Still finding yourself working from home? Maybe you’re juggling home schooling with office admin – all from the discomfort of your dining room table.
Sound all too familiar?
The chances are that if this is your reality, you’ve already thought about transforming the back bedroom into a home office, but have you considered your garage?
Dusty, dank and unloved, the garage is a prime example of wasted space that could quickly become a comfortable, spacious place to separate home and work during these uncertain times. And the best bit? It’s entirely possible to do this without spending a fortune on builder’s tools or professional resources.
To help you get started, here are 5 things to consider.
#1 Do you need planning permission?
When it comes to making big changes to your property, the question of planning permission is one that comes up a lot. The good news is that more often than not, changing your garage into a living space (or office) will not require planning permission.
There are a few stipulations here that you must consider though:
- Are you changing the external structure of your garage to make it larger? If so, then planning permission is likely to be required
- If you are located close to a housing estate, you may need to request planning permission to convert your garage. If this applies to you, check with your local authority
- Check with your local authority that there are no conditions attached which require permission to be granted before conversion can go ahead (sometimes conditions will be in place from previous planning permission, so it’s always worth checking before you make any big changes)
Like we said, it is highly unlikely that you will need to go through the process of obtaining planning permission, but this is certainly something you should double check before you do anything else.
#2 Start with the basics
Okay so you’ve got the go ahead to create your perfect home office, so now what? It should come as no surprise that getting the basics right should be your next port of call. After all, garages aren’t naturally known for their warmth and comfort, and if you’re going to be working in there 5 days a week, you want to create an environment conducive to productivity.
Most garage floors are made from concrete, so consider the type of flooring you will lay that gives a comfortable, cosy vibe. A great option includes carpet tiles which can be fit quickly with minimal effort and, if sections ever become damaged, they can easily be replaced without having to redo the entire floor.
#3 Light it up
Does your garage have lighting in place? The chances are that if it already has lighting, it is the sterile and extremely bright strip lighting often found in garages and workshops. But now that you’re turning your garage into an office, you will want lighting that is kind on the eye and isn’t likely to leave you with a bad head after a couple of hours of exposure.
So, what sort of lighting does your garage office need? We don’t advise opting solely for this intense ‘task’ lighting but mixing it up with a combination of ambient lighting as well. The good news is that more often than not your garage will be exposed to a lot of natural light, particularly in the spring and summer, so you can utilise windows and glass panel doors to allow lighting in, at no extra cost to you!
#4 Security is crucial
Garage security is important whatever you’re using it for, but a converted home office makes your garage much more likely to be targeted by thieves. Computers, laptops, printers and even important documentation can look incredibly appealing to unscrupulous individuals, so security is an absolute must.
Consider home CCTV, padlocks and alarms to keep your possessions safe and give you that peace of mind that you need to know your workspace is safe both day and night.
#5 Put your personal stamp on things
If you’re going to the trouble of creating your very own DIY home garage office, you may as well make it a space you love to spend time in. So, our final consideration is all about aesthetics. Soft furnishings, curtains, blinds, blankets, yep – blankets! All of these elements can give your space some much needed personality, and after the year we’ve just had, creating your home office should be about so much more than a practical place to work.
Putting your personal stamp on your finished home office needn’t be costly or taxing either. You can do it all with some basic builder’s tools, a little spare time and a sprinkling of creativity – so what are you waiting for?