How would you reconfigure this office space?

marti8aFebruary 13, 2011

When we built the garage, we had space at the end for workshop area. Then, we needed office space apart from the house so built a temporary wall across the end, with a small closet. The wall is attached at the ceiling only because we didn't want to make any holes in the concrete floor when we open it up again.

A few years have passed and we still need an office, though not as big as we have here, and we desperately need some space in the garage for table saws, etc.

Dh thinks it will be easiest just to move part of the temporary wall forward, like shown with the red line:

I keep thinking there has got to be a way that uses the space better. We don't need that much office space, really just enough for a big desk, bookshelves & file cabinet, but I can't see a better way given the placement of the window a/c, the wall heater, and the sink plumbing. It would be nice if the cabinet was made of units, but it's one piece, built in place.

We'd like to keep the closet because it's handy, but it can be moved fairly easily, except having to listen to dh's grumbling. Any ideas?

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WOW I might consider turning this space into a guest suite and using one of your rooms in the house for an office. What a lovely space this is. Didn't you need a sewing room too??

I just spent half the day re-arranging my office space in my studio. With computer crash and buying a new one then getting crashed computer running again. I decided to keep it in my studio as that is where I haul it to make phone calls. This way it can live in there and no more hooking up unhooking all the time.

I have an old table as my desk and my book shelves are across the room from it. I really do not need office book shelf but would be the same thing. Books are books. I have my printer tucked under my table in a small one drawer file drawer.

I do not have a picture of my new look and I need to paint the added shelf but can show you some other office pictures that worked really well for me.

The one shown is about what I still have only I added back the third shelf to the white shelf sitting on the table and my table is a larger one now.

When I had a regular desk I had my printer up on one of the white shelves and that worked really well. I also had a desk top them. Lap tops take up such a smaller foot print. Will never go back to desk top.

I can dig up the other office pictures of you would like.

Here is a link that might be useful: This is one set up

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 5:52PM
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I think I have shown this one before. I had many many office spaces.

Here is a link that might be useful: Another office.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 5:58PM
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Marti, where is the door to that bathroom, and also, the door that opens into the present office, what room does it open out of?

If you simply need a place for a desk, I'd suggest moving that wall all the way over to where the bathroom wall is. This would make it same width as your bathroom.

It would be possible to place the desk beneath the a/c and the other stuff at the narrow end of the room. A work surface with some shelves beneath it. That door now entering the office will open into the garage area, or else just make your closet/storage come back far enough to include the office. The balance of the area where the red line is now drawn, that could be your tool room.

But I am puzzled by the demensions shows. The garage at the top of the plan says 25.5' and then there is apparently a sort of wall and another door opening out of your present office. What does it open into? Is that another temporary area?

I think I'd just rip out that closet/storage What doe you store in there? Could you build a 2' deep closet wall to be part of your office area? It would have a lot more usable space than the closet shown there. I'm still wondering how you get to the bathroom.

But using a larger than tiny space could be a potential guest room, sure enough. Especially if they access the bathroom. I'll probably revise my ideas as I learn more about the entire space. We need a little more information.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 7:09PM
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Unfortunately, the office has to stay out there. Dh is required to have a home office for work and his company phone doesn't get reception in the house. It also works out better for taxes if our office space is not in the house.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 7:10PM
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Then I would move that temp wall into the red line, Place the large desk on that wall with back to the wall and a wing on the desk with book shelf to make a space to run wires. This would make it possible to face the air conditioner window. Assuming there is a window there. Even so would be nice to have an office chair. So some one can sit at the desk and some one , client or who ever, sit in chair facing desk. Book shelves along wall where the 14 foot is marked.

Looks like moving that wall in will still leave you with am almost 10 foot by 15 room less the sink area give or take a few inches. I would not put the desk close to the sink just in case a leak springs and sprays out.EEEKKK What a mess that could be.

At our last house my office was in a 10 by 10 foot room and it was enough for 4 foot desk and a file and shelves.

That was good thinking to make that wall easy to move.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 7:40PM
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ML, I guess we posted at the same time and then I turned off the computer. Guess I left off the bathroom door. It is opposite the toilet and opens into the bathroom, the door against the bathtub. I wanted to put in a pocket door but dh hates them and I think he has come to regret it. lol

The door between the bathroom and the closet is the exterior door and opens to the deck. The door next to the closet on the temporary wall goes to the rest of the garage and it opens into the garage.

I have a business and I store my stock in the closet, so it needs to either stay in place or another closet needs to be put somewhere.

The one good thing about having a wall opposite the bathroom is that we can put a door between that wall and the bathroom wall. Then workmen and backyard visitors can use the bathroom and we don't have to worry about them seeing anything private in the office or garage. (And by that I mean credit card or personal information.)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 3:58PM
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Ok, then this is what I'd do.

Leave the door from the deck alone.
Leave your small closet alone.
Leave the garage wall alone, BUT,
Build a wall parallel to the wall shared with the garage. Push it further into the current office space than is shown by the red line. That would not be deep enough at 4'9" to work without wasting a lot of space, and it would also take the window away from the office. DH might need that window in the office to assist with phone reception.

My next question is, what purpose does that 7' long sink cabinet serve? Is it used by DH in his office work? Could you build more storage to the ceiling above/around that sink? Could you manage okay if the heater and a/c were NOT heating the entire space like it is now, just heating/cooling a much smaller office?

I think I would begin the office at the far end of the 7' long sink cabinet. I'd mount a sliding surface door with barn hardware (similar to a pocket door in that it does NOT swing, just slides on visible hardware). And I'd keep the window space for the office. It would help if the present closet was moved so the door from the deck could be placed up there in the corner and minimize hallway space. I'll have to see how it looks by drawing it out on quadrille paper tonight, and get back with you tomorrow. A lot depends on the option to relocate that door from the deck. Right now, a lot of space is allocated to hallway, walking from the deck door to the door into the house. Or so it seems, but I do not know what room is on the right side of the drawing.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 9:34PM
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The garage is separate from the house, so other than the space beyond the office, marked "garage", it's all exterior walls. There is no option to relocate the door to the deck, or any other permanent structures. The counter with the sink is used as his coffee bar and to cook anything with a strong smell like chili or fish (in a crockpot). There are open cabinets above the counter.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 11:52AM
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Marti, here is a rough sketch, showing the way it might work to allow the heater to work for the space besides the office, just like before.

And you will note the following
* Remove temp wall, marked with xxxxxxxxx
1. Build new temp wall and extend garage wall which is
adjacent to the door from the deck.
2. At end of sink cab, add another temp wall section with a
pair of bifold doors (not, could have glass in the tops if you like.) This will aallow a 48 inch wide doorway into the office which could be left open for air circulation as before.
3. Make a row of 12 inch deep high shelving in the office.
4. Desk or work table with 2 chairs T-d up to the shelves
to allow DH to see the window for the sink area like before.
5. On wall between heater and the a/c, mount chalk board
and cork board for projects, appointments, etc.
Maybe below on that wall a credenza if he likes one.
6. File ab behind DH's desk, 2 drawer to keep from visually
crowding the space, give a spot to put calculator or something. Also, a 2 drawer file cabinet beneath the window a/c, maybe two of them if he needs lots of files.

I'm sure he has his computer there, and a printer. Maybe put the equipment on the file cabs under the a/c, and the computer on a table against the wall behind his chair, keeping it away from the heater as much as possible.

Don't know what folks use in their offices these days, been many years since I worked in one. Hope this gives you some ideas which way to go with this. I'm assuming you still want the new walls to be "temporary" too.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:52PM
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I've been playing around with it, and came up with this

The only problem here is that the heater will have to be moved, and the gas line. Even though it's a more efficient plan for the space, I don't think dh will go for it.

p.s. I showed the whole building this time so you can see what is on the other side.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 9:59PM
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Man, ML, you and I are on the same posting time frame! I like yours and think dh will like it better than mine.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 10:01PM
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Ahhh, your plan is the most efficient for sure. And I think your storage closet could combine with the tool lockup, right?
I do not understand how the deck is accessed now, or how it is attached to your house and garage. But I really like all that straight line wall to the garage.

Will that wall also be temporary, or are you ready to make a long term commitment? :) If temporary works, I'd stick with doing it that way.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 1:34PM
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ML, the garage is on the left and the house on the right. It would be more obvious if I were taking the picture from the other direction but the sun was too low.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 12:12AM
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Marti, I finally get the picture. :)
I really like a separate garage. I had never thought about a connected garage being a health risk, until a couple of weeks ago, when two young boys were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. They were in the house, but they were in the room which happened to be over the garage. And now I'm hearing a lot more about adequate ventilation, especially up north, when the garage is connected to the house.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:33AM
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Marti- I like ML's idea. That would give you a nice office space, and more garage space, without losing any of your other areas. Looks like it will work out very well :)

Attached garages are a concern, especially when people build over them. How sad for those poor boys and their family.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 9:58AM
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