How to Convert Your Garage Into a Home Office
For many people up and down the UK, there has never been a better time to think about a home office. However, many homes won’t have a room spare for a work-from-home space, which raises the question: why not turn the garage into a home office?
Some people will keep their car in this space, which rules it out, but if you don’t – or if you can park the car on your drive while working from home – then this could be a good solution until you’re back at the office full time. This month, we’ll talk you through the things you need to consider to convert your garage into an office while you work from home temporarily.
Clean & Tidy
First things first, your garage is probably not a fit place for working in right now. Filled with boxes, rubbish, garden furniture and anything else you care to associate your garage with, it’s time to have a clearout and tidy. Donate items to charity, sell them via online marketplaces or put them in the bin. Anything you need to keep, try and move it to the shed or the attic if you can. Appliances such as a chest freezer or washing machine may need to stay but try and keep them to one side of the room to make space.
Once you’ve cleared a decent amount of space, it’s time to clean. Wash the floor to get rid of dust and oil stains, then apply a feather duster to the walls and corners to get rid of debris and cobwebs. Starting with a fresh space will be a big help for all the following steps.
Few garages, if any, come with built-in heating, and there’s a good reason for that. But if you intend to work in this space, you need to make it comfortable. Start by looking at trying to eliminate the draught coming from your garage door. A draught excluder on the bottom of your garage door or a weather strip on the floor where your garage door hangs – or both! – will go a long way to helping prevent cold air and wet weather from intruding on your working day.
Temporary heating is a must in a garage office, so it’s worth investing in a portable heater. The type of heater you get will depend on how much floor space you have and your budget. You could even get an overhead heater if you want to keep this office space in future or turn it into a workshop. Check the heater is safe to have in your garage and always make sure to switch it off when you’re done for the day.
Most garages feature power supply, but depending on your work set-up you may need more electricity supply. Consider whether you also need to plug in your heating (see above) and lighting equipment (see below), this might mean you need an extension. Always be careful not to overload your sockets or get an extension wet in any way. By cleaning and tidying your garage first you can figure out how many plug sockets you can use and keep them safe.
A single bulb usually isn’t enough to brighten a whole garage in the way you might like unless you sit directly under it. It’s a good idea to get a desk lamp or a floor lap to add more brightness to your office space as looking at a computer screen in the dark is not good for your eyes. You could always consider swapping your one ceiling light bulb for something more ornate and expansive if you’re willing to pay to get the electrical side of things properly sorted on a permanent basis for this space.
This is the fun part; kitting your home office out with whatever you need to make it comfortable and practical. Do you need shelving to house a lot of folders or reference books? Do you need dual monitors set up on your desk? Would you prefer a desk which slots into the corner? All of these things, plus other bits of equipment unique to your job (or even just the basic stationery) should be arranged in your new space.
This is a good excuse to upgrade on your current equipment and make your office look and feel the way you want it to.
So you’ve got all the essentials you need to work comfortably and get your job done day-to-day, but is there anything else you can factor in to make life easier and more enjoyable while working from home?
- Soft furnishings – These help to add colours, texture and possibly a little more warmth, try a giant beanbag for taking video calls on or a large rug to take away the chill from the floor.
- Internet connection – Check your wifi connection will reach well before moving your office into the garage first.
- Food and drink – Want to avoid going back and forth to the kitchen? Why not add a mini kitchen with a small fridge, a kettle and a snack bowl?
If you’re planning on creating a temporary office in your garage, but have found your garage door is in need of repairing – either because it’s wonky on the rails or because it won’t close properly – then look no further than Doormatic. We offer garage door repairs and maintenance throughout Surrey, Kent, London and across the South East so that you can set up your work-from-home space comfortably.