Monday, January 22, 2007

Making a New Office (or Gaining a Guest Room)

We're going to be renovating a storage room to serve as my new office sooner rather than later. It's not that my current office isn't serving ably in this role -- it's large (maybe a little too large), heated and cooled, generally fine and dandy. What is missing though is not office related, but home related: a guest room.

When we bought this place, we knew that a home office was the key ingredient -- the move was predicated on me becoming a successful full-time remote worker so the office was not optional. We found a place that had the right price, enough bedrooms for each of the kids to have one to herself and an "extra room" -- an addition that opens off one of the girls' bedrooms and that also opens off the patio. And thus, my office was born, but we lacked an extra room to serve as a guest room.

It turns out that another point to moving somewhere beautiful like Albuquerque is that everyone back east wants to come and visit to do some hiking, skiing, climbing, drinking, or what have you. We love having house guests and housing them hospitably, so we knew at some point we'd want to do something about that. And now my sister and her family are planning a visit, so we've decided to take this opportunity to put my office in a more appropriately sized space.

It'll actually be a pretty simple remodel. We already have a 9.75 x 8.5 room off the other side of our patio that is attached to the house (it's the back of the garage), and it already has a door and window opening, and electricity. So the remodel consists of:
  1. Getting rid of or otherwise storing all the junk that is in there.
  2. Moving the electrical bits so they're not blocking part of the window opening.
  3. Installing a ceiling fan/light fixture.
  4. Installing a secure glass door and window.
  5. Painting and/or doing something with the walls.
  6. Installing carpet. (Yes, I know that it would be more practical to put tile in there, but it's cold here and carpet seems more welcoming. I don't do that much zooming around on my office chair casters anyway.)
  7. Installing baseboards/moldings.
  8. Schlepping all my office crap across the patio.
  9. Determining what we'll do about heating. In the short term, an oil-filled space heater will do the trick. A final heating determination will depend on whether we also do the garage-into-family-room conversion, at which point we might put an additional heat-pump kind of thing on the side of the house for both heating and cooling. We're thinking of the Mr. Slim split ductless heat pump. It's a pretty groovy device.
That doesn't sound too bad, right? The electrician comes on Wednesday, so we'll hasten through step one. And maybe paint the ceiling before the fixture goes up, as the ceiling is half white and half dark blue for some puzzling reason.

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