Dream House

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I want a bigger house! I suppose I'm not the only one that has that wish but the more I think about the house the more I wish it was bigger and had more rooms.

So what triggered this was, I bought a desk for myself and there's some space in the kitchen so I put it there but it looks so odd that I want to take it back (although I am writing this on my new desk!). Thing is, I do have a spare room which I did use as an office but with my husband working from home more, I only get to use it 2 days, the other 3 to 5 days I'm hot desking around the house. Basically I've been kicked out of my office. We talked about having an extension or converting the garage into an office but that's a big job for one day in the future.

I was reading how there are more and more people contracting or freelancing especially among parents and pensioners as well as students and the straightforward unemployed. This report I think, was in America and if, like all things do, this gets bigger in the UK, then surely houses will need to accommodate for this? Maybe a three floor family house with the top floor a dedicated office space? I just need one more room!

About A mum and an accountant

Attempting to be an amazing accountant and an amazing mum, somehow combine the two and meet somewhere in the middle but currently failing at both.  Hoping that in a few years I will have found something I enjoy doing or found some sort of work life balance and will be in a less stressed out place but until then, or as I get there, I think I will vent all my frustrations out on these blogs! And the responses I've had to the blogs have been quite nice which spurs me on to keep going.

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04th Mar 2015 12:13

How about a conservatory?

It would add a room, add value to your home, and make your home more attractive if you decided to sell at some point. They are also much quicker to build than extensions or conversions.

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By Flash Gordon
04th Mar 2015 14:26

Loft conversion

A conservatory would be best, but failing that how about a loft conversion? That way you keep your garage (a bonus if you sell) and still have an extra room. Admittedly it might be impractical (locating stairs etc.) but they do add value.

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04th Mar 2015 15:32

Why does your husband get first dibs on the spare room?

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04th Mar 2015 16:51

Garden Office

Have you thought of a garden office. A client of mine builds them they are excellent and to the same standard as a room in your house. With regards your comments new house builders are adapting house layouts to suit modern ways of living. My sister has recently bought a new house and I had a look around the show home and really liked the layout. The 4 bed one had a downstairs study next to the front door, the lounge area was smaller than you would expect and kitchen/dining room was quite large with French doors into conservatory as I suppose now the kitchen is now the hub of a family home and the most room used in the house.

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By Old Greying Accountant
05th Mar 2015 10:52

If you have a big enough garden ...

... I'm with Glennzy - makes it separate from the house so you can switch off from household chores and concentrate on work, although with young children I imagine you need to be in the house with them  (tempting though the escape may seem sometimes!).

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05th Mar 2015 14:54

Garden office
I'm with Glennzy & OGA. I have a garden office and it gives me some distance from the house. All my files & client records are out there so it leaves the house clear of my work.

Make sure you insulate it well though!

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05th Mar 2015 21:34

A Conservatory!

@ShirleyM - a conservatory sounds good and since I read that comment, I've been dreaming about adding a conservatory! Although by the time we get round to doing that, it will most likely be next year now and we will change our minds a 100 times before that.

Our garden is big enough but at the moment I want to leave it with as much grass as possible for the girls to play on and I think I need to be near the girls at the moment.

My husband gets first dibs - firstly because my work is still picking up and secondly, he has a lot of conference calls/meetings (or so he says!) so needs it to be quiet as possible.

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06th Mar 2015 11:29

Extension

Really interesting blog! A garage conversion sounds like a great idea but as you said is quite a big job.

The point about the three-story houses, my brother is actually converting his attic into two bedrooms so he can use his spare room as a home office and his boys can then have the attic. It'll make his house absolutely huge but he works from home as he's internationally based.

Would love to hear about it if you do decide to go about an extension or addition.

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06th Mar 2015 12:41

Garage conversion

Doesn't have to be a big job, yes if you want to convert it to a proper room then expect to pay £5k+ depending on size, insulation, moving utilities etc.

How about just splitting the garage with a stud wall - front half 'looks' like a garage with garage door still in place. Back part is a small office/storage area - easy if there is an internal door to the house or an external pedestrian door.

If you decide to move just take down the stud wall and its back to a garage.

Afterall, how many of us actually use a garage to park a car in?

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06th Mar 2015 13:03

The way we live

Kent accountant wrote:

Afterall, how many of us actually use a garage to park a car in?

So true, we lived in a village where the majority of the houses had large double garages, certainly big enough to get 2 big cars into. You'd drive past the other houses when they had their garage doors open and you'd see that they're crammed full of stuff, never a car.

I have a graphic designer friend who converted the garage into an office in exactly the way that KA suggested, it was fantastic, you'd never have known you were in a garage, and just enough space left at the front of the garage on the other side of the stud wall to get bikes and odds and ends in. I would have done the same if the wife kicked me out of my converted loft-office.

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By peterk
06th Mar 2015 13:30

A garage is for...

Kent accountant wrote:

Afterall, how many of us actually use a garage to park a car in?

 

A garage is somewhere we put all of our precious 'junk' while leaving a £30k car sitting in the open air!

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06th Mar 2015 19:46

Home Office

I recently moved into a 2 bedroom home but it also has a 400 SF add on that part of it is my sun room and part of it is my walk in dressing room so instead of my second bedroom being used for the dressing area I turned it into my home office and love the separation of my home and my business.   I have another 500 SF storage area that has it's own door and I am considering finishing it on the inside.  I already put the AC and heat vents in there just in case and now would need to insulate it and drywall it all up and paint of course.  It would be nice to have a totally separate entrance for when I wanted to have clients come to me

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07th Mar 2015 08:12

HAving space is the key


Fortunately I live in a cheap area and have a (now seemingly less popular) 3 story Victorian House (plus a cellar). The main bedroom is my office and I have 3 desks and a row of filing cabs and some shelves so it all works well. We have a similarly sized bedroom on the top floor and so are out of the way.

We also have 2 reception rooms and a large kitchen diner on the ground floor meaning that clients can be seen even if there are other people in the house and it means that clients don't need to go upstairs to the office.

(Bizarrely there are brand new modern tiny boxes availably locally for more than I'd get for this (and if I needed to head south I could swap it for a studio flat in Tooting :P))

I certainly wouldn't want to run the business from the kitchen table and have to move and clear up al the time. Having a dedicated space makes starting and finishing work easier and it's easier to shut the door on it.

 

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By Luke
07th Mar 2015 23:29

Dedicated space
Is very important but I would not pick an upstairs or out of the way room. Presuming you want clients to come to you the last thing you want to be doing is tidying kids toys before they trip over them, or winding them through all your personal space to get to the office.

We are fortunate to live on a corner and so when we built an extension years about 7 years ago, I got an office with separate side entrance. So clients don't get inside the main house at all. It makes such a big difference in terms of separating work and home but also not having to spend an hour to tidy up kids mess before a meeting (2 sons, it can be a big mess!).

Good luck with your quest.

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