Creating the perfect workspace!

Creating the perfect workspace!

With the arrival of our new little one some months ago, the house was getting a bit crowded.

My office has always been downstairs, and most of the time, it’s been fine. But now we have baby toys in the living room, and no where to put anything other than my office…. It’s become a bit of a pain.

So my wife thought it would be a good idea to convert the garage into an office for me to work in (a subtle way of kicking me out of the house I feel). Now, I’d never done any work to a house before (not “proper” work), and I’d painted the garage walls and floor only a couple of years earlier to spruce it up a bit.

That being said, the thought of getting it all converted into an office space was very appealing.

Step 1…… Be ruthless.

This was the state of our garage at the time…. It’s safe to say it was most definitely a dumping ground from when we moved house.

The vast majority of that went to the tip/charity or sold. When we waded through our “stuff”, we realised that we just wouldn’t use it or need it, so we got rid of it.

We had a few bits left which went into our shed (plus a few larger items into my parents garage….. Thanks Mum!) – But by the end of it, it was empty.

Step 2….. Take photos

We’d already decided on who our builder were going to be at this point. We received a few quotes and went with the best all around (not just price, but prior experience as well).

My biggest gripe with my old office was the small window, which didn’t let in much natural light – So this was my main priority for the new office. This was to be achieved by installing 3.6m bifold doors…… Sounds dreamy.

Before they could cut the whole for the doors, I had to move a couple of stubborn wisterias from the side oft he garage…… These things would survive a nuclear blast, so I didn’t feel too bad cutting them back and clearing them out.

Next step was to actually cut the hole. The builders had built a couple of support beams on the inside already, and the gap had been measured to perfection…..

A few hours later, it’s starting to take shape…..

The next stage after that is to get the timber frame installed for the floor and walls. We decided to keep the garage door on instead of bricking it up (all completely ceiled), so it still looked like a garage from the outside.

It’s amazing how quickly something like this actually starts to take shape, as before I knew it, the frame was in place.

The following day the insulation went into the floor and walls – This is the stuff you can see on the grass a few photos up. It fits in incredibly well, and is super insulating.

After the insulation was in, it was time for the floorboards to go down.

I asked how the stop them creaking, and apparently it’s “a whole load of glue” – So I made sure that they didn’t skimp there, as there’s nothing worse than a squeaky floorboard!

Once finished, you could really start to see it come together. It just needed the insulation on the walls, and then they could add a timber frame to the doors to stop the rain getting in (this is England after all).

The following day we had the plasterers in to do their piece. I have to say, plastering is a very good skill to have, and these guys were excellent.

Here’s how it looked straight off the bat.

Flooring was the next order of the day, and we had decided to go for an Oak laminate. This stuff clicks in incredibly easily, and it wasn’t long before the flooring and skirting had been 90% finished!

All that was left now was the doors and painting.

With the doors set to arrive the following week, we got to work on getting it painted. I opted to go all white to start with, and add colour through furniture and artwork initially – It’s much easier to paint a white wall down the line!

When the doors had been installed….. It looked incredible. 3 massive glass panes and a slick anthracite finish on the metal doors was very impressive.

Being able to open them up fully is such a bonus, as this insulation makes the room very warm (not to mention the glass!).

So, I guess that’s it finished then?

Well…. Not quite.

It’s all well and good having a nice modern office – But if your view is rubbish, it’s not a great place to be.

At that moment in time, I could look out over my garden….. Which had been destroyed by the dog, and was in a pretty sorry state.

Step 3…. Landscaping

Neither myself or my wife are particularly green fingered. We like the idea of a nice garden, providing it involves minimal effort from us.

We had a nice patio area installed a few years ago, and you can see the difference in the slabs in the first picture (cheap, grey slabs running down the path and the back near the new office), and nicer sandy coloured slabs for the newer patio.

With Thor (the dog) being allergic to grass, it was a good time to convert the garden to artificial grass. I’d never been a fan of this stuff, as it always seemed too short. But we found some really good stuff (Easigrass Mayfair), and we decided to go ahead with it.

Plus, we wanted to make more of a patio area by my new office, so we ordered some more slabs for there.

The Easigrass team were absolutely superb. Their first step was to clear the old grass, which they did in double quick time.

They then installed a metal edging called “Everedge”, on the 2 borders that weren’t going to be adjacent to the patio.

We were torn on having a straight edge or curved…… But we opted for curved down the back, as the other 3 were straight and we didn’t want it to look too square.

Then it was time to lay the slabs by the office.

It was the same guys doing this, and I can’t say enough good things about them. Both the path and the patio were laid to perfection as you can see below!

With the hardcore put down for the base layer under the grass, all that was needed was a fine granite sand (drainage), and then the grass was good to go.

The final results were far beyond out expectations if I’m being truthful.

Up close, you’d struggle to tell it wasn’t real. It feels crisp and plush, and it looks fantastic.

Zoom in on the grass and see if you could tell that was fake….. It’s very clever!

Overall, creating a beautiful view is just as important as creating a good working space – It has made everything ten times better, and was absolutely worth the extra cash to have in addition to the office.

The photos speak for themselves, but we are blown away by our new back garden and office set up.

Now all I need to do is get some work done!

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