If you are one of the millions of people who need a workspace at home, then it’s time to put those brains to the test. You have a garage and just a single car you need to park there. It’s spacious enough that you can squeeze in another room if you want to. Most people’s dilemma is that the garage does not receive any natural light and that it’s too far away from the main house (which means the comfort room and the coffeemaker). These are not problems at all. You can solve these problems with affordable and realistic solutions.
The garage is the perfect room to turn into a working space. It is far from the main house, so that means there are no distractions. Even if your garage has a bare minimum in terms of design and amenities, it’s still workable. As long as there is no foundational problem, you can convert this space into your home office in no time.
Apply for the Necessary Permits
Although you won’t rent it out and won’t be living there, you need to apply for the permits as required by your city or municipality. Usually, they’re pretty lenient if you tell them you’re going to use the space for your home office. Since everyone seems to be working from home these days, this is a self-explanatory need for renovation. Once you have the permits, you have to decide if you’re going to hire a contractor or do this conversion yourself. If you have some friends and power tools, you might be able to DIY this thing.
Plan the Layout
You still need space to park your car. Although your street is lenient about street parking, you cannot expect that to stay that way. In the future, you might face exorbitant fees for using public roads to park your car. Also, in cases of extreme weather disturbances, you want your car protected.
What kind of climate do you live in? With the dangers of climate change hovering, you cannot be sure of the kind of environmental problems it would cause. You’re better off securing your car in the garage to make sure it’s safe from a sudden automotive hail damage that needs repair costing thousands of dollars.
Clean It Out
Once you’ve saved the space for your car, which is what a garage is intended for, you can also store in boxes or cabinets some of the miscellaneous stuff you stored in the garage over the years. You might have to do a garage sale, so you can also raise some money and get rid of your things.
Once everything is set in their own places, you will see how much space you need to work with. Hopefully, you still have plenty of space. A little trick you can do is place the car on the far side of the garage (next to your lawn or fence). Your small home office should be next to the door leading to the main house.
Think About Insulation and Lighting
The garage is usually constructed lower than your main house’s first floor. That’s okay, but it also means it can be stuffy. Put some insulation on the wall. You can do this yourself as most insulators are just stapled between the drywall and the main wall. The insulation will keep the temperature in your “home office” stable. It will also save energy since the heat and cold from outside won’t affect the interior of your garage.
Garages don’t get a lot of natural light. You might have to rely on plenty of artificial light. Thankfully, there are lamps now that produce almost the same natural glow. You can also fit in windows on your walls but if that’s too much work, consider reinstalling a garage door with windows. This will allow the light from outside to pour into the room.
Decorate and Furnish
You don’t have to mind if the floor and ceiling are on the industrial side. Unless you have a big budget, you should work with that theme. You can soften the “harshness” of the design by putting area rugs on the floor. Make sure to hang some paintings, family photos, inspirational quotes, and more. You should also invest in ergonomic chairs and tables, so you can work comfortably all-day-long.
As for the problem of the coffeemaker and the powder room, make sure your home office is right next to the interior door going to the main house. You can make a quick run for a cup of coffee. Treat that as your “break.” When you have the budget for it, you can install a mini kitchen in your home office.
Turning your garage into a habitable space is not impossible. If you can spend hours hanging out in the basement, the garage is a way better alternative. The idea is to let your home office blend in with the garage as naturally as you can. This way, you won’t have to spend too much turning a little space into your own corner.