Homeowners are always looking for ways to add value to their most significant asset – their home. This strategy is often engaged just before the house is listed for sale to maximise the sales price. However, with life taking a different turn since the pandemic and working from home the new normal, a home office is a top priority. So how do you create a home office that improves your remote working and adds value to your property?
Renovating a property is a costly exercise especially if it involves adding or removing structural walls. Adding a new room or changing the current layout to accommodate a modern lifestyle can add value or cost you equity. Done well, it can add thousands to the sales price, or it can cost more than you’ll ever get back when you sell up, and this is called a negative equity position, where the cost to purchase and renovate exceeds the sales price achieved.
Therefore before you rush in and engage a builder or tradesperson to convert a bedroom into a home office, take time to do a lot of research on how you can improve your current home’s footprint and layout and then weigh up the cost-benefit analysis of all the options.
Will working from home die out when life returns to normal?
Post lockdown workers are keen to keep working from home at least part of the workweek. Therefore, adding value to your property with a home office is a worthwhile exercise. As New York Times says managing bored kids and trying to use Zoom from the kitchen table is not a good look, nor is it sustainable and the proposition to businesses to allow their workers to continue working from home lost with this setup.
With an ergonomic, professional office arrangement on your property, the video conferencing calls will work seamlessly insofar as clients won’t know if you’re in the office or working from home!
Where To Locate The Home Office
Modern floorplans have an open plan kitchen, dining, living environment, which has challenged workers during the lockdown. They worked off the dining room table or on their lap in the living room, making it hard to sit for hours on end like in the workplace. Therefore, worker productivity has been a challenge with family disturbance, pets, and the calling to do household chores and maintenance jobs. Thus situating your home office in the open plan environment should be avoided.
If you don’t want to add an extra room onto your property, use a spare bedroom for your home office. Set the room up as a professional work environment with an office desk, ideally an electric stand-sit desk, so you can choose when you want to stand or sit. Use an ergonomic chair and use a monitor or two instead of bending your head down towards your laptop screen. Also, use a separate keyboard and mouse to improve your posture.
Are you using your double garage for your cars, or is it used mostly for storage? Somewhat unsurprising most homes use their garage for storage not parking, and herein lies an opportunity to turn the space into a home office. If your garage is a separate dwelling, you may also be able to extend the building to include a home office, ensuite and parking for a large and small car or one car and storage.
As our lifestyle changes, it may be that you no longer require more than one car and using the second car space in the garage for a separate home office is a better use of space and adding to your home’s resale value. Get quotes on adding an internal wall to separate the garage from the office.
Make sure the office has windows and a door. Insulate the ceiling and walls and add suitable flooring for your office chair. For example, use office carpet on a concrete base so your office chair can move quickly as it would in the workplace.
Add an ensuite to your office. Now we’re adding value with a redefined home office. You can never have too many bathrooms, and professional flippers, aka property investors who buy, renovate and sell, will always look to add in an extra bathroom to improve the property’s resale value.
As our lifestyle adapts to the new normal post-pandemic businesses are agreeable to working from home for all or some of the week, providing the workspace is conducive to productivity. Homebuyers will, therefore, be adding the home office to their list of priorities, and the properties that have the professional office in place will reap the rewards with a top sales price.
For more articles on renovating and, in particular, overhauling the high traffic zones, namely bathrooms and kitchen, see our renovations category.
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