Your alarm goes off before the sun has even begun to peek past the horizon. You want to hit snooze, but you’ve got a 90-minute commute ahead of you already, so you begrudgingly roll out of bed.
While brushing your teeth, you check for new podcasts, but there’s nothing that looks interesting this morning. You cue up your “Monday Motivational” playlist instead, then slip your phone into your back pocket.
You climb into your decade-old gas-guzzler and wish you could afford one of those swanky electric vehicles. You fantasize about peeling past the lines of stop-and-go traffic that hem you up every weekday in a brand-new roadster as you merge onto the interstate at a speed you could outpace on your bicycle.
How could you spend this time more productively? What if you could eliminate your stressful, time-wasting, soul- and environment-crushing commute and add hours to your day? What if you figured out a way to work—from home?
Your mind shifts into overdrive, even as your four-door sedan is stuck in second gear.
Your family never uses the formal dining room. What if you turned it into an office? You remember when you closed on your home, the deed said the property is zoned for light commercial use. Could you open a storefront for your wife’s little internet retail side-business?
Converting part of your home into commercial space is not only a great way to eliminate your daily commute, it could even be a tax write-off. But where do you start? Well, it all depends on what kind of work you do.
Are you a booker, or baker or a candlestick maker?
Are you a CPA, web designer, coder, or writer? These, as well as many other professions, only require a single room. That dusty, unused dining room space could easily be converted into an office. Toss the table into storage, right next to the table leaf. Slide the China cabinet into the kitchen. Insert a desk, chair, computer and printer, and voila!
Wait. It’s not quite that simple, if your dining room floor is carpeted. Your office throne won’t roll around on that 1970s shag. Time to rip up that impossible to clean carpet and install some nice oak flooring for when clients come in for a face-to-face.
You’ll need to consider electrical needs, too. Figure out if you’ll need to add more outlet, and if you’re working alongside anyone else, LAN and phone connections in suitable positions in the walls as well.
You’ll want to replace that chandelier with some more appropriate lighting, or, for a simpler solution, place your desk directly underneath it to keep your head safe. Hang some of your favorite prints on the wall, set up your electronics, and you’re in business. Literally.
From hobbyist to entrepreneur
Perhaps you’ve been working in an office for years, but spend your weekends building furniture, or taking on other woodworking projects? You could convert that old outbuilding into a proper shop.
First, you’ll need to make sure everything is water-tight to prevent damage to your projects from leaks. You’ll also need the ability to control the temperature and humidity to prevent warping of your materials and finished products.
Installing insulation behind paneling will achieve this effect. Fiberboard is easier to drill into and hang tools or supplies from than drywall.
You may have to pour a slab of concrete if it is a dirt floor, or smooth out the existing concrete, and perhaps install some vinyl flooring to help protect your projects. You won’t want them getting scratched up on bare concrete or sitting in the dirt.
You’ll need electricity, an air compressor, and HVAC. In order to keep your storage space from encroaching on your workspace, installing cabinets to support your worktable is a popular option. Put a peg board right up front so your tools are easily accessible, and some more storage above for less frequently used supplies.
A workspace designed to keep you in that state of sawdust flow. Be sure to stain, and not paint your work surfaces so that it will still look well after taking some abuse.
Fortune favors the bold
These are all great ideas, but what if you’re thinking bigger? Much bigger?
You’d like to convert your home entirely into a commercial space, and build a residential second floor, or guest house to live in, or even rent out.
The first and most important step is to check with your city or county zoning and building codes to make sure that you can start your desired business at this location. Most cities have specific rules governing what kind of businesses can be run in which areas.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have all of your proper business licensing in order.
Second, you’ll have to determine your needs. Assess what appearance best suits your business.
You’ll need to consider your electrical needs here as well. Can you make the current layout of sockets work? Will you need phone and internet connections in multiple rooms? You’ll definitely want to hire professionals to do the remodeling work. Any commercial business will need proper signage. Find a good local sign maker to broadcast your new venture to passersby.
Are you starting a daycare? You’ll be tearing out multiple non load bearing walls for a large space so the kids can play. You’ll also need some vinyl flooring because it’s easy to clean and can take the abuse of multiple toddlers.
Be sure to throw some mats down in case one of the kiddos takes a tumble. Rubber flooring is another option that covers both of these concerns.
Maybe you’d like to convert the first floor into a store front to showcase your woodworking projects? You’ll still be tearing out those walls, and you’ll also need to replace all of that carpeting with some hardwood to compliment the rich grain texture of your work.
Installing track lighting to showcase each piece in the perfect lighting, at its most brilliant. One of the bedrooms will need to be converted into the business office. The other for supply storage.
While there are hundreds of considerations to be made when converting your home into a place to make money, consider getting a professional consultation to make certain you have all of the details ironed out before we turn your humble abode into a capitalist venture.
Still don’t know where to start? How about from the ground up? Check out our page on choosing the best flooring for your commercial space to help you decide what flooring is right for you. Ready for a hassle-free quote with a pricing guarantee? Call or email today for a free consultation.