Creating a home office can be easy

Published 9:11 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Creating a home office can be as simple as converting a room or shed already on your property. Interior designer Sam Golson says a fully functional home office space can be created for $2,500. -- Special photo

Whether you’re starting a home business or are in need of more office space, creating a home office can be a simple mouse click away.

And for those who may not have any extra space inside their house, why not consider remodeling a covered space, like a wood-frame shed already on your property, into an office?

Sam Golson, Selma interior designer, said before choosing to turn your shed or garage into an office space, make sure you’ve done your homework.

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“Make sure the level of the building is high enough, above driveway level, so that when rain comes water won’t go back into the garage and rot the walls,” Golson said.

Golson said make sure there are enough outlets and cable connects inside the building. In addition, if the building has dry wall, that cuts down on extra expenses.

“If you don’t have dry wall, it will cost a good bit of money to install it,” Golson said. “Since most garages and sheds are now insulated when a house is built, creating an office space is easy and it’s a project that can be done in a weekend’s time.”

For inexpensive furniture and paint color palettes, Golson suggests shopping locally.

“Most furniture stores will carry all price ranges,” Golson said. “I prefer Benjamin Moore and Devoe paints because you can get any color and they’re washable. I would go with an eggshell white color for interior walls because it’s easier to clean.”

Golson also said your newly renovated shed doesn’t have to put a dent in your wallet.

“It depends what type of shape the garage or shed is in, but you could spend anywhere from $2,500 or more to complete the room,” Golson said.

Here are some more tips to think about when turning your shed into a home office.

Upgrade. During winter months, consider upgrading from concrete half-blocks to a permanent insulated foundation. It will help save you money on heating costs and give your home a higher resale value.

Add lighting. Because many storage sheds don’t have windows, you may want to install a low-priced one to help create an inviting atmosphere. Also, you may want to hire a professional to run power lines from your house to the outside shed and to add wiring to the property to create more lighting. If you plan to use a computer in your office, consider a small solar PV system for the shed. Talk to your internet provider about running Ethernet cables to the area.

Check zoning. Zoning laws may prohibit or put more restrictions on what you can or cannot do with your shed. If you decide to expand the property you may be required to have a building permit or approval from preservation groups or homeowner associations.