• jerry woods

The New Home Office


As the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 continues to spread across the United States and the world, many traditional offices, businesses, and schools have remained closed. Even non–traditional offices, like shared workspace pioneer We Work and the defacto office spaces like Starbucks, have taken huge hits. The resulting closures have ushered in a cultural mega-shift towards working from home. The resulting shift has forced many homeowners to clear out guest bedrooms or basement space to create a “Home Office/Home Schooling” area.

But for many, that’s just not a feasible option, because of space, or noise concerns. So many homeowners have resorted to creating additions onto their existing home or building prefabbed, modular “office spaces” in their backyards. For many builders, the shift has proven to be a boom for business and a new amenity for many homeowners.

It’s no longer the ensuite master bathroom and renovated chef’s kitchen, instead, 2020 has made the home office, and all the privacy and quiet that comes with it, the new hot item being spotlighted by new real estate listings.

Builders are finding new ways to accommodate interested buyers by capitalizing on the frustration of having to take that important Zoom call with a client in a crowded and/or noisy house. Parents dealing with kids engaged in remote learning next to them as they pour over data for their company report are having many of the same issues. It’s not an ideal situation for anyone.

For many Americans, the solution has been to purchase prefabricated, stand-alone office options from companies that can manufacture and assemble the structure in their backyard for between $20,000- to $30,000. Real Estate experts have seen a massive surge in the 80- to 120-square feet options of these prefabbed structures, which offers a perfect office size, home gym, or kid’s study area,” since people are spending more time at home.


In many areas where permits aren’t required for add-on dwellings below 200 square feet, the pop-up office has become an attractive solution to reduce a cramped home feeling as homes double as workspaces.

The second option many are turning to is building an addition onto the existing home structure. There are many things to consider when building an addition onto a house such as:

· Size

· Permits

· Construction time and mess

· Soundproofing

· HVAC

· Connectivity (i.e. electrical)

· Ensuite bathroom (i.e. plumbing)

The larger your home office addition, the more expensive it will be. In some cases, your home addition may require an architectural designer. A competent contractor can determine when that is necessary.




Below is a small list explaining the pros and cons of building an addition to a house.


Type: Home office addition

Costs: $11,520-$47,520


Pros

  • Increase home value

  • Control over design

  • Private space

  • Will provide space in case you hire people in the future


Cons

  • More expensive

  • Messy and disruptive

  • Takes longer

  • Increases property tax and homeowners insurance

  • May not get the return on investment that you want

It can be a lot, but adding square footage to the home usually improves the equity overall.

A third and very popular option is clearing an existing space by moving items and making slight renovations to create an office. Typically, this option does not add to the equity of the property and does not solve the issues of noise and overcrowding.




Type: Using an existing space

Costs: $400-$3,000


Pros

  • Less expensive

  • Finished quickly

  • Less mess

  • May be closer to the front of the house to greet visitors


Cons

  • Give up existing space

  • May not get all you want

  • May end up being too small

Either way, home offices are likely here to stay. Contacting the right company for the job can make all of the difference. Be sure they know the market and are expert builders in order to get the most from your decision.



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