Having a home office can be convenient, but if you have clients come into your home, you want to both have a convenient workspace and an area that is separate from your family space. According to Entrepreneur.com about half of home offices are set up in spare bedrooms, but this may not be the best arrangement for meeting clients.
While you have a cordial, professional relationship with your clients, you do not necessarily want them to feel at home in the family kitchen and bathroom. If you have employees or contractors who work with you, you might want to keep some space between the work area and your family space as well.
For this reason, the best set up for welcoming clients into your home office is to have a separate entrance. Both workers and clients can come directly into the office without infringing on family space. Without outsiders walking through your home, you are not obliged to keep your home in perfect order as you might feel obliged to do if visitors routinely walked through your home. In the absence of a second entrance, the next best alternative is to have the office located near an existing entrance, where you can minimize intrusion and maintain professionalism.
Having a separate entrance also makes it easier to claim tax deduction for your office space. While the IRS technically does not require a separate entrance, they do require that you use a part of your home regularly and exclusively for business. If you use part of a room for your office, you might want to separate it with a partition. Having a separate building or a separate entrance to a building makes it easy to prove you meet the requirements for a home office. If you remodel your home to add a separate entrance, you cannot deduct it, but can depreciate the cost.
One feature that is not required by the IRS for home business, but that will add to your comfort level is having a separate bathroom for the convenience of guests. All you need is a powder room with a sink and toilet; if you can locate one within or near your office, you can reduce the likelihood that a curious visitor will take note of personal items in your medicine cabinet or cupboards.
Adding a separate entrance and even an additional bathroom are likely to require a permit from your local municipality. Pulling the permit will put you under scrutiny from local zoning laws regarding home-based businesses. If you have a tax practice or administrative services business, you are less likely to run into zoning problems versus having a hair salon or a metalworking shop where traffic, orders, and noise might be a concern for your neighbors. Most municipalities will allow many types of businesses to be operated from home or will issue a variance for you.
When you need a home office, Topp Remodeling & Construction can create a separate entrance and a new bathroom for your home office that will ensure the privacy of your clients and your family.