From Garage to Goldmine: Transforming Your Garage into a Thriving Business Headquarters

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From Garage to Goldmine: Transforming Your Garage into a Thriving Business Headquarters

Nov 16, 2023

When a newly-famous business founder is interviewed about the company, it’s almost expected that they’ll say it “started in their garage.” 

Why is a garage such a popular place for companies ranging from Google to Amazon to begin? Very simply, it doesn’t cost the founder any extra money the way a commercial space would, and it’s not too hard to renovate a garage into a functional, comfortable workspace. Plus, the commute can’t be beat when your business is at home.

If you are a small business owner looking for a commercial space, before you fork out money for a significant lease, consider these tips for transforming your garage into a productive, profitable office.

Create a Plan and a Budget

Renovations can get expensive quickly, so it’s important to have a clear budget and a detailed plan about how you’ll turn the garage into a comfortable office.

Because you’re going to be bringing a lot of new elements into your garage, including additional outlets, flooring, insulation, and more, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional contractor to plan and budget the project. 

Start by looking at the structure of the garage and ensuring it’s sound. Decide if you will add windows or make other structural changes and what permits are necessary. Also, research the zoning in your neighborhood so your new office doesn’t violate the rules. 

Your plan doesn’t have to be expensive and complex — there are plenty of ways to create a low-cost garage workspace.

Insulation and Temperature Control

Garages are generally not heated or cooled, but you definitely need to be comfortable in your workspace. That means you’ll want to improve the insulation and find a way to connect the home HVAC to the garage. 

Proper insulation reduces sound transfer and will help keep utility bills lower. You may also decide to use a smart thermostat to regulate the temperature differently when you’re in and out of the office, or even get a more efficient HVAC system. 

Saving money on bills frees up money for your business and makes it easier to weather the financial ups and downs of running a company. 

Finishing the Space

Finally, you’ll want to finish the walls, floors, lighting, and Wi-Fi. Drywall is a great way to add style, make it easy to hang things on the walls, and increase the fire resistance in the garage. You can also hang cabinets for storage. 

On the floors, consider carpet tiles or other modular flooring that can easily be repaired or replaced if part of it is stained or damaged. Simply painting can be inexpensive, but it’s unlikely to create a comfortable place to work long-term. Hard concrete floors can be hard on your feet and joints! 

Next, you’ll want to improve the lighting. The contractor can improve the lighting and wiring plan at the same time, giving you the outlets you need as well as high-quality lighting so you can work productively.

Finally, it’s important to have excellent Wi-Fi in your office. Consider a booster, point-to-point Wi-Fi, or an ethernet cable to get internet service into the garage. 

Make the Workspace Productive

Once the foundations are in place, it’s time to set up your perfect workspace. Think about what types of work you need to do and ensure those tasks are accounted for in your office layout. 

If you only do computer-based work, your primary focus can be an easy-to-use workstation with a desk, printer, and some plants. The plants are not only attractive and calming, they can also purify the air and lower humidity in the office space.

It’s also important to have an ergonomic workstation where you can work long hours without getting repetitive stress injuries or hurting your back, neck, or eyes. Setting your computer screens at the right level is vital, as is having the right kind of chair at the right distance from the computer and desk. 

To make your office especially productive, consider soundproofing the garage to improve your focus during work. Soundproofing also helps noise in the garage not travel outside, which protects your privacy. 

Soundproofing should start with the garage door, which is the thinnest and most leaky area of the garage. Close the space around the door and move to the walls and ceiling. The floors are important as well — concrete floors reflect sound, so carpet tiles will improve soundproofing while also adding comfort.

Create a Productive Office With Style

Ultimately, you want your garage office to be a place to run your business and a place that reflects your style. You might decide to decorate in your company colors and include the business logo, or you might keep things more neutral. 

However you decide to finalize your office design, having a business headquarters steps from your living room can help you save money, run a successful business, and perhaps one day be one of the entrepreneurs interviewed in magazines. When you are, you can tell them, as other famous founders have, that your business started in your garage.


Meet The Author:


Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger.


The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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