Independent work is quickly becoming the go-to option for most people who don’t want to sacrifice their independence for a corporate office. In the US alone, more than 50 million people are engaged with freelancing in one way or another, which is a third of the US total workforce.
That being said, most people still require a home office they’ll be working from, whether they are starting a small business or are looking to freelance. Since it’s also beneficial to keep your workspace separated from your private life, garage comes as an obvious choice for an office makeover. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can turn your garage into a brand new home office.
Survey the Garage
To get things started, you’ll need to plan your garage makeover. Almost any garage out there consists of a concrete floor, garage doors, and artificial lighting. If you want your garage to look like an office, you’ll first have to do something with the concrete floor. We recommend investing in hardwood flooring, as it will instantly change the look of your garage and give it a completely new atmosphere.
You’ll also want to paint the walls to better suit your needs and give your to-be workspace a cleaner look.
Most people use their garages as a dumping ground for anything they don’t need in the house but also don’t want to throw away. If your garage is like that, you probably haven’t even seen your garage empty in a long time. By getting rid of unnecessary stuff you’ll not only get more space out of your garage, but you’ll also be able to better plan what to do with it.
This step is vital if you want to avoid feeling like you’re working out of your garage, as any extra items in there will be a constant reminder of that.
Do Something about the Lighting
Rare are the garages that have a built-in window. A windowless office is one of the best ways to have a depressing time while working, as the natural light goes a long way to help your productivity and morale. If you can afford it, you can hire professional renovation services to put a window on one of your walls. If not, you’ll have to manage with the artificial lighting – so make sure that you’ve got at least 3-4 lamps that will illuminate the whole space. Dark workspace is something you’ll want to avoid at all costs, so always think about the lights when renovating your garage.
Heating and Cooling
Garages are never designed for people to spend time in them, so the chances are there’s no proper air-conditioning system built in. This means that during the summertime you’ll be boiling if you don’t do something about that, while you’ll also be freezing during the winters. If you can afford it – you can wire the garage to your home air-conditioning. A cheaper version would be to invest some money into a portable space heater for the winter, and a portable AC for the summer.
No matter what you do about the heating, if your garage isn’t insulated well enough it will never stop feeling like a garage. Insulating your garage may be one of the first steps you’ll want to take and it’s going to cost you some money, but in return, you’ll get a completely functional room that’s easily heated or cooled whenever you need it. Good insulation will also help you stop the draft, which will go a long way to creating the whole workspace more comfortable.
One of the most important things you should do when renovating your garage is to actually know which way you’re going with your business. Are you going to be working alone, or with a couple of employees? This is important because garages are small, so if you don’t do everything right from the get-go you’ll have to renovate again. Consider your needs and what you’re planning to do before you even start renovating, and you might spare yourself a lot of trouble and a lot of money.
Your garage doesn’t have to be a storage space, especially if you’re looking for a home-office. With a little effort and planning, you can get it to look like an actual office, one that you’ll be proud of. The most important thing is to create a comfortable workspace, one that’s best suitable for your own needs. You can customize it any way you see fit, as long as you’ve taken care of some of the things we’ve highlighted in this article. Self-employment isn’t going anywhere in the future, the trend’s likely only to gain popularity. So if you have a garage – consider yourself lucky!