Home Office Cost Guides

Home offices are becoming increasingly popular. If you have a job that requires or enables you to work from home, you need a space that allows you to work efficiently regardless of the space you occupy. You may decide to renovate a dedicated room to provide you with privacy for your working hours, or set up a home office within your kitchen, hallway, or bedroom. Your electronics need to be connected to both the internet and each other, furnishings need to accommodate your functional and personal needs, and your hardware needs to be in good enough shape to help you complete your work.

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  • Repair a Computer Network or Wiring Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $89 - $202
    Average cost:
    $145
    Low cost:
    $50
     
    High cost:
    $372
  • Install Telephone Jacks and Wiring Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $108 - $263
    Average cost:
    $163
    Low cost:
    $50
     
    High cost:
    $421
  • Install a Computer Network or Wiring Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $193 - $596
    Average cost:
    $376
    Low cost:
    $100
     
    High cost:
    $1,013

This home office cost guide will help you with these considerations, along with providing you cost estimates that can optimize your renovation project.

What to Consider When Adding a Home Office

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Connectivity

A home office needs to be connected. Not just to electricity, but to the internet - and each other. In planning your project, you should consider a number of important variables:

  • Connecting your devices. The success of modern home offices, especially in high-tech industries, depends on your electronic devices. Do you have a network setup that connects your computer with a printer, scanner, TV for easier videoconferencing, or your phone for VoIP calls? The more directly your devices communicate on the same network, the more you can focus on your actual work.
  • Convenient wall outlets. Forget about your laptop battery. Your electronics need to be consistently connected to wall outlets that are convenient to reach for your printer and computer alike. Installing wall outlets can be simple, but may require some additional work that an electrician can help with.
  • Internet/Phone jacks. Wireless internet has become the standard for most homes, and smartphones are replacing landlines. But for your home office, you may still want to consider wired alternatives. Especially if you work from home in a job that requires a reliable connection, such as IT, wired phone and internet service is crucial.
  • Extra electricity. Depending on your home's wiring, the amperage to your home office may not be enough to support a computer, monitors, a TV, a scanner and/or printer, and other electronics.  Consult with an electrician who may recommend upgrading your home’s electrical panel.
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Furnishings

Which furnishings you choose depends in large part on five variables: the available space, your preferred style, your available budget, and the intended function of the home office. Let's examine each of them in more detail.

  1. The available space. A dedicated room will naturally give you more furnishing possibilities than a simple desk in your kitchen could. Don't try to cram too much furniture into your space; instead, prioritize which pieces you need most, and then see how you can fit them in.
  2. Your preferred style. Naturally, your home office should reflect interior design that you're comfortable with. From classic to modern, you have a wide range in furniture choices.
  3. Your available budget. This variable will play a significant factor in determining your furniture. For example, a corner desk can cost anywhere from $79.00 to $2,289.00. Ideally, you should find furniture that fits within your budget but still has the quality necessary to withstand long hours.
  4. Your office function. Don't underestimate the importance of function when choosing your furniture. If you are planning on inviting clients, you need an area for them to sit, whether that be a small table or a couch. If you anticipate storing physical files, you need the cabinet space to do so. Finally, book shelves can house document binders and publications while also giving the room a sophisticated look.

Regardless of these variables, a few furniture items are a must for any successful home office. You need, for example, a desk area that's large enough to accommodate both your computer and the additional space you have to complete your work.

You may decide to go with a standing desk, which has risen in popularity thanks to its health benefits. If you don't, you need to find a desk chair that allows you to sit comfortably and without harming your body. If your work does not require a computer at all times, you should also think about a sitting area (such as a couch or comfortable chair) that allows you to get away from your desk when possible.

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Hardware

When working from home, as is the case in a regular office, you need to make sure that your hardware is up to date. Plan regular updates into your budget to optimize your functionality and your technology's reliability. These upgrades can vary widely.

If you are just moving into a home office, your existing home hardware may no longer be enough to support your work. You may need to upgrade your computer, printer, scanner, or phones. You may benefit from adding extra monitors that allow you to work in large spreadsheets and calculation programs. Finally, you may require a TV that helps improve video conferences and presentations.

The costs for these updates depends largely on your needs. A new computer, for example, will cost you anywhere between $500.00 to $1,500.00. A new scanner, especially if you need to scan in high volumes of documents, can cost up to $349.00. A new phone or simple printer, on the other hand, are available for less than $100.

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Tax Breaks

When building or renovating your home office, it's easy to get swept away in the costs - but don't forget about potential savings, as well. In fact, a variety of tax breaks can help you finance your new space.

The home office deduction in the U.S. tax code is limited to spaces that you use exclusively for work. If your home office does not take up an entire room, it needs to be clearly separated from your living area. It also needs to be your principal place of business, meaning that you don't only use it as an alternative location.

But as long as your home office fulfills these restrictions, you can take advantage of a number of tax benefits, including:

  1. Direct expenses. Anything you purchase or pay for that directly relates to your home office is deductible. That includes furniture, electronics, and even the paint you use for the room. The cost of a special phone line and internet services, as long as you don't use them for personal enjoyment, also fall into this category.
  2. Indirect expenses. Depending on the space your office takes up in your home, you can also deduct expenses that apply for the entirety of your home. If, for example, your office takes up 15% of your home's square footage, you can deduct 15% of your property's utility bills, insurance, general maintenance, and other general expenses.
  3. Interest and property taxes. These are deductible, but only as business expenses rather than itemized deductions. Talk with your tax expert to determine the details of this tax break.

For your home office, each tax season is a new process. Don't assume you'll just get the same deductions and tax breaks as last year; instead, keep an itemized list of expenses so you can report your taxes and deductions as accurately as possible.

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Ideas and Inspiration For Your Home Office

Home offices come in all shapes and sizes. A nook in your kitchen may be all you need and especially smaller homes often call for creative solutions to placing a work area. If you work primarily from home, you may need a more permanent solution. In that case, planning is absolutely crucial. Research the furniture, options, and costs available to you, and make decisions according to your budget, personal preferences, and professional needs.

For example, you need your home office to become a showcase for peers and clients, consider going with classical, dark wood furniture. On the other hand, technically-inclined and creative professions often benefit from a more modern look with clean lines and bright colors. Regardless of the look, you need to make sure that plenty of natural light can enter your home office. Lamps also matter, of course, but natural light has been shown to improve your health while working.

In short, do your research and avoid outspending your budget. If you don't have the money to renovate an entire room, start with a quiet corner of your bedroom or living area. Then, as your business and career grows, you can make the move into a larger space.

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emb construction More than 1 year ago
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