Before the pandemic, one in five workers who could complete most of their job responsibilities at home were working remotely. Now, 71% of these employees are carrying out their duties from home. More than half would like to continue doing so even after the pandemic is over.
If you’re one of these WFH warriors, you might be itching to add a few more square feet to your workspace. In this case, a small renovation may be in order. DIY your way to more elbow room by building an addition to your home office. Here’s how.
1. Choose the Right Room
Sure, you can add to a basement or closet, but are these spaces really conducive to creating a spacious, functional home office? You don’t have to work in a cubicle anymore, so don’t put yourself in a small, dark space.
Consider the size and shape of each room in your home to determine the best candidate for a home office addition. Then, take paint color, lighting and windows into consideration. Maybe you can convert a second bedroom or put a work desk in the guest room.
2. Gather All Necessary Tools
Whether you’re planning a large remodel or a small renovation, you must gather all the necessary tools before you begin. Otherwise, you may have to stop construction, readjust your budget and revisit the project at a later date.
Make a list of what you need and how much it might cost. Then, set about purchasing and prepping them. You may also rent larger tools like table saws from your local home improvement store to save money on supplies.
3. Establish a Budget
Ideally, you’ll create a budget before you purchase tools and construction materials. But, if you’ve waited this long, at least establish a spending plan before breaking ground. This step is especially important if you’re working with a contractor.
Remember to factor in the cost of labor and application costs when you go to obtain a building permit. Some municipalities charge 1% of the total construction costs to issue permits, which can add up fast. However, sidestepping the process can leave you paying fines or redoing the work when you go to sell your home.
4. Build a Bump Out
Make a small addition without touching your foundation by building a bump out. This clever solution entails hanging a new space off the side of your home. As long as your first floor is above ground, you can add a bump out that’s about three feet deep and up to 12 feet long.
Skipping foundation work will save about 15% on the remodel. Meanwhile, tucking the bump out under existing roofing can save another 10% to 15%. Thus, this option is one of the most affordable if you want to add some serious space.
5. Add a Dormer
If you don’t have enough space on the first floor to build a bump out or your office is upstairs, consider building a dormer. This addition will occupy your roof and let more light into the office space to boost your productivity and mood.
Expand your useable space by positioning your dormer above the garage, in the attic or on the top level of your home. Depending on the size, this addition can cost a few thousand dollars, so plan accordingly and hire a contractor if you feel uncomfortable on the roof.
6. Utilize Outdoor Space
Do you live somewhere that’s perennially warm and sunny? Take advantage of those blue skies by building an alfresco workspace.
Add a patio or deck to your backyard or build a balcony off the master bedroom. You can even build a shed or purchase a pre-made one to house your home office. This idea is perfect for employees who want to minimize distractions, find their flow state and get things done.
The Value of Functionality
As you determine which area of your home is most suited for an addition and how to complete the project, you’ll likely question its value. Will the remodel boost your overall return on investment when you go to sell? Maybe adding onto your home office isn’t such a great idea after all.
When your mind starts making assumptions, remind yourself that functionality has value, too. You have to live — and now work — in this home for years to come still. Perhaps it is worth it to add some extra breathing room. If it really is a valuable addition, you’ll certainly make good use of it.