In an age of increasing remote working opportunities, many homeowners want to add a home office to their layout. This relatively simple addition can transform your work life and the balance with your home life. But before you dive into this project, discover a few important questions to answer.
1. What Are Your Real Location Options?
Before you commit to a location for your addition, seriously consider more than one spot. While one area may seem the most logical — or the only viable option — a skilled home contractor or designer can often offer alternative choices. Many of these options may not even be something the homeowner was aware of.
A good designer can also help you solve problems with utilities, permits, lighting, budgeting, and interior flow that only the professional foresees. For example, adding a full room on one side might be a much more expensive — or extensive — proposition than adding a bump-out addition to another location. While the owner may not fully understand the difference between these two addition types, a contractor will.
2. Should the Office Serve Other Purposes?
Your goal when planning additions should be to increase the functionality and flexibility of the home. Can your home office space do this? Should it? If your house doesn’t have an extra bedroom for guests, for instance, the office could serve double duty — particularly if you include a small bathroom in the plan. Or you could design it as a potential future flex room that could serve as a blank canvas for future buyers.
3. What Are Your Office Work Needs?
How do you work? What do you need to get your job done? Someone in a paperless office who only works on their computer all day might need just a little niche to use. However, an entrepreneur starting their own business could need much more square footage. And a crafter who wants to make and sell goods online might need even more work areas and storage space.
4. How Much Privacy Do You Want?
There is no one right or wrong answer as to how much privacy to aim for. Most workers do best when their office is in a quieter part of the home where kids, pets, and daily chores are less intrusive. However, others would constantly need to check in on the household and therefore get less done when physically separated from activity. The choice must be yours.
Every home office, though, should start with some basic privacy features. Many experts recommend you have a door that locks. This gives you the option of creating temporary privacy when needed, allows you to close the door on your work at the end of the day, and makes things more secure. In addition, windows should be secure and offer exterior privacy, and the room should have sound-dampening elements.
5. Should You Plan for Growth?
Businesses choosing a new location often must consider future growth. You may need to do the same when committing to a new addition.
An entrepreneur who plans to grow their business could easily outgrow this one room in a short time. You may want to make it larger than what you need now or place it near adjacent spaces — like a garage — that could be cannibalized. On the other hand, an office worker going paperless may need even less space as time goes on.
Want to know more about planning your new home office? Start by meeting with an experienced home remodeling contractor in your state today. DESIGNfirst Builders offers Illinois homeowners a wide array of services to fill all their home addition needs. Call today to make an appointment.
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