Construction and Design 101 – Your Home Office

If you’re an entrepreneur and work out of your home, you’re in good company. Forbes reports that billionaires like Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Markus Persson (Minecraft), Sara Blakely (Spanx), and Frank Wang (DJI Technologies) all started their businesses out of their homes. But did these now Billionaires have standard home offices? Or, did they construct them from scratch to fulfill the needs of their business? While working from home can be convenient, it also has drawbacks. It is easy to get distracted by piles of laundry, dishes, or similar day-to-day tasks. Having a separate office away from your general living space will make it easier to concentrate.

Designing your dream office.

The right home office design will foster focus. For example, you want to ensure your workspace is well-lit. Research suggests that this improves productivity. Even small aesthetic touches, like office plants, can make a difference. According to Psych Central, studies suggest that having plants in the work environment reduces stress. You’ll also need to buy equipment for your home office.

Create an ergonomic workspace, as described by The Mayo Clinic. Among other things, they recommend getting a chair that protects the natural curve of your spine. To make it easier to write-off such business expenses, establish your company as an LLC. It requires less complicated paperwork than a corporation while still protecting your personal liability. You can set up your New York LLC quickly and easily using business formation services.

Buying a new home if your current one is too small.

If your current house simply doesn’t have the space to accommodate a home office, you can consider moving. This is a more costly option and should be carefully planned. Start by getting your finances in order. Figure out how much you can reasonably afford to pay, keeping in mind that you will need to make a down payment on a new property. If you make a lump-sum payment of at least 20%, you can avoid paying private mortgage insurance.

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If you own your current house or apartment, the money you make from selling it may be enough to cover this investment. Get an idea of how much your place will sell for by looking at similar properties online. Zillow allows you to search according to factors like neighborhood and square footage. This is also a great way to look up properties to buy.

Making renovations to the home you own now.

If you want to stay in your current home and have some extra space, you can simply renovate the structure to accommodate an office. You could convert a basement or attic into a usable room, for example, or even construct an addition to the house. If you’re undertaking larger renovations, make sure to check local building regulations before proceeding. Use the Buildings Guide database to find your state’s laws.

If you are hiring a contractor to do the job, they will be familiar with your area’s legislation. Your contractor can make or break the success of your project, so do your research before hiring. You want a reputable professional who is licensed, registered, and insured. U.S. News & World Report further recommends checking potential contractors’ credentials and disciplinary history. This helps to avoid potentially pricey legal construction disputes.

A well-designed home office will allow you to concentrate on your work and support your business success. With the above guide, you have three options to create the perfect space to suit your needs. For more resources, the website Angie’s List is perfect for finding your dream contractor and designer, that can make your home office dreams a reality.

John Caravella Esq., is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email: [email protected] or (631) 608-1346.

This is a general information article and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. The content above has been edited for conciseness and additional relevant points are omitted for space constraints. Readers are encouraged to seek counsel from a construction lawyer who has experience with Long Island construction law for advice on a particular circumstance.

Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was written by Suzie Wilson. Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. Ms. Wilson’s mission with Happier Home is to offer you insight into how to turn your home into a sanctuary that you’ll not only be happy to come home to, but will actually make you feel better when you’re there.