The garage is an area of the house that is often ignored. It serves a purpose which is to protect the car from environmental elements. However, it is actually quite versatile.
Aside from a place to park the car, the modern-day garage also serves as a storage space for a number of American households. In fact, according to one survey, an overwhelming majority of homeowners use the garage for storage rather than for parking a vehicle. Out of the more than 900 homeowners surveyed, 93 percent said that they use the garage as a storage space. Meanwhile, only 84 percent said that they use the garage as parking.
The Garage Home Office
But, over the years, the garage has shown its versatility more and more. The once parking and storage area can now be your own fitness center, a space for your hobbies, and an office.
Because of the pandemic, more people needed a dedicated space where they could work in peace and, most importantly, answer video calls and conferences. The garage, although not designed as a living area, is an area separated from the rest of the house where the rest of the family are doing their own learning, cooking, and playing. The garage offers a sanctuary without distraction and disturbances.
So, throughout 2020 and 2021, contractors were very busy transforming the boring garage into a cozy home office. Millions of Americans had to work remotely during the pandemic lockdowns in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. According to a survey, around 35 percent of American workers were not working on-site because of the public health crisis. There was an increased need for home offices and, for a lot of people, the garage is the only space in the house that held promise to become the perfect workspace.
It was a great time to work in the home renovation business. Those in the garage storage franchise experienced increased demand. Beginning 2020, consumers also upped their spending on home furniture and design products.
Because of stay-at-home orders, sales of home office equipment also rose significantly. Wayfair, an e-commerce platform for home furniture and decor items, saw its shares skyrocket due to higher sales around the early weeks of the pandemic. The growth was partly driven by the demand for home office necessities.
Moreover, the sales of personal computers surged to its highest levels in six years during the pandemic as people buy devices that they will use for learning and for working.
A Lot of Work
Although it has so much potential, a garage is not built to be an office. Renovations will be required to turn it into a place where you can comfortably sit down and do your job for eight hours every day. It is not typically as simple as buying a desk and a chair. You may need to change a few things first to make sure that you can spend the whole day in the space.
Experts recommend that, before doing additional work in the garage, homeowners should assess whether the structure is sound. Older garages should be evaluated by a professional to see if the structure underneath is still sturdy or needs replacements.
Homeowners should also check if there are existing zoning regulations in the neighborhood. After all those have been taken care of, then work on electricity, plumbing, and other additions can begin.
Lighting, in particular, is an issue because garages typically are underlit. Most people have one light bulb hanging in the ceiling which is not enough for the entire space. It certainly would not be enough for your home office.
Homeowners also have to figure out cooling and heating. No one wants to spend the entire day sweating or shivering in their home office. A space heater and a box fan or an oscillating ceiling fan can increase or decrease the indoor temperature as needed.
Finally, the space has to look and feel like a home office. The appropriate furniture is definitely necessary. Aside from a desk and a chair, you may also need cables and charging adapters, a laptop stand or monitor mount, earphones or speakers, and a few houseplants. These devices will promote productivity.
A home office is a necessity nowadays as more people choose remote work, especially after the pandemic. The garage is the perfect place to set up a workstation because it is a sanctuary where there are no distractions and where it is quiet enough for workers to focus on their work. However, the garage will need some work to turn it into a cozy workspace.