Now that flexible working is becoming more and more popular, there is an increasing number of people needing a dedicated space at home from which they can work comfortably. Because of this, it is becoming increasingly popular for people to turn their garage into a home office setup.
Turning a garage into an office first requires consideration about planning permission and building regulations. After that, getting a professional to sort out the plumbing, electrics and heating is recommended. Only then can you start getting on with decorating and furnishing your new office space. Using a storage unit should also be considered, as they will easily store anything you need to hold on to, but can’t keep in your garage.
In this article, we’ll be covering everything mentioned above in more detail, so you can be fully informed on what you need when converting your garage into an office.
Is Your Garage Suitable To Convert Into An Office?
Before you get started with converting your garage into an office, you need to make sure that it’s suitable and that there are no structural issues. The easiest and best way to do this would be to hire a surveyor, who will be able to assess the space and check it is safe and ready for the conversion.
Most brick or solid block garages will be suitable for a conversion into an office, from a structural standpoint. However, it is likely that a lot of work will be required to turn it into a safe and comfy living space.
Is Planning Permission Required?
Before starting any work on converting your garage, it is important to check if you’ll need any planning permission.
As a general rule of thumb, any internal work shouldn’t need planning permission. This includes things like putting up plasterboard and painting the walls, laying down flooring or sorting out the electrics/plumbing.
If you are separating the garage from your house or changing the external size of it, you will need to get planning permission. Before starting any external work, it’s always worth checking if planning permission is needed.
What Building Regulations Need To Be Met?
Some councils will ask to check that your space is suitable for living/working in. This may include things like whether the structure is sound, if it’s fireproofed, has efficient electrics and good ventilation. We recommend checking with your local council before you start work, so that no headaches develop later down the line.
Preparing Your Garage For A Home Office Conversion
Before you can start any work on your new office space, you’ll need to prep the space. Typically, garages are used for storage, so there is a good chance you’ll need to have a bit of a clear out. To make your life easier, we advise that you completely clear out your garage before starting any work.
Another thing that is good to get sorted out early are the necessities like your heating, plumbing, electrics and ventilation.
Plumbing, Heating & Electrics
If your garage doesn’t have them sorted already, getting in a professional to sort out any plumbing, heating and electrics you might need doing to make your garage office-to-be is a comfortable space you’d like to stay in. Having a professional sort these out will make sure they are up to regulation.
Remember that depending on your garage, it could get cold during the winter months, so having proper heating in place, like radiators, will be key to staying warm. It’s also recommended looking into insulation for your garage. This will help to keep the heat in your space, therefore helping to keep your bills a bit cheaper.
If at all possible, we recommend adding in a way of bringing in natural light into your garage office. This could be through the installation of some windows or by adding in some roof windows or skylights. Garages can be a bit dark, so adding in natural light will not only brighten up the space, but also make it feel bigger.
Linked into the use of windows or skylights, having plenty of natural ventilation will help to air out the room, making it feel fresher. This has a practical benefit of reducing moisture built up in the room and keeping a flow of fresh air. Overall, this helps with improving air quality and reducing the chance of condensation or mould.
Making Your Garage Look Like An Office
It goes without saying that most garages normally don’t look very comfortable to work all day in, most are grey, brick rooms. There are some easy tips to implement that can make the space feel less like a garage and more like an office you’ll love to spend time in.
Most garage floors are made out of concrete, and I think you’ll agree that a cold, hard, grey floor isn’t the most appealing of surfaces to have in a living space. Instead, installing a new floor can make a huge difference in making your garage office feel and look comfier.
Before installing a new floor of your choice, it’s also important to check your original floor is level and flat. If it isn’t, you may need to lay a level floor down first, made out of something like a chipboard. You can then layer your new floor on top of this for a nice finish.
Decorating & Furnishing Your New Garage Office
Assuming you’ve followed any of the previous points that you needed, you should now have a clear, practical room, with nice lighting, utilities and a good floor. Next up is the fun bit, you get to decorate and furnish your office however you like.
This is obviously up to personal preference, so have fun making your ideal office space. However, here are a few things we’d recommend you think about including:
Plasterboard Your Walls
Most garages have brick or concrete walls, so unless you like the look of them, plastering your walls, so they’re ready for painting, can really help to make the space feel more like an office than a garage.
High Quality Chair
If you’re going to spend money on anything, it should probably be the chair you’ll be sitting in all day. This will help with posture and back support, and generally make being in your new garage office much more enjoyable.
The Finishing Touches
Fitting your office with the little details and finishing touches will really help to make the space feel more personal and “lived in”. At the end of the day, this should be a space you enjoy working and being in, so anything that helps to achieve that is a more than worthwhile addition. Whether that be desk knick-knacks or a shelf full of your favourite books.
Save Space When Turning Your Garage Into An Office
Garages are typically used as a place for storage, and often, as a place to dump things you don’t want in your house. When converting your garage into an office space, you’ll need a place to store the things you’ve collected but don’t want to throw away.
A Storage Unit Could Be The Solution You Need
Storage units are a great way to store extra things you won’t have room for in your garage office-to-be. Our options for Self-Storage cover a range of locations across the UK. One of our storage units that can fit the contents of a standard single garage starts from as little as £20 per week, and gives you the space you need to make your dream garage office.
If you’re thinking about using a storage unit, we have plenty of guides on things to know when using a storage unit across a long period of time, which can help to keep your belongings in the best shape possible.
When considering turning your garage into an office, you’ll need to make sure that it’s up to current building regulations and check if you’ll need planning permission for any of the work. Making your garage comfortable for living in, by getting the electrics, heating and plumbing sorted, will go a long way, as will adding sources of natural light and ventilation through windows or skylights.
A storage unit can be very useful for keeping the things you’ve taken out of your garage and will ensure they stay safe and sound.
Lastly, have fun with how you decorate it. This should be a space you enjoy working in and want to spend time in.
If you have any questions about what kind of storage unit you might need to accommodate your garage’s possessions, feel free to get in touch with us, we’d love to help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Turn My Garage Into An Office?
The short answer is yes! Typically, garages aren’t made to be habitable. But with some insulation, plasterboard and some hard work on decorating, you can make a great looking office you can enjoy working in.
Do I Need Planning Permission To Turn My Garage Into An Office?
If the work that needs to be done is only internal, such as plasterboard and flooring, then planning permission shouldn’t be needed. If the work needed is external, such as separating the garage from the house or extending the outside area, then planning permission might be needed. Contact your local council to find out if you’ll need planning permission.