With working from home becoming the new normal, it may become clear you need to create more space in your house to accommodate an office area. Somewhere peaceful to allow for calls and concentration.
There are many ways you might achieve this, here are some ideas:
- Convert a spare bedroom
If you are lucky enough to have a spare room in your house, you could easily convert this to an office space. Invest in a good chair to support your back and a desk to work at and start planning the layout looking at the light and what would work best.
You might want to consider internet boosters to ensure the connectivity is strong.
- Convert a garage
In today’s world, there aren’t many garages being used for what they were originally intended – a car, most are filled with junk. Maybe now is the time to have a good clear out and put that space to good use.
A garage conversion done well can add up to 20% to the value of your home. In most cases you will be able to convert your garage under “permitted development” but do make sure you check with your local planning authority as there are exemptions (for example conservation areas and listed buildings) and always better to check first.
The conversion will need to comply with building regulations for:
- Thermal performance
- Fire safety
These are all things a builder will be aware of and can advise you during the quotation process. The end result will give you more usable square footage or an additional room in your house if it is attached to your property and you can knock through.
- Build an extension
Depending on the footprint of your property, there might be an opportunity to add an extension, whether that is to the front, rear or side of the property. If you have the budget and space then it’s a great way to add value and an extra room (or two) to your house. It’s currently a popular choice if you’re looking for more square footage as the costs verses selling and upsizing are actually very favourable (think Kirsty and Phil’s “Love it or List it”).
Most extensions will require planning permission, although some may fall into permitted development. Even so, whichever route you go the work done must comply with building regulations and be approved. You’ll need to find yourself an architect and builder. Research the companies you use and ask friends and family for recommendations. Finding a good architect can save you in the long run, so spending a little extra at this stage will ensure quality and it will be easier for builders to quote for the work with complete plans in place.
- Create a garden office
If you have garden space then why not create an office there. What’s nice about this idea is it actually gets you out of the house, it’s almost as if you’re going into work. It can also be a welcome break from the distractions and noise if you have a busy household. If you’ve got an outbuilding, summer house or shed already that need a new purpose then perfect. Remember if you’re building something new in your garden then you will need planning permission if it doesn’t fall within the permitted development guidelines which are:
- It must be at least 2m from your boundary
- Eave height no more than 2.5m tall
- Overall height no more than 4m for a dual pitched roof
- Or overall height no more than 3m for any other type of roof
- Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within twometres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwelling house.
- No more than half the area of land around the house should be covered
- No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must not exceed 0.3 metres in height)
If you’re looking to build something more substantial then you will need planning permission, your builder can help you with the plans and application but the ultimate onus lies with the homeowner.
If you’re planning to work form your garden office year-round, you’ll need to consider some additional things such as:
- Power and lighting
- Internet connection
- Insulation and heating
- Water connection and waste
There are lots of options available on the market and you can buy a ‘ready to go’ office garden which will incorporate these.
- Loft conversion
Loft conversions are a great use of space, if like many, yours is used to store things that will never see the light of day again then perhaps a conversion would be a better use of the space. The first thing you need to check is the height of the roof so pop up and measure at the highest point, you will need a minimum of 2.2m.
Depending on the age of your house, the roof will either have roof trusses or rafters. Trusses are supports that run through the cross-section of the loft. This type of roof will need extra structural support to be converted. You will also need to think about where the stairs will go. They can take up a large amount of space, so it is worth thinking through carefully and perhaps getting some advice from an expert.
There are different types of loft conversion and the type you choose will probably be determined by the age of your property and your budget.
A roof light conversion is by far the cheapest and least disruptive as it works with the shape or pitch of your roof. You just add skylight windows, put down a proper floor and add a staircase.
A dormer conversion protrudes from the slope of the roof and are suitable for pretty much any house with a sloping roof. These tend to provide a bit more space, although do work out more expensive.
Whichever solution you decide, we’d love to help you design and build your perfect office space. Please do get in contact.