Karen has a wardrobe in here (my elbow is against it as I type this). There's a bed and a chest of drawers with various linen items in it. There's not a whole lot of room left for me and all the paraphernalia that come with home-working, as you can see. Even though my desk has had all its extensions removed and is now as small as it will go.
If our "family planning" goes to, errr, plan then this won't end up being a spare room for long and I need to consider vacating it at some point in the next 9 months or so. I need to find somewhere else to site my desk.
For a while I was thinking about finding some serviced office space in Nottingham and even got as far as ringing round a few to book appointments. There's one within walking distance of the house and at an all-in cost of about £200 per month wasn't such a bad deal. However, lots of things put me off it. While I like the idea of having somewhere to work without disturbance I just don't think it would be practical. Where do the dev servers go and how do I work on them on the days I decide to stay at home etc etc.
It was even suggested (see if you can guess who by) that I move in to either the cellar (hey, who needs natural daylight anyway!?) or the tiny little out-house-cum-potting-shed, where there's literally not enough room to swing a cat. Needless to say I didn't give either idea much time.
Then came the brainwave — why not knock down the garage and re-build it as part garage part office.
The garage is at the end of the drive on the left of the house and is effectively behind the house and in the garden. As you can see it's a bit of an eye-sore. It's been there at least 20 years, apparently, although I don't know if it was built at that angle or not. Shoddy!
My thoughts on garages are that they're nice to have to store your tools in and for messing about in but who ever keeps a car in theirs!? Personally I'd get rid of it for a bigger garden but Karen is adamant that we need to keep it because people won't buy a house without one.
Well, based on the fact it never has/had a car inside it, there's no need for it to be as long as it is. Why not rebuild it the same length but with a partition wall 2/3rds the way down!? The other 1/3 becomes an office/study space. When selling, if the buyer turns out to be a car-nut, you simply explain how to knock down the wall and revert it to a full-length garage (could even grab a hammer and do it for them if it became a deal breaker). Personally I think it would be a much better selling point to say you had an detached work-house-cum-study-cum-office complete with phones and networking. Sounds much better than simply having a garage and is much more likely to be appealing to buyers nowadays.
So, that's my plan. It probably won't happen until Spring next year, but already it's becoming all I think about — bricks or rendered blocks, what roof style, how big does the office space need to be? etc etc. Also on my mind is the need for planning permission from the local council, which I'm going to do sooner rather than later. I'll keep you informed as it progresses.