So you’ve finally decided to work remotely, but now there’s a problem: you don’t have a home office and there’s not a free room to make one. That’s okay. As long as you have a garage, you have all the space you need. But, it takes time and work. So roll up your sleeves, it’s time to get started transforming your oil-stained garage into a shiny new home office.
Clear it out.
The first step is the most obvious. This is to clean out the garage. If you only have a few things, you may be able to turn a corner into a suitable storage area. But, when your belongings have taken over, it’s time to look for an affordable storage unit for surplus items, even if it’s only while you figure out whether you need to sell or otherwise re-home some things.
Although you will pay a monthly fee, it’s nothing compared to renting a private office space. With a bit of digging, however, you can find a great deal. Central Self Storage – Shawnee, for example, currently has a special for 50 percent off on 5’x10’ units.
If you determine the amount of stuff you have to move is more than one person can handle, look for a moving company to do it for you. You can expect to pay anywhere from about $65 to $90 per hour to tackle this task, but that’s a small investment that will save your back and your sanity.
Seal it up.
Cleared space. Check. Before you plug in your computer, you’ll want to make sure you have a comfortable area to handle your professional duties. This starts by ensuring that your space is temperature-controlled. Check your garage door. If it is gapped, broken, or otherwise compromised, have it replaced. You can also add a garage door opener (at a cost usually ranging from $171 to $401 in Kansas City) if you want to be able to let in the fresh air without getting up from your chair.
If you would prefer to have your office completely blocked off, you will need to build walls. Chances are, you’ll need a contractor to build the frame, but, as Lowe’s illustrates, hanging drywall is not that difficult. Before you put walls up, insulate between the studs. If you elect to hire a pro for this work, Drywall 101 says to expect to pay around $1 per square foot.
Deck it out.
Take a look at the floor. If it is still exposed concrete, you’ll want to take care of that ASAP. Depending on the size of the room, a large area rug might work. But, if you want a more professional appearance, consider adding laminate flooring. Like hanging drywall, Best Laminate explains this is not difficult to install, but it does take patience and a few special tools.
Next, add a desk. An L-shaped model is ideal if you have multiple monitors or need to spread out for projects. This will also give you room to add a desktop printer and any other electronics you need on a day-to-day basis. Make a list of everything you use regularly, including office supplies. You will want to have everything in place before you turn your open sign on for the first time.
Wire it up.
Obviously, one of the most important elements of your office is your computer. Contact your internet and cable provider and ask about installing service to the garage. This, unfortunately, is a time-consuming and often expensive project, so you can also look at other alternatives to keep you up and running. One of these is to piggyback off of your cell phone plan with a hotspot. If your plan is unlimited, you can stay connected without an additional monthly fee.
Your home office does not have to take up half of your house. Your garage probably already has unused space, even if it’s filled with Christmas decorations that haven’t been up in a decade. With a little elbow grease – and some assistance from a couple service pros – you can be up and running before the new year.
Guest post written by Natalie Jones.
Image via Pexels