Whether you’re starting a business following the 2021 Great Resignation or your established business is outgrowing the spare bedroom, a garage can offer an attractive alternative in terms of size, existing infrastructure such as wiring, and with it being a stone’s throw away from your home location. Transforming it into the ideal home office, however, can be a task beyond the experience of the average homeowner. Just as you bill yourself an expert in your profession, this may be the time to call on an experienced contractor – or at least an avid DIYer – as well as an interior designer well-versed in melding practicality and personality, like Toscano Interiors.
Setting the stage for renovation
Depending on your discipline for shrewd organization and vehicle maintenance, it’s likely you have some decluttering and deep cleaning to do. After finding a new home for every item previously housed in the garage, you’ll want to remove the telltale signs of its former functionality, such as oil stains in the concrete, and hooks and nails that held everything from bicycles to water hoses. For this early stage, you won’t need a permit, but you may need one before you move on to more extensive renovations, so be sure to check with your local permitting office before you go any further.
While you’re checking your permit requirements, talk to your business accountant or other qualified tax professional about whether your converted garage will qualify for a home office deduction on your tax return. This deduction allows you to deduct certain expenses from your business income that relate to running your business from your home and is in addition to any other legitimate business-related expenses that you claim on your tax return.
Once you have your permits and other business tasks in order, gauge your current electrical wiring in the garage to see if it’s suitable for your office layout, particularly the number and location of outlets. If your garage is separate from the house, you may want to section off some space for a small bathroom, and perhaps a small kitchen area for a refrigerator and coffee maker.
Regardless of climate, insulation is a must-have, if you don’t already have it in your garage. Your licensed contractor should add the necessary wiring and plumbing prior to putting in any additional insulation. In addition to tempering the outdoor weather effects, insulation quite literally helps to “insulate” you from outside noise. If you’ve never worked with insulation yourself and want to save some money for your more aesthetic improvements, consider taking classes at a nearby home improvement store.
Blending practicality with creativity
You’ll likely want to hire someone to replace your traditional garage door, especially if you have a need to welcome clients and vendors. Since most garages don’t have a lot of windows, consider adding a few to let in some natural light and create a more open feel to what will be your new office.
Now you’re ready to set the stage for your office décor. Start from the ground up, deep clean those concrete floors before putting down your choice of flooring; an easy route is to finish the concrete with an acid stain and will complement attractive rugs. If your space is relatively small, light colors for your walls can create a more open feel, especially if combined with mirrors. You can add pops of color with artwork, furniture, and accessories. Finally, your office furniture is important, so be sure you mix comfort and practicality with style – even the mouse and keyboard you select matter when it comes to physical comfort.
Passion and productivity
Many business owners spend a great deal of time in their offices, so it should surround you with inspiration as well as comfort. Hiring a professional isn’t just for knocking down walls and doing electrical work, so if you’re finding the design functions more challenging than you expected, reach out to Toscano Interiors for creating the workspace that fuels your passion and your productivity. Once you get the office of your dreams, you’re off to the races!
Blog written exclusively for Toscano Interiors by guest blog contributor, Tina Martin with Ideaspired. Tina Martin is an author and successful Blogger. Find more of Tina's work at https://www.ideaspired.com/blog/www.ideaspired.com/blog/
Designer, Life Coach, + Realtor - Candance Toscano
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