Converting your garage for business use is a great way to give yourself extra space that’s out of your home and away from any distractions. When work and home life merge, having a dedicated workspace can do wonders for your productivity and mental health.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is struggling to switch off outside working hours. This can lead to overworking and burnout. Equally, it can be just as hard to switch off from household chores and focus on having a productive day. A great way to deal with this is to define a clear workspace that’s separate from the rest of your home. The garage is an ideal space to form this separation.
In this article, we’re taking a look at how you can maximise your space and convert your garage for business use; including the dreaded question of Building Regulations.
Using Your Converted Garage for Your Business
Converting your garage into an office space is a fairly simple solution. But there are plenty more possibilities to convert your garage for business use. It could be converted for your 9-5 job or even to give you space to pursue a side hustle from your house. This can offer a great investment into the future of your business and allow you to offer your services without needing new building work. It also takes the pain out of having to search for the right location and find a suitable place to meet your customers.
A garage conversion could benefit the following professions:
Health and beauty industry
Personal trainers, hairdressers, and beauty therapists could make valuable use of a garage conversion. Your garage could become a mini-studio or salon. Consider specific needs such as plumbing and windows for this type of garage conversion.
Art and music industry
Your garage could become a recording studio or workshop. You’ll need a reliable electricity supply and soundproofing.
Anything that is largely done over the internet
Create an office for customer service, website design, marketing, accounting. This would be a relatively simple conversion as plumbing and windows aren’t necessary.
Mental health industry
Create a counsellor’s or therapist’s office. This could be another simple room, but you may want to consider adding windows to maximise the mental health benefits of natural light.
Convert a dog grooming parlour or pet boarding area. You’ll need to consider drainage, adding windows and grooming tables when converting the garage to a dog grooming parlour. A self-contained grooming salon with easy access will prevent you from having to bring dogs and other pets through your home or garden.
Perhaps you create content for YouTube, Facebook live, or run online classes. Set up a quiet and tidy studio to record or broadcast from in peace. This can be another simple room conversion, but you may want to consider soundproofing if noise levels are important.
Create a mini-warehouse to pack up orders and store stock. This would be fairly easy to achieve with the right racking.
Why Convert Your Garage for Business Use?
The benefits of converting your garage for business use and working from home greatly outweigh the disadvantages. The main benefits are:
A garage conversion for business use greatly reduces your business expenses. Yes, your home bills will be higher as you’re using more gas, electricity, water, and internet, but you’re cutting out the expenses of travel to a workplace, rent on a building/room/chair, and the expenses incurred from things such as purchasing new equipment, keys, and uniform.
Aside from improving your outgoings, working from home (or a garage in this sense) has many benefits when it comes to your time.
Your flexibility can vastly improve when working from home. If you’re working for yourself, you can organise your work around your personal life and not get stumped paying for rent, etc on the days that you don’t work.
Whether you work for yourself or for someone else working from the home allows you much more flexibility when it comes to looking after pets and receiving deliveries. As you’re already at home, you can easily accept deliveries, and on your lunch break, you can take your dog for a walk. Changing the use of your garage into a home office saves you time spent retrieving missed parcels, and can save you money on pet minders!
Wellbeing and Productivity
These two benefits come hand-in-hand. If your mental health improves, so does your productivity.
Having a designated space for your work decreases the chances of you merging your home life and work life, which results in you not being able to switch off. This can have a detrimental impact on your mental health. Creating a space solely for work purposes allows you to step away from that space at the end of the day and shut off.
For productivity, if you create a workspace that you’re happy with, either in your garage or a spare room in your home, your productivity will automatically increase. You can set yourself up with a working pattern of breaks and lunch, where you’re able to get out of that space that you work in. Productivity calls for a happy environment and a freeing mind; using a converted garage to achieve this is an excellent way to improve your wellbeing.
These days, if you can work over the internet, there’s no reason why you can’t convert your garage and easily work from home.
Do You Need Planning Permission for a Garage Conversion for Business Use?
Whether your garage conversion becomes a beauty salon or simple office space, you usually won’t require planning permission.
The only time your garage conversion will require planning permission is if you extend the building. As a general rule of thumb, if the work that you’re carrying out is internal, obtaining planning permission is not required.
As with all plans, it’s a good idea to check whether you need planning permission before carrying out any work.
If you have the option to work from home, and can easily convert a garage into your work-base, it’s relatively easy to accomplish. If you have already decided on converting your garage but aren’t sure where to start, take a look at our beginner’s guide to garage conversions.