Many employees are now working from home. Plenty of others have made the move toward opening their own home-based businesses and pursuing the dream of entrepreneurship.
You might be modernizing one room in your house, a whole wing, or even outbuilding as a place for you to conduct work. No matter how simple or elaborate your plans, you’ll need to rely on some office renovation tips.
Why Office Renovation Tips Matter
It costs money to renovate any space, even if it’s just a 12’ by 15’ spare bedroom. You want to spend frugally and wisely to get the biggest return on your investment.
By studying the hottest office renovation tips, you can ensure that your money is being put into places that will give you return value. The last thing you want to do is overspend in areas that won’t give you much bang for your buck.
Let’s face it: Homeowners typically spend nearly $400 each year on sprucing up their homes. Why waste even a little bit of it? Instead, follow some of these proven home-based office renovation tips to ensure that your project turns out great without causing you too much financial stress or heartburn.
Fix up the Your Curb Appeal
Are you planning to have clients come to your home-based business? You’ll want to focus on upping the curb appeal of your property.
First, make sure that you have enough obvious parking. This could be in your driveway, along the street, or in a special gravel lot that you’ve created just for an outbuilding that you’re turning into a separate business location.
Next, take care of the lawn and trees. A well-manicured property is going to make your business look more polished and professional. It won’t be a turnoff to prospects who are coming to meet with you.
Finally, consider your outdoor lighting. As a homeowner, you can often get away with limited or “good enough” exterior lighting. Not so if you’re going to be operating as a commercial entity from your house. Instead, you’ll need to have enough lighting so your customers, clients, and other visitors don’t risk tripping or falling.
Be sure to expand on these office renovation tips related to the outdoors, too. Your property may have unique features to consider, such as being tucked away on the side of a mountain where you get tons of wildlife. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you’re covering your bases when it comes to creating a memorable first impression on anyone who stops by.
Make Repairs and Upgrades to the Exterior of Your Home Office
As a homeowner, you really don’t have to fix nagging repairs. You can let some things go, such as cracked windows. But when you’re renovating a part of your property into a full-fledged office, you’ll need to pay attention to the little things.
You may even want to make part of your home look more like a professional building. For example, let’s say you have an outbuilding that was once an old, antiquated guest house. You want to turn it into more of a modernized commercial space without losing the carriage house appeal. You could realize your goal by working with commercial glass contractors. The contractors can help you add more glass elements to your building, but won’t necessarily need to touch the overarching design theme.
What other types of repairs to the exterior of your property fit into your office renovation tips checklist? You should definitely take time to repaint if needed or to add new siding. And you’re definitely going to want to make sure everything from your shutters to your mailbox looks like new. Again, the goal should be to make your place as inviting as possible.
Fix Up the Essentials
Have you been putting off roofing repair, a new fence installation, or gutter cleaning? Now is the time to tackle those projects. Yes, they’re going to cost some money. Some, like roofing repair, could eat up a chunk of change. Still, they’re totally worth your effort because they’ll help improve the overall value of your house or other property.
As an important side note, as you’re sprucing up your office, think about if you’re going to be asking employees or independent contractors to drop by or work at your property sometimes. If so, you may want to start investigating commercial plumbing. Residential plumbing might not be appropriate, depending on what you’re doing.
For instance, say you’re starting a yoga studio in the walkout basement portion of your rural home. You’ve gotten all the permits to run a studio from your house. However, you’re not sure that your current bathroom facilities will hold up if you have a lot of people in a class. That’s where commercial plumbing and commercial plumbing fixtures will come in handy. Your employees and your clients will thank you for thinking of their needs.
Make Sure You Always Meet Building Codes
In terms of office renovation tips, you do need to consider what’s the right thing to do versus the wrong thing. The wrong thing is to assume that you can set up your house or outbuilding on your property without speaking with officials. Depending upon the type of business that you run, you may need to allow an inspector to visit to prove you pass stringent building codes.
Does it seem strange that you might have to install a commercial fire sprinkler in the small office that used to be your extra storage shed? It might seem strange, but it’s better that you realize this now than risk getting fined or shut down.
Really, one of the most useful office renovation tips is to always cover all your bases and make sure you’re up to code no matter what you do. It’s fine to just work from home most of the time, but some businesses will have to follow regulations and rules. Consider a home-based hair stylist, for example. The hairstylist will have to invest not just in the equipment to make clients look their best, but also all the items that allow the shop to remain open.
Investigate Energy Solutions to Go a Little Greener
Believe it or not, some customers care if your home-based business is environmentally friendly or not. Therefore, you’ll want to consider how to spend less on energy and get off the grid, if it’s at all feasible.
For instance, could you add solar panels to your home’s or building’s roof? Solar energy companies are located in your community and would probably be happy to tell you about all the options at your fingertips. You might also want to check with your favorite roofing contractor to see if solar could be a sensible option given your type of roof, as well as the direction that it leans.
Even if solar panels don’t work, you may be able to save money on heating and cooling costs by investing in something like geothermal energy or another alternative to using oil or natural gas.
Transform Your Space With Professional Flooring
Chances are good that you want to keep the “home” part of your house looking a little different from the “business” side. You can quickly delineate spaces through the creative use of various types of flooring.
Imagine if you were to lay down commercial tile and stone in what used to be your climate-controlled garage. With all the other professional bells and whistles, the flooring would help elevate the space to something a little more sophisticated and modern. In fact, it would make your space look business-like in an instant.
Do you like the floors you have but feel they just need a little facelift? Many sources for office renovation tips suggest trying wood flooring refinishing if you have exposed hardwoods. You can always throw area rugs around to add a bit of comfort while still maintaining a business air.
Yet one more type of flooring that could work is a seamless floor. Seamless floors are terrific for making large spaces seem even grander. They can also be great because they present zero tripping hazards. After all, they don’t have exposed seams, which makes them a good choice if you plan to have some foot traffic, as in the case of a home-based daycare or customer service call center.
Buy Used Office Furniture
With all the renovating you’re going to do to get your new business off the ground, you’ll want to have great office furniture. However, if you’ve checked out furniture prices, they can be through the roof. Nevertheless, you may be able to skirt having to pay too much out of pocket by purchasing pre-owned furniture with a lot of mileage remaining.
It’s unfortunate, but many small businesses have closed their doors in recent months due to uncertain economic times. They are often looking to sell their furnishings at very low prices just to get any kind of income. This is good news for you because you have a lot of bargaining and negotiating power.
Obviously, you don’t want to take advantage of another entrepreneur or worker. At the same time, you also don’t want to overspend on furniture. Look online on auction sites and ask around your community to see if anyone’s selling exactly what you need to furnish your home office building space.
Work With an Expert Office Designer
You have a vision of what you want your office to look like. Still, you seem to fall short and can’t quite make it come to life. If you’re stumped at the design phase, bring in a professional.
A designer will help you map out how to make the most of the space you have to get the outcome you want. If you’re trying to save as much as possible, you don’t have to pick a designer who’s been around for decades. Perhaps this is your opportunity to help a designer who’s just starting out. You never know who’s available in this line of work until you put out some feelers.
Invest Some Money in Extra Cleaning Supplies
Customers and employees are going to be extra concerned about hygiene at the moment. You probably will be, too. This means you’ll need to not just stock up on cleaning supplies but have enough storage to keep them within reach.
When you’re renovating your office space, set aside a closet to house all the cleaning items you could possibly need. Resist mixing your home and office cleaning supplies. Instead, buy a separate vacuum, separate gloves, etc. Be sure to keep all your receipts to write off at the end of the year during tax season.
Consider Investing in a Different Property If a Home-Based Office Just Isn’t Working
This is the last of the office renovation tips, and it could be one of the hardest pills to swallow: You tried fixing up a part of your home or a building on your property without good results. In fact, you realized pretty soon that the space just wasn’t what you needed.
That’s okay. Get in touch with a realtor or look on the web for commercial buildings and spaces available for purchase or lease. Many spaces are available currently, and you may be able to get an incredible deal. Some property managers are even offering discounts if you agree to pay your yearly rent upfront or pay the rent a week before it’s typically due.
You don’t have to feel like you’ve somehow failed if your home-based business is too big for your house. It probably shows that you’re on the right track. You just need a different location, that’s all. Plus, going someplace away from your house could be beneficial if you’ve found it challenging to separate work from home life. Oh, and you already know how to go about renovating any place you land because you’ve already gotten some insider details on revitalizing a location inside and outside!
No matter where you open your next business, be sure that you keep tried-and-true office renovation tips in mind. Feel free to pass them on to other budding startup founders who are in a similar position.