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Home Office Cost

Home Office Cost

National average
$20,000
(12 x 12 ft. room addition with upgraded flooring and lighting)
Low: $17,000

(converting an existing 12 x 12 ft. room into a home office)

High: $30,000

(12 x 12 ft room addition with upgraded flooring, lighting, and built-in shelves)

Cost to build or remodel a home office varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from local contractors in your city.

The average cost to build a home office is $20,000.

In this guide

Prep-work Before Building a Home Office
Cost Factors
Home Office Addition vs Making an Existing Space into a Home Office
Foundation
Walls and Soundproofing
HVAC
Connectivity
Lighting
Flooring
Furniture and Storage
Working from Home and Productivity
Other Home Office Ideas
Design
Energy Efficiency
Labor Costs to Build or Remodel a Home Office
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Additional Considerations and Costs
FAQ

How Much Does It Cost to Build or Remodel a Home Office?

Building a home office can be a major advantage in being successful when working from home. Having a dedicated, quiet space helps you stay focused and productive. Using your own ideas along with considering what exactly you need in your home office, you can have your dream office right at home.

The average cost to build a home office is $18,000-$25,000, with the average customer paying $20,000 for a 12 x 12 feet home office with a desk, bookshelves, and a sitting area or large table for working on big projects.

Build Home Office

Build home office costs
National average cost$20,000
Average range$18,000-$25,000
Minimum cost$17,000
Maximum cost$30,000


Prep-work Before Building a Home Office

You want to consider several things before you start on your home office addition. Except for helping you determine the size of the office and budgeting, most contractors will not offer to do the following prep work for you.

  • Determine the office size. Decide the best position for the window and door. Measure the furniture you want to use and add it to the floor space.
  • Create a budget that you can live with and talk with your contractor about how to make sure everything is included.
  • Prepare for construction by removing items that may be in the way on the inside and outside of your home. The contractor may put up tarps or plywood 1 to protect other areas.
  • Expect dust during construction. You may want to consider staying somewhere else until the construction is complete.
  • Protect carpet and flooring, personal belongings, drapery, and furniture when creating a home office in an existing room.
  • Children and pets might need to stay with friends or family due to the noise and dust.

Cost Factors

The basic cost of adding a home office does not include certain items. The larger your home office addition, the more expensive it will be. Also, your home addition may require an architectural designer. Your contractor can determine if this is necessary. Expect to pay $150 an hour for this service.

Most home additions require site prep. If your worksite requires excavation to prepare for concrete pouring, this will be at a cost of $50-$200 per cubic yard. Demolition may be needed if you have any existing walls or concrete to remove. This typically costs between $2-$17 per square foot.

Home Office Addition vs Making an Existing Space into a Home Office

Adding an extra room is a big decision. You may have an existing space that you can use and get the home office you need. Here are some pros and cons for each idea:

TypeConsCons

Home office addition

$11,520-$47,520

Increase home value

Control over design

Private space

Will provide space in case you hire people in the future

More expensive

Messy and disruptive

Takes longer

Increases property tax and homeowners insurance

May not get the return on investment that you want

Using an existing space

$400-$3,000

Less expensive

Finished quickly

Less mess

May be closer to the front of the house to greet visitors

Give up existing space

May not get all you want

May end up being too small eventually


Foundation

Your foundation should match your current home in most cases. If you think you might want to switch up the foundation, talk with your contractor to find out if this is possible. If feasible, look at photos of homes with different foundations. This helps you determine if your home will look the way you want it to. There are basically three foundation choices.

Concrete slabs 2 with footers 3 are the least expensive and are widely used in modern homes. Cons include cracking due to tree roots or shifting soil as well as repairs being more expensive. The cost for concrete slabs is $7,500-$12,000. A pier and beam foundation allows for easy detection of termites and access to repairs. Concerns include that it can be less stable due to moisture, and sagging can occur. The cost for an entire house with pier and beam foundations is $7,000-$13,000. A crawl space foundation is recommended for flood-prone areas but is more likely to get termites. The cost for a crawl space foundation is $10,000-$25,000.

Walls and Soundproofing

There are several considerations for the walls in your new home office addition. You want to think about what type of wall will work best for your remote space.

Inside wall finishing is normally drywall 4 at a cost of $40-$60 per panel. However, brick ($12-$17 per sq. ft.) and paneling ($5-$12 per sq. ft.) are great choices as well.

The outer wall finishing should match or complement the rest of your house. Traditional choices include concrete, brick, and siding. The cost for concrete blocks is $20-$30 per square foot. For brick, expect to pay $20-$30 per square foot. Siding costs $6.50-$12.50 per square foot.

Insulation is imperative for energy efficiency. The thickness or R-value determine the cost of the insulation. There are several types of insulation materials, but the three most common are fiberglass 5, foam, and cellulose. The cost varies between $0.12-$6.87 per square foot.

Soundproofing is also important in a home office. You want to have privacy and quiet to stay focused. In addition, you may want to keep your phone calls and other noise from reaching others in the house. Acoustic panels can be installed, foam insulation can be blown into the walls, and mass loaded vinyl 6 can be added to the floors, walls, and ceiling. When converting an existing room, you can add a soundproof wall. Also, drapes, carpet, rugs, and wall hangings can be used to muffle sounds. To soundproof a room, it will cost $1,000 to $2,500, including labor, materials, and tools.

HVAC

When adding a home office, you must decide how to heat and cool the new room. The effectiveness of your HVAC connection is vital to your comfort while working. In addition, the correct temperature helps keep moisture under control. The HVAC ventilation eliminates smells and circulates the air in the room. When adding a home office, you can link to your existing HVAC. To do this, you still need to add vents to the new room. Check the capacity of your unit as you may need a larger or additional unit.

Connectivity

One of the most important considerations for your new home office is the ability to connect via email, phone, and face-to-face meetings. Think about how well your internet will work in your new space because it will affect your productivity.

You need electrical outlet locations convenient to items like the desk, table, chair, and couch. Adding an electrical outlet ranges from $120-$200. In addition, you may need additional electricity options. It is best to consult with a professional about your current electrical capacity’s ability to handle additional work.

The spacing of your internet connections/phone lines is vital because a router 7 that is too far away can influence how well your connection works. You may consider wired internet to ensure excellent connectivity at all times.

Next, think about your network setup. Many home office workers need a computer, printer/scanner, and television. When everything is in sync, you are more likely to be productive. Your current router may need a wi-fi whole home booster or ‘switch’ to create a network that works better for your new home office. Costs for a wi-fi home booster are around $75, while a switch is $50-$90.

Lighting

Another essential aspect of your office is the lighting. Having the wrong kind of lighting can create an inability to see or cause eye discomfort. Some things to consider:

  • Natural light, meaning window and skylight lighting, improves your mood and provides encouragement, but on dark days, you will need artificial light.
  • Lamps can reduce glare and are adjustable.
  • Adding dimmers provides other options during different types of work.
  • Choose light, matte paint colors to avoid shadows.
  • Stay away from the trending Edison lights. While super-cool looking, they do not provide enough light in most cases.

Flooring

There are many choices for flooring, but some are better options than others. If only you will use the office, choose a product that is more luxurious and less sturdy. If there will be visitors or officemates, pick a more hardy flooring.

  • Laminate flooring is less expensive than carpet or hardwood. It looks like hardwood but without the cost. Its lifespan is about 10 years. Laminate flooring costs $0.69-$2.50 per square foot.
  • Hardwood is a beautiful, durable flooring. It is expensive but lasts a long time. This flooring is easy to maintain, but when scratched, refinishing is required. The cost is $3-$16 per square foot.
  • Carpet is not a good idea if you want a rugged choice. It is not easily cleaned, particularly from spills. The cost for carpet depends on the brand and pile of the carpet, but expect to pay $7-$12 per square foot.
  • Ceramic tile is an easy-to-clean flooring and is extremely tough. Concerns include that it is unyielding, so if something is dropped on it, it will most likely break. If you stand a lot in your job, ceramic tile might not be the best choice. Costs vary according to the type, grade, and brand. Typical costs are $8-$25 per square foot.
  • Vinyl 6 is an easy-maintenance choice. It is also a softer flooring compared to ceramic tile. Costs vary depending on what you choose, but the average price is $8.50-$12.00 per square foot.

Furniture and Storage

Before starting your home office addition or remodel, consider your furniture and storage needs.

Desk

Will your desk need drawers? Do you want a large or compact desk? There are many types and sizes of desks. You can purchase an antique desk that is heavy if you want your home office to look and feel traditional. A glass or lacquer desk creates a modern environment. If you want a larger space, an L-shaped desk is a great choice. If you decide on a wooden desk, what type of wood, and do you want to top it with veneer 8? Consider not only what you like but what will last for a long time and hold up under coffee spills. Also, ensure your mouse can run smoothly on the surface. The height of your desk is also important. Many people purchase an adjustable standing desk to avoid sitting all the time. Think about comfort and convenience items like sliding keyboard trays and places to store things that you need close by, such as your CPU, printer, paper, and files.

Working Table

To make sure you have plenty of space to do your work, you may need a working table. First, choose a size that works for you. Having the space to spread out your photos, catalogs, or drawings helps you work smarter. Think about the material you want this table to be made of. This might be a simple answer if you want it to match or complement the other furniture in the room but also choose something that will work for you.

Chair

Research which type of chair works best for the kind of work you do as well as the number of hours you will be sitting in it. Most office chairs are rated according to these considerations. There are many choices for office chairs. Do you want a headrest, armrests, and lumbar support? If you buy one with armrests, make sure it fits under your desk and working table. Consider the material for your chair and think about how long it will last. An antique wooden chair may go well with your desk, but will it be comfortable? Leather lasts forever and is timeless but may be too hot or sticky. There are ergonomic chairs and executive chairs, as well as office chairs for tall and petite people. You can buy a chair that is contemporary and comes in bright colors or something more toned down in gray or black.

Storage

Storage is key to organization because clutter is a deterrent to working efficiently. Purchasing cabinets, bookshelves, and file cabinets to store paperwork, files, and books keeps your office nice and neat. Think about what you will need and what will work for your office. There are tall, skinny options if you do not have much room. If you want to hide the clutter, a cabinet with doors is a great choice. There are many materials and sizes to choose from, so pick something you believe will last as well as provide the correct storage solution for your needs.

Chill out Area

Will you need a comfy chair or couch for quiet time or for when you have guests? If so, having a space for informal meetings may be a wise decision. Add a coffee table with magazines and a plant to create interest for your guests. If this area will be for you to relax and unwind after working for hours on a project, include items that will aid in destressing, such as an essential oil diffuser and water dispenser. Look at materials that will last and think about the size to make sure it fits in your space.

Working from Home and Productivity

As more and more people work remotely, it is important to understand how to achieve maximum productivity while you are somewhat unmonitored. Motivation is a major factor in productivity. One thing you can do is to have a dedicated home office area that is quiet and free from distractions. This can be difficult, especially if you have children or a spouse at home while you work. That is why a home office is a key factor in meeting your work-from-home goals.

An essential aspect of a home office is the furniture. At a bare minimum, most people want to have a desk and chair. However, think about the type of work you do. If you need a large space to lay items out, you may want to add a work table. This could be a pulldown table that can be stored upright on the wall when not in use or something more permanent.

Additionally, you want to think about comfort. While sitting at a desk chair is sometimes necessary, you want to have a comfortable, well-cushioned chair or couch to sit on while you work. People with laptops often prefer this.

Next, think about your lighting. While computers have backlighting, you may have times when you are writing or viewing items other than your computer. Also, you want lighting that will not cause a glare on your computer screen. Recessed lighting 9 may help with lighting all areas of the room. Natural light is a good option for bright days, but you need other lighting for dreary days.

If you work from home alone, sound is not usually a problem unless you are recording something, and the lawn guys come to mow the grass. Conversely, if there are others in your home, you may consider adding soundproofing to your home office. There are many options, but the most common is acoustic panels or built-in 10 insulation.

Connectivity is almost certainly a major concern in any work situation. Having a reliable internet connection is vital to working successfully from home. Make sure your home office has access to plenty of electrical outlets and is wired for internet and cable.

Most people are accustomed to using technology for meetings and discussions. Apps like FaceTime and Zoom are great tools to throw around ideas, ask questions, and even lighten the mood with an appropriate joke or two. These tools can also be used for encouragement and to help you stay on task.

Other Home Office Ideas

If you are unsure about adding a home addition, consider other less expensive options, such as a bump-out. This an area extending from an existing space like a bedroom or dining room. A contractor can use an existing foundation and roofing by extending a room you already have. A bump-out is usually about 2-3 feet wide and 10-12 feet long. They do not require additional HVAC. The cost is $17,000-$30,000, depending on the size and amount of work needed. If your budget is limited, tuck an office under the stairs by adding a built-in desk with drawers under the stairwell. You can even use a kitchen nook, a space under a window, or a corner may work as well. Look around your home for places that a desk could be installed to suffice as your home office.

Small home office under the stairs


Design

Since you will spend a lot of time in this room, consider the style of your home office. There are many ways to make your space uniquely you. Of course, you can always consider hiring an interior designer to help you figure out the design that fits your needs best.

Use different paint colors, wallpaper, or a combination to make the walls of your office pleasant and fun. Adding accessories, such as pillows, artwork, and knickknacks, will add your personality and create visual interest. Use wall calendars, whiteboards, and bulletin boards for organization. There are many decorative options for these, so they do not have to be dull and boring.

The style of your home office directly affects the vibe of your work time. For example, if you are a creative person, choose an industrial look with lots of metal and natural-looking wood.


Home office with industrial and Scandinavian style


Choosing a botany concept gives your home office a relaxed and stress-free feel as you work. A bamboo desk surrounded by live plants brings the outside in and provides fresh air to breathe.


Home office with bamboo desk and several decorative plants


If you prefer a minimalist look, floor-to-ceiling shelves with few knickknacks and a simple lined desk lend a clean look.


Minimalist home office with floor-to-ceiling shelf


For a modern look, choose sleek, boxy designs and elegant colors such as black, gray and white.


Elegant home office in black and white colors


Energy Efficiency

As we become more conscious of the need for energy efficiency, it is important to look at ways you can make your home office more energy-efficient. Some ways to do this:

  • Choose energy-efficient insulation and roofing materials.
  • Consider installing energy-efficient lighting.
  • When purchasing your computer, monitor, and printer look for EnergyStar products.
  • Passive solar home design is a way of making use of the climate and home site location to decrease heating and cooling costs. Your contractor can help you figure out the best way to accomplish this.

Labor Costs to Build or Remodel a Home Office

Professional contractors need to obtain a permit and will have insurance to cover themselves and their workers during the building process. When you use a professional for the job, you can expect top-quality, safe installation, and finishing.

The process of adding an addition or remodeling an existing place is similar, with some exceptions. The first step for both is to determine a budget. If you need to obtain funding, now is the time to do that. With a remodeling project, there is no need to establish a foundation, build a roof, or make changes to HVAC. However, you still need to decide if you want any built-in bookshelves or desks, additional electrical outlets, choose the flooring and paint colors. The process will most likely be quicker and less cumbersome than building an addition.

The difference between adding an addition or remodeling an existing room is in the cost and the work involved. Once the budget, size, and layout are determined, you need to decide on options including flooring, paint or wallpaper, type of foundation, and insulation. This takes time, and it may seem to drag on, especially if the weather does not cooperate. It can take 1-2 months or longer.

The average cost for a remodel is $66 per sq. ft., and for a home office addition, it is $300 per sq. ft. or a range of 10-20% or more of the cost of the project. The difference is in the amount of work involved as well as additional materials. An addition requires more professionals, such as electricians, roofers, and HVAC installers. These rates vary by state and the scope of the project.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Bathroom

If the office is located farther away or you have clients who visit, you may need a bathroom. It may be that you only need a half bath with only a toilet and sink. The cost for adding a half bath is $12,000 for 12 sq.ft., and a full bath is $47,000 for 48 sq.ft.

Recessed Lighting

Some advantages of recessed lighting 2 are directed illumination, a sleek look, and when used in groups, can provide good lighting. The cost for adding 6 recessed lights is $780.

Floating Shelves

You need a place for plants, books, and photos. If you have a smaller space, your walls are the best option for these items. The cost is $14.45-$23.00 per linear foot of shelving, including installation.

Built-in Bookshelves, Built-in Desks, or a Fold-down Desk

Smaller spaces require thinking outside the box. Consider built-ins or a fold-down desk if you are tight on space. The cost of built-ins varies according to the size and materials. The average price is $2,510.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits are always required when adding onto your home. Ensure that your contractor has a valid license for building an addition and obtains a permit before starting construction. If you are remodeling an existing space, it will depend on the type of work being done. Most counties have certain items that require a permit, such as adding plumbing, demolition of a wall, or new electrical wiring. Check with your local permitting office to find out the specifics.
  • Many areas have zoning laws and code requirements. A licensed professional contractor will have a firm understanding of these. Discuss this with your contractor prior to building.
  • A dumpster may be parked on your driveway for the duration of the job. If so, you will not be able to get in or out of your garage, and your concrete driveway may crack.
  • DIY may be cheaper but will leave you with a mess, clean-up, and no warranty. It will also be a time-consuming project that may cost you more in the long run.

FAQ

  • Is it cheaper to add on or build up?

It is almost always cheaper to add on than to build up. The average cost for an add on is $20,000, while a build up’s average cost is $44,500.

  • How can I extend my house cheaply?

A less expensive extension would be a bump-out. A bump-out is smaller than an addition and uses the existing foundation and roof to enlarge a room of your home. The cost for a bump-out is $17,000-$30,000.

  • Is adding an addition worth it?

Adding an addition is a great way to increase the value of your home. It usually requires a sacrifice on the homeowner’s part because your home will be noisy and messy for several weeks.

  • How long does it take to add a room to a house?

Depending on the scope of the project, it takes around 1-2 months. If the weather does not cooperate, it could be longer.

  • How do I plan an addition to my house?

Consulting with a professional contractor will give you the direction you need to add an addition. They will walk you through the process and stay on top of the details for you.

  • How far can you bump-out a room?

A bump-out room can go out about 2-3 feet.

  • How do I estimate the building costs?

Your contractor will help you with an estimate. As you make choices, they can advise you on ways to stay within your budget. The cost depends on the flooring, fixtures, roofing, and other options.

  • Does a house extension add value?

When you add square footage to your home, it will most likely add value. This is because the value is calculated by the square footage. Additionally, having a home office provides value for potential buyers who are looking for this specific upgrade.

  • Should I build an addition or move?

If you love your current home, it may be better to stay and add an addition, particularly if you have space to add on.

  • How do you pay for a room addition?

Banks and credit unions lend money for home additions. You can use a credit card as well but will most likely pay a higher interest rate than with a loan or line of credit.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Plywood 1 Plywood: An engineered construction material manufactured from thin slices of wood glued together in alternating grain patterns for strength
glossary term picture Concrete Pad 2 Concrete slabs: A flat area of concrete that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a patio or a driveway
glossary term picture Footing 3 Footers: A support for the foundation of a house that also helps prevent settling. It is typically made of concrete reinforced with rebar, but can also be made of masonry or brick. It is usually built under a heavier part of the house like a wall or column, to distribute the weight of the house over a larger area.
glossary term picture Sheetrock 4 Drywall: Type of plasterboard, commonly used to build walls and ceilings, composed of gypsum that is layered between sheets of heavy paper
glossary term picture Fiberglass 5 Fiberglass: Plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. The fibers may be mixed randomly throughout the plastic, or come in the form of a flat sheet, or be woven into a fabric
glossary term picture Vinyl 6 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
glossary term picture Router 7 Router: A device used to share data packets between computer networks
8 Veneer: A thin layer of decorative finishing applied to a coarser construction material
9 Recessed lighting: A type of recessed lighting where the light is installed into a hole in the ceiling, giving downward light.
glossary term picture Built-in 10 Built-in: An item of furniture, such as a bookcase or set of cabinets, that is built directly into the structure of the room. Built-ins are therefore customized to the room and not detachable

Cost to build or remodel a home office varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Modern minimalist home office with wooden furniture

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Alvin, TX
+2%
Athens, GA
-9%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Burlingame, CA
+59%
Carson, CA
+9%
Cedar Rapids, IA
+6%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Cypress, CA
+24%
Decatur, GA
+9%
Dunbar, WV
0%
East Haven, CT
+21%
El Centro, CA
-14%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Lewisville, TX
+17%
Lima, OH
-12%
Lompoc, CA
0%
Maplewood, NJ
+27%
Marion, SC
-55%
Memphis, TN
+11%
New Iberia, LA
+17%
New York, NY
+77%
Norman, OK
-21%
Orange, NJ
+27%
Plymouth, MA
+24%
Portland, TN
+11%
Portsmouth, VA
-2%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Ruston, LA
-7%
Sachse, TX
+2%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
San Diego, CA
+11%
Seguin, TX
-27%
Smithtown, NY
+17%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
South Gate, CA
+9%
Syracuse, NY
+9%
Wilmington, CA
+9%
Labor cost in your zip code
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Methodology and sources