poor temperature control and high energy bills. If your garage door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one.
Treat the floors.
As with any other kind of office, your home office will need to have nice floors. If your garage has concrete flooring (as most do), you’re in luck, because you already have the workings of an attractive and durable floor. All you have to do is clean, seal, and treat the concrete to bring it to full potential. If you hire it done, Concrete Network says to plan on paying between $2 and $4 per square foot for this phase of the project.
Lighten it up.
If you have windows in your garage, use them to your advantage. Natural sunlight can do wonders in boosting productivity. Whether you have windows or not, however, it’s likely that you will need to put in additional lighting. Adequate lighting will make a big difference—not only in your productivity levels but also in creating an inviting atmosphere for clients and customers. So, don’t hold back on the lamps and overhead lighting!
Keep in mind that painting the walls a light neutral color like white or gray can also make the space feel brighter and more open.
Make it hospitable.
It’s also ideal to make the office your’s and provide a comfortable atmosphere for visitors. Consider the furniture you need to make this happen. Obviously, the most important pieces to invest in are a quality desk and chair. But if you plan to have customers and clients come in, you might want to add armchairs, a small sofa, a coffee table, side tables, and so on. Add some houseplants, art and family photos, and throw in an area rug or two to top it off.
But I Don’t Have a Garage
Okay, if you don’t have a garage, know you still have options depending on your budget. The easiest and fastest way to set up an office space outside of the home is through a prefabricated steel building. These affordable structures come together quickly, and they’re considerably durable and energy efficient. Once your structure is in place, you can outfit your office to your specifications. The pricier option for homes without a garage is to add an extension. This can be quite an undertaking, and extensions are fairly costly (the average price is around $48,000). However, this could increase your home’s value in the long run.
If a lack of office space at home is standing in the way of your productivity, why not convert that garage you never use into an amazing home office? Start by emptying and cleaning the garage, making sure it’s sealed properly, and treating the concrete floors. Add the necessary amount of lighting, and bring the office to life by furnishing and decorating it as you see fit. Within a few weeks, you could have a top-notch office that motivates you and helps you to stay productive.