January 14th, 2020 3:41 PM by Gregg Mower
When you need a home office but don’t have space for it, there are a few options you could consider: look for a larger home, build an addition, or increase your space by converting your garage. A garage conversion is the easiest and most affordable of these options, and it has the potential to become the workspace you’ve always dreamed of.
Picture Your Perfect Work Space
Whatever your garage may hold now, think of your garage conversion as a blank slate. You’ll have to empty your garage anyway to make the space livable, so go ahead and picture it as empty — but full of possibilities. If you do have a garage full of stuff, renting a storage unit is an affordable and easy way to store it all off-site. In Rocklin, the price for a self-storage unit over the last 180 days has been about $131.41 on average. When you consider the cost, think of it this way: renting a storage space takes the worry out of what to do with your stuff, and it’s way cheaper than renting a “traditional” office space.
With a clean space to work from, you can then come up with a plan to meet your needs. Ask yourself how you can maximize this space. Do you want it to be a multi-use space that can double as a guest retreat or family room? Or, do you need it to be a dedicated office space? Think about your work routine too, and in specific terms. For example, Entrepreneur.com says to ask yourself what type of work you’ll be doing, whether you need space for guests, what kind of storage you’ll need, and whether you’ll do video conferences or conference calls.
Along with the functionality you need, don’t hesitate to give your plans a personal touch. You aren’t in an industrial office building, so there’s no need to go all gray — unless gray is what you like!. We love these design ideas from House Beautiful, including decor that borrows from nature, bold colors, vintage and modern elements. This is your space, so it should inspire you.
Put Your Plan Into Action
Once you have a plan for how to set up your space, the next thing to consider is how to make it happen. Garages aren’t exactly built for comfort, so it will take some work to bring it up to livable standards. This part may require the help of a contractor because it will require construction and possibly also electrical work. Here’s what you need to consider.
Insulating Walls: If your garage is drafty, you may want to hang drywall and add insulation. Be sure to insulate the ceiling too so that heat doesn’t escape. You will also need to decide whether to keep the garage door or replace it to enclose the room. One option that’s ideal for letting more light into your office is to replace the garage door with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Heating and Cooling Systems: If you live anywhere other than a perfect climate, you’ll need a way to keep the room comfortable. According to the Spruce, if you have an attached garage, you may be able to extend your home’s HVAC system easily. Otherwise, you can consider independent systems, such as electric baseboards and a portable air conditioner, which you can find at retailers like Home Depot.
Flooring: Flooring is one element of your garage that’s more than just functional — you also want it to have a certain look and feel when you’re converting the garage into a room. An affordable and easy option is to lay laminate flooring. If you prefer carpet, the blog Garage Remodel Guides gives a word of caution about moisture, but choosing indoor/outdoor carpet can be a good solution. If you like wood floors, it’s recommended that you go with engineered flooring over solid hardwoods because engineered floors withstand moisture better.
The ultimate goal is to transform your garage from a space that’s cold and industrial into a room that feels warm and homey — and inspires productivity! After all, working from home gives you the opportunity to love where you work. So, why not make this space into exactly what you want for ultimate comfort and productivity?
Photo credit: Unsplash