With remote work on the rise, more and more people are needing to create a space to work at home. While you can always use almost any extra room in your home as an office, there are a number of benefits to actually custom renovating an empty space into a home office. Renovations not only take time, however, but they also create a great deal of chaos, confusion and noise. While the outcome will almost certainly be worth the headache, it is important to create a plan for sailing through your home office renovation. Here are 4 tips to surviving your home office renovation.
One of the most important aspects of any home renovation is to have a detailed plan in place that covers every aspect of the remodel. Before you begin renovations, you should already have your office furniture picked out and a detailed floor plan laid out. You will want to plan exactly where your desk is going to be so any electrical needs can be met.
You’ll also want to have a lighting plan in place to take advantage of or even create natural light in your space. Make sure you have any lighting fixtures ready to install so the appropriate installation mounts can also be installed. In addition, you will want to have all materials ready and waiting when work begins. Many remodels and renovations have been held up for days or even weeks by materials that didn’t arrive on time. As the old saying goes: if you fail to plan, plan to fail.
Choose Your Contractors Carefully
Whether you are doing a full-on remodel or just an all-out renovation, you are probably going to need help. While it is possible to do some of the work yourself, doing it yourself will often cost more in lost income than simply hiring someone. In addition, professionals will generally accomplish the task far more quickly. Remember, time is money. The less time it takes, the more you save. Ultimately, however, you will need to decide whether to hire your own contractors or hire a general contractor to oversee the entire project.
When choosing a contractor, the lowest bidder is not necessarily the best. Many are the nightmare stories of hiring a bad contractor. Take your time, do your research and choose wisely. Hiring a bad contractor can result in everything from costly delays to actually having to rip out work that may not have been performed up to code.
Backup and Pack Up
While renovations are taking place, you will want to vacate your space entirely. This means you will need to pack everything up, but you will also want to be extremely detailed about doing so. Unlike a home move, your livelihood is dependent on being able to find certain things in an emergency. While your renovations may only be planned to last a few days, when it comes to renovations it is always best to plan for the unexpected. This means planning as if the renovations may take several weeks or more.
Make sure you have a full backup of all computers on portable hard drives, particularly if you are going to be packing up your desktop and using a laptop. If you pack things in boxes, make a detailed inventory and color code each box. Take pictures of how electronics are set up or anything that needs to be dismantled. Make sure that you tape any hardware, fixtures, screws, nuts or boils that are removed to the piece they belong to. The more care you take in packing up your office, the more likely you are to find what you need when you need it.
While you may want to check in every day on what progress is being made, you are unlikely to be able to focus or concentrate while all the business of remodeling is going on. In addition, if you need to meet with clients, be on the phone or hold a video conference, there is no telling what kind of noise or other distractions you may have to deal with. Sometimes, remodeling can even require water or electricity being shut off for a time. Ultimately, your best bet is to get out of the house while renovations are happening.
If all you need to do your work is a phone and a laptop, you might be able to simply relocate to a local coffee house. There are a number of other options, however, that may be more conducive to doing business. Co-working office spaces are a great solution because they often have daily and weekly options available. In addition to providing a space that is more conducive to doing business and getting work done, most co-working spaces have available conference rooms and other amenities that help you accomplish everything you need to.
Most people labor away for years in offices they have little to no control over. Creating your own home office gives you an almost unheard of opportunity to create a space specifically designed down to the very last detail to help you do your best work. Remember that you will spend a great deal of your life in your office and ultimately you probably want that time to be at least productive if not completely enjoyable. Yes, every job will have some unpleasant tasks, but at the very least you can create a great space to accomplish even the most unpleasant tasks.