Tips On Remodeling Your Alabama Residence for a Home Office

Professional Remodeling Tips for a Home Office

You probably have a home office of some kind in your home. Whether it's a computer desk and filing cabinet in an alcove off of your kitchen for managing home finances, or a private room with a separate entrance having a home workspace can provide great benefits.

If your needs have changed, or your considering upgrading your existing home office what you need depends on what you do with it. There are several different types of home offices which can be mixed, matched and combined in any number of ways.

For example, if you work at home for your current employer, or you're self-employed, you'll often need a functional space with connectivity, ample storage for files, and computer capabilities. If you meet with clients you may want a separate entrance away from your family. In fact, some zoning regulations require it.

A household management office may require less space and support. If you need a place for running your household, paying bills, and managing your investments you'll probably need a desk, reasonable computer connectivity and minimal storage for household records.

Today, millions of Americans are working from home at least part-time. Millions more have created a work area for paying bills, tracking expenses, managing their investments, pursuing hobbies and connecting with family and friends.

Here are some tips for creating the perfect home office to meet your unique needs!

Planning Your Home Office

Most homes were not designed with a dedicated home office space. Even today, with the exception of very high-end homes it's unusual to find a dedicated home office. Typically, one room is labeled, Guest Room/Office on floor plans, but even in these cases there are no special provisions or features included that would designate a room a “dedicated” office.

Here are some ideas to consider if you're planning to add a dedicated home office space to your home.

Home Office Size

Depending on your needs, home office space doesn't need to be big to be efficient. Today, it's possible to create a workable space in just a few square feet. The minimum workspace should be 60” wide and 30”-32” deep. This is enough space for a computer and work area and is about the size of an average office desk. You'll need about 10 square feet for moving through the space and if you plan on adding filing cabinets you'll need about 3' of drawer pullout space in front of the cabinets. You'll also need power.

Wall space above the desk can include shelving or cabinets for supplies and reference materials. If your space is in a corner of your living room, or an alcove in the kitchen and you want to separate it, consider using a folding screen, freestanding bookcase, or even large potted plants. Plan to put all of the materials you'll need within reach of your work chair, and you'll have a great functional space.

Home Office Electrical Needs

If your office is in a separate room, you'll need to take your electrical needs into consideration when planning your space. It's a good idea to run a separate, heavy-duty 20 amp circuit to the space in order to accommodate an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) to protect your electronics from a power surge or outage. Also make sure to include enough outlets for other devices like a charging station for portable devices, a fax machine, copier, or multifunction device.

Separate Access

If you work from home and have a dedicated office where you meet clients, unless you want them coming through your living space, a separate entrance is a great solution. If you have a window that is at least 32” wide, creating a separate entrance is a pretty easy and inexpensive renovation. Just make sure to check your local zoning laws. If it's allowed, it makes a good case with the IRS for taking a tax deduction for your home office expenses.

Heating and AC

If you're the only person home during the day, separate HVAC for your office can be a good investment. It can pay off in lower utility bills in a very short time.


If you need privacy to complete your work, but need to keep an eye on the kids, consider placement of your office and how it relates to the rest of your house. A workable solution is to install video monitoring in the playroom and kids bedrooms with a monitor over your desk.

Desk Space

The most important element of your home office is your workspace. It should be at least 60” wide up to 72”. A desk is the most common work surface, but you can make your office more rustic by using two stained sawhorses and an old door for a funky rustic, industrial look. Or, try spanning two filing cabinets, or base cabinets with a counter top. Typically, these options can cost less than a desk and they're a great way to customize and personalize your space, plus add some personal style to a typically utilitarian space.

Creating a dedicated workspace in your home is a great remodeling project that is relatively inexpensive and can pay off with a more organized home. If you work at home, separating your work from your daily life can be difficult. With a dedicated space and a separate entrance, you can leave for work in the morning, without getting in the car! While you may not see the return on your investment at the level of a kitchen or bathroom remodeling, having a separate work area will pay off by improving your lifestyle.

If you're considering adding an office to your home, give the design experts at Toulmin Design Build a call. Click here to schedule an appointment. We can help you to achieve your creative vision and show you the latest options and technology for creating the perfect home working environment.

About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation