If you’re working from home much more than you used to, you may be considering creating a dedicated office space away from the hustle and bustle of home life. Garages, summer houses and outbuildings are often popular choices among those who want to turn an existing space into a home office.If you’re keen to transform one of these areas of your home, there are a few important things to consider – which we explore here.
Prioritise health and safety
One of the first things you need consideris health and safety. Is the space structurally sound? Does it currently have an electricity supply and plumbing connection that meet building regulations? Or does this need doing as part of the project? If you’re unsure, it’s important to get a qualified professional in for advice on your project. They can ensure that the renovation will meet the necessary building regulations and will be fit for purpose. Depending on the space you’re using, you may need to obtain planning permission before any work can go ahead. You can do this online or speak to your local planning authority for more information.
Consider your unique needs
Everyone will have different requirements when it comes to a home office, depending the job they do. For this reason, it’s essential to plan an office that makes sense for you and your requirements, rather than based on generic home office layouts. For instance, will you need a large amount of bulky IT equipment? If so, plan how to integrate this effectively into your design to make the most of the space. Or, if you work in a profession which requires a large desk space – suchas an architect needing adrawing room, or an artist requiring crafting space – youshould factor this into your conversion. It’s important to get to grips with your needs and plan your office to suit them, so you have a comfortable and functional space.
Assess the upfront and ongoing costs
When planning any building or renovation work, it’s essential to assess the upfront and ongoing costs before the project gets started. This will help you make sure that you can afford to complete the renovation without putting yourself in financial difficulty. Firstly, get quotes from any suppliers you’re using, including labour, materials, VAT and other essentials. Once you have quotes for each element of the project, you can add them together to get an idea of how much the total cost will beand whether it’s financially viable. If so, and you’d like to go ahead, set yourself a realistic budget for the work including the build, interior design, furnishings and so on – and stick to it.
By prioritising health and safety, planning a space that suits your individual needs, and effectively managing the costs of your project, you’ll be able to create a fantastic home office to enjoy for many years to come.