What do I need to know?

1. Establish your budget

Today, Americans are spending on average $28,000 to remodel their home office. No matter what your budget is, adding and subtracting line items from the budget may change your schedule. Going back and forth negotiating budget line items will most likely delay the actual work. Contractors won’t order materials or schedule subcontractors until all budget quotes and estimates have been approved and signed by the homeowner. Having tight pockets also means you might need to wait for material selections to go on sale or may require you to shop around for the best deals.

2. Set your work back schedule

A work back schedule is the construction schedule. It contains the dates of when materials are due to arrive, when subcontractors are scheduled to do work, and accounts for major holidays or absences. Even if this is a DIY project, and you are doing the work yourself, it’s a good habit to establish a schedule for your work so you can keep track of what needs to be done.  This schedule should also note other time allowances like permitting.

3. Materials matter

For home office remodels, it’s important to have the necessary materials arrive on schedule. The typical home office includes custom cabinetry, lighting, data/telephone/communications lines, flooring and furniture. Your exact material list may differ, however it’s important to not make many changes during the ordering process. Going back and forth on finishes, or delays in measuring or shipping, can all impact your completion schedule. Once you’ve decided the material components in the room, establish who will be installing the materials and when they will arrive to the site. Keep track of shipping information; your budget may not allow for rush orders or overnight shipping.

4. Design it right the first time

Today’s home office is all about storage and having a dedicated place for everything at your desk and at your fingertips. Typically homeowners have around 150 square feet of space (a 12×12 room) to work with, so deciding early on what type of organizational system you need for your home office is a great proactive strategy for keeping your project on schedule. From figuring out if you need built-in or floating shelving, more drawers verses doors, under-counter or specialty filing systems, even considering a fire-retardant safe for storage items that need protecting, can not only maximize the space you have but allow for a quick installation. Knowing exactly where things go early on can potentially save you time at the end of your remodel.

5. Try not to change your mind

Working from home means spending most of your day in one specific room, and you should establish a solid creative vision for what that space looks and feels like. If you have room in your budget to play with flooring, fabric and desktop surfaces, you can afford to make changes. This can negatively impact your schedule. Making major changes or last-minutes decisions can add time to the project. Not having a style in place can slow the momentum of a project or worse, stop it all together. So know what you want and what you don’t want.

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