One of the best reasons to convert a garage into an office is to gain more living space for your home. Then you have the bonus benefit of utilizing space that isn’t being used for storage or parking. Before you begin thinking about how to turn your garage into an office, some things should be considered such as:
Where will you work?
Do you want a space dedicated to your office, or do you want it to be a multi-purpose room? Will the garage door remain or become part of an interior wall?
What types of walls should I use for my new garage office?
Start by choosing the best exterior and interior wall surfaces. Walls with a high R-value, such as masonry or brick, have greater resistance to heat transfer and therefore offer better insulation. It is best to choose the material that has the greatest insulation value than choosing ventilation or lighting systems.
What type of power will you need?
Do you want the ability to plug in appliances? Is there an electrical service available?
How will you divide the space?
Will you want to use cubicles, panels, or built-in bookshelves? You can easily purchase these materials at your local building supply store. When possible, it is best to separate the areas for heating and cooling units so airflow can be improved.
What should you do to improve the heating and cooling of your garage office?
Depending on the climate where you live, you might want to add a heater or air conditioner. By planning for these appliances, you can easily place them where they will be most useful.
How much natural lighting can I expect from my new garage office?
The more windows you have, the better it will be for air circulation and natural light. However, if your garage is too dark for an office, you may want to go with artificial lighting instead.
How do I ventilate my garage office?
Be sure that ventilation openings are not blocked by insulation or other construction materials. During construction, be sure to maintain at least one foot of clear area surrounding the vents so air circulation is not restricted.
What type of flooring should I use?
You may want to go with carpet or vinyl tiles for ease of maintenance and comfort. If you do choose carpet, there are special low-maintenance, poromeric versions of carpeting available. Another option is to tile your garage floor so it can be used as a break or lunch room once you are finished with your office space.
What type of ceiling should I use?
Be sure to pick the best insulation by choosing metal roofing, wallboard, or fibreglass insulation. If you are constructing walls on top of the existing ceiling, be sure to attach them securely to avoid structural damage.
How much will it cost?
You can expect to pay an average of $3 per square foot for your garage office conversion. This may vary depending upon where you live and local construction costs.
What type of lighting do I need?
Fluorescent lights are recommended for garage offices because they offer proper illumination without generating too much heat. A small drop in temperature will be ideal for this space. Be sure to check all the light fixtures when you are finished to make sure they are secure and nothing is lit or sparking.
What type of furniture should I use?
Be creative when it comes to finding office furniture. You may want to look for cubicles, desks, and filing cabinets at your local office supply store or on websites like Craigslist. You can easily convert an old table into a desk with the addition of some legs and a tabletop of your choice.
How should I decorate my garage office?
There are plenty of ways to make your garage office more personalized. You can paint murals, create a library with built-in shelves, or even add additional insulation for soundproofing. If you will be using the space as an art studio, include proper ventilation so fumes from spray paint and other solvents do not accumulate.
What type of safety precautions should I take?
Be sure to install a smoke detector and fire extinguisher in the garage office. You may also want to put a sign near the entrance so people know to knock before entering. This will prevent accidents from occurring when you have power tools or other dangerous equipment operating.
How can I make the space more functional?
Many people who use their garage as an office like to include cabinets for storing office supplies and electronic equipment. You can even build a storage area on your ceiling to accommodate larger items, such as bikes. If this will be your home office, you may want to add a desk for your computer.
Will my garage door support the weight of an office space?
Most residential garage doors are strong enough to support the extra weight of an office, but you should consult with a professional just to be safe. You will need about four inches of clearance on each side to open and close your garage door while office space is in place.
Good luck with your garage to office conversion! We hope this article has offered some helpful tips and ideas for turning a garage into a more functional workspace. Remember to take all safety precautions and check with local building codes before starting construction.