If you are a remote worker or are running a home business building an office in the loft is a great way to utilise the wasted space in the roof and to create a perfect working environment.
So many of us now choose to work at home but it isn't always easy to separate work and our home life.
For many people working at home means squeezing a computer into a corner of the bedroom or parking a laptop on the kitchen table.
The problem with the bedroom or the kitchen as a workspace is that while you are trying to work the rest of the family will be going about their daily routine.
And partners vacuuming, kids playing and neighbours popping in for a chat is not conductive to getting any work done.
Of course, to stack against those problems are the positives of not having to battle the traffic on the daily commute, not having to make smalltalk with work colleagues that you would rather avoid and the convenience of having everything you need nearby whenever you need it.
Separating Home From Work
The perfect solution to the problems we mention above is to physically separate our home from our workspace whilst retaining the convenience of working at home. This is easily done by converting the loft into a purpose built office.
A loft conversion office allows the rest of the household to carry out their normal routines without having to worry about disturbing you. You have a dedicated workspace that is totally separate from the rest of the house yet, once you finish work, it takes just seconds to return 'home' from the office.
Some Thoughts On Layout & Design For Your Loft Conversion Office
When designing your office pay close attention to lighting and the provision of additional electrical work, particularly new sockets.
Be careful not to plan for a desk and power points at one end of the loft conversion only to find the desk won’t fit.
Moving the desk and having extension cords trailing all over the floor can be avoided by forward-planning.
The desk or work station area will need to be compact but with enough space for computer, printer, telephone, fax etc., with convenient storage.
The installation of a new telephone line for calls, faxes and computer use will be needed and creative storage solutions need to be found for files and paperwork.
Another consideration is seating. If you run your business from home without the need to physically meet clients in your office then seating arrangements aren’t a problem if, however, you need to meet clients then a tasteful seating area is essential.
Make use of small modern furniture which can create a real visual impact as well as being practical.
A space to one side of the staircase can often be used to house a two-seater sofa for example.
And, of course, if you do need to meet clients in your loft conversion office then ease of access is essential.
There is not much point in furnishing a nice office and then flouting the building regulations by using a loft ladder and not a properly installed staircase.
Your clients will not be impressed at having to negotiate a ladder whilst grappling with their briefcase.
It's Your Space
Like all loft conversions the great thing about building a new office in the roof is that you literally start with a blank piece of paper and can design the workspace to your exact specifications.
Arranging the skylight windows to allow lots of natural light should be the first consideration but don't forget to arrange for plenty of electrical sockets to be installed where you will be positioning your desk, OC and printer.
The sockets will be installed during the first fix electrics stage so it is important to plan ahead and make sure they are in the right place.
For flooring, consider staining floorboards rather than carpet to give a contemporary feel to the workspace and don't forget to ensure there is lots of storage space so all stationary and equipment can be neatly squirrelled away.
Using eaves cupboards for storage is ideal. Décor should be tasteful and light which will provide a peaceful and relaxing work environment.
The only problem with a loft office is that you will make it so perfect that you will spend way too much time up there. So maybe a wine cooler in the corner may be an idea?!
For more info see the related pages below
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations
What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations approval for loft conversions ?
Using And Fitting Loose Fill Insulation In Your Loft