A home office is necessary more now than ever. Around 27 million people now work from home in the United States, with many companies permanently switching to remote and hybrid schedules post-pandemic. Having a dedicated workspace in a home can make the current occupant’s life easier, along with increasing how much they can get when they sell their home in the future.
Renovating a home office can be an excellent project for the comfort and enjoyment of remote workers, whether the homeowner is the employee or is looking to sell their home to one. Several home office projects have a high return on investment (ROI), which benefits the owner.
Add a New Coat of Paint
Paint can do a lot for a home. Giving an interior a fresh coat of color provides an ROI of at least 100%, making it more than worth it.
Neutral colors can make a home office look larger, giving the illusion of more breathing room for workers staying in the office all day. Lighter shades reflect more light as well, requiring less artificial light.
Warmer undertones can have a relaxing effect on the brain, helping workers relax during stressful days. Cooler undertones can keep employees more alert if they struggle to work from home. New paint also helps walls look brighter and cleaner, and protects them from chips and cracks.
Purchasing a New Door
Doors are often an afterthought, but adding a new one to a home office can be valuable.
A thicker door is worth the investment if someone works remotely with kids, pets or noisy family members. Wide doors separate outside noise from the computer microphone, providing more peaceful meetings, eliminating the need to always be on mute. The lack of sound can also be a nice change for the worker, as they will have fewer distractions throughout the day.
Having a different style door can also help separate work and home. When they enter that room, they feel like they are at work. If a homeowner does stick with the same door style as the rest of the home, they can paint it for a similar effect and paint it back before selling.
If the home office is in a basement or along an exterior wall, a sturdier door with a tight seal can have an insulating effect, saving on heating and cooling costs. While it depends on the style and the state of the market, adding a door can have around a 50% ROI when an owner chooses to sell.
Replacing or Adding Windows
There are many benefits to having windows in a home office. It lets owners get natural light and nice views while completing business tasks. However, old or inefficient windows can lead to higher heating and cooling costs, impede the view and increase the risk of respiratory illness.
Sunlight is a vital tool in any home or commercial office. It helps employees feel more connected to the outside world, boosts their mood and increases productivity. Letting the light in lessens the need for lamps and artificial ceiling lights, which can lower their electricity bill, creating a happier employee and homeowner.
The energy savings don’t stop with less light use. A well-insulated window can keep cold air in when it’s hot outside and heat in when it gets cold. With a more consistent temperature, a home’s heating and cooling systems will put in less work, which the energy bills reflect.
To take full advantage of the cost savings, ensure the windows have at least two panes of glass and form a tight seal with the surrounding wall. Some windows offer specialized coatings and tints that protect against harsh UV rays, providing a clearer and safer view. Research shows a new window offers a greater than 60% ROI.
Installing A New Floor
A home office is one of those spaces with endless flooring options. If a homeowner doesn’t like their current flooring or wants a refresh, a few options are practically guaranteed to increase their ROI.
These floors are attractive for many homeowners and with the proper care, they’ll last decades. New hardwood has a luxurious look and feel that provides a professional appearance for online or in-person meetings. Just make sure that you give your new flooring time to acclimate at a temperature between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aesthetically, the earth tones of this flooring help warm up the space and can have a mood-boosting effect on whoever works there. They’re easy to clean and regular polishing gives them a nice shine. Barring the risk of significant water damage, these floors can handle consistent walking, spills and impacts. Hardwood floors regularly provide a 70%–80% ROI.
These floors are excellent for anywhere that could have water, paint or other liquids around the office. Laminate is water resistant and easy to clean, preserving the home office for whatever the employee does for a living.
While a sustainable option, laminate is also cheaper than hardwood floors and can have an ROI of 50%–65% when hiring a professional. The texture is different, with laminate having a softer, bouncier feel underfoot. It comes in many styles, mimicking the look of hardwood or tile.
A tile is a popular option for kitchens and bathrooms, as it’s water-resistant and fairly durable. However, it can also be a good option for an office. A homeowner can use different colors and patterns to create a unique, creative floor. One of the challenges of tile is its grouting, as it needs frequent cleaning and eventual replacement. Ceramic and stone tiles have the highest ROIs, with each providing up to seventy percent.
Adding a Closet
Storage can be a struggle when someone works out of their home. One of the disadvantages of working from home is a more challenging time creating a work-life balance. Being able to place work items away at the end of a shift can be a great transition to time with family and friends.
By building in a closet, a homeowner has plenty of space to store folders, electronic equipment, under-desk workout supplies and extra desk items, increasing the room’s versatility. Buyers who don’t want a home office can use it as a spare bedroom. Adding a closet to the home should provide a more than 80% ROI.
Creating High ROI Changes in a Home
Focusing on high return on investment projects can benefit a homeowner now and if they sell. Remodeling a home office can create the best space for the current owner and increase the home’s value.