A home office can make working from home or launching a small business more comfortable, but in many homes there simply isn’t an extra room to convert into a workspace. Any home with a garage, however, does have a space for an office. The problem is that in many cases a concrete garage may not be all that appealing as a place to set up a desk. Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done to make it a productive and pleasant room.
Address the Lights
The average concrete garage does not have natural sources of light. After all, cars do not need sunlight when they are parked, and not having windows in garages can improve security. There are a few solutions to the problem, fortunately. It may be possible to simply renovate the garage to add some windows. If this is not an option, very good overhead lights can lighten the space and can provide enough good quality light to prevent eyestrain and headaches.
Divide and Conquer
In households where no one drives, the entire garage can become a workspace. In many homes, though, the home office will need to share space with a car, workshop, or storage area. If a garage cannot be a dedicated work space, it is important to separate the office area. If clients will be visiting the office, put up drywall and a separate door. If the home office is just for work and not meetings, tall bookcases or room dividers can block out unattractive storage areas and can help you keep your mind on work.
Create Comfortable Floors
The average prefab garage has very simple concrete floors. Not only are they unattractive, but they can be cold and uncomfortable. The most attractive solution is to install quality floors, such as hardwood floors. If this is not an option, laying thick rugs or carpeting can help to make the space more appealing. Anyone who works at a stand-up desk may also need anti-fatigue mats, since a concrete floor is very hard on the feet, even when it is covered by carpet.
Making the Space Productive and Interesting
A typical prefab garage may be a little disheartening as a work area. For a home office, attractive décor is what will really transform a concrete box into a striking working area. Adding plants to a garage home office, for example, can help create fresher air and can add something beautiful. Bright paint, simple window treatments, and attractive pictures can also make a simple garage feel like a comfortable office.
Heating and Cooling
A prefab garage will likely be hotter in the summer and cooler in the winter than the rest of the house. In many cases, a simple space heater and a fan or portable air conditioner will be enough to keep things comfortable as long as the space is winterised well. Good insulation and a small space will generally make the office fairly easy to keep cool and comfortable. The one thing you may need to change is to make sure that you have enough power outlets and to ensure that those outlets are properly grounded for your computer and heating and cooling systems.
Few people will ever mistake a concrete garage for an executive corner office, but there are several ways to turn a simple space intended for cars into a productive and even stylish place to get work done. Many garages have electrical outlets already and thanks to wireless Internet, many homeowners can work in their garage without losing connectivity. A few added touches may be all that’s needed to convert the area into a great work environment.