With the unusual events of 2020, more people have started working from home and, in fact, spending more time in general at home. So it goes without saying that this added time at home has resulted in people deciding to invest in improvements that will help them to optimise space and make the most of what they have.
Working from home in the summertime came with a few perks, including a great tan. However, as winter approaches, it is probably a good idea to start thinking about creating a permanent office space that can be used all year around.
In this series, we look at the things you need to consider before biting the bullet and convert your shed or garage into a bedroom or office.
Step 1: Identify the opportunity
The first thing to do is look at the buildings and spaces that you have outside of your actual home. You don’t have to live in a mansion to have outhouses; ok, you may not have a choice of barns, garages and stables to convert, but you may have a shed, summer house or garage that has potential. Once you have identified your potential locations, have a think about what you use them for now, and if your new use would improve your life or actually make it more stressful. For example, you might have an external utility room that you use for laundry, keeping your freezer and general overflow from your kitchen and bathrooms (slow cookers, toastie makers and anything else that doesn’t quite fit in the house!). The room could probably be turned into a bedroom or office, but at what sacrifice? Where will you put your white goods and kitchen overflow? If there isn’t an easy answer, then the utility room is probably off the list. If you barely use the utility room, then great! You have a room with a water supply, drainage and electricity – and plenty of potential. If when assessing these rooms, you realise that the garage or summer house is actually just full of random rubbish that you rarely use but has no other place, these buildings can also stay on the potential list.
Step 2: Assess the budget
Now for the boring bit. Before you make any plans, you need to work out what your budget is. This will be guided by what you can afford as well as what you have to do to get your outdoor space watertight and warm. Don’t over stretch yourself, particularly in these uncertain times; take the time to work out what you can afford to invest. Consult a couple of builders or garage conversion specialists to get their professional advice and a ballpark figure before you make any final decisions.
Always use a builder that you trust and get at least two quotes so that you can be sure you are getting good advice. Follow Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter for the next stage in making your outdoor room a warm, welcoming indoor space.