Find out how you can set up your own home office workspace so you can work from home comfortably and with ease.
Even before the current world events were taking hold of everyone’s lives and Coronavirus or COVID-19 were not even on the radar, I decided to set up my home office.
I needed some dedicated workspace that I could use and work from whenever I wanted or needed to, but with no budget, it needed to be very cheap and easy to do.
Here’s how I set myself up for success at home.
Whenever possible I try to follow my own advice and put a plan together so using The DIY Help Desk DIY Planner, I had a map to follow, which works most of the time and means you can avoid a lot of pitfalls when working on a DIY project.
You can find out more about how to plan a DIY project and download our free DIY Planner from the sidebar or at the end of this post.
First I sat down and wrote out what I wanted to achieve. What did I need my home office space to do for me once it was set up?
With a clear goal I could then set out my strategy on how to achieve that goal, and by breaking down each phase into simple steps it makes even large and complex jobs easy to manage.
My goal was to have an area for writing and work-related tasks such as emailing, website design and audio recording and editing.
I decided to allow for recording and editing video later as well, therefore I would need space for a computer,
Note to self, ‘I need a computer!’
My home office desk needed to be big enough to have a keyboard and monitor, speakers and microphone but not be too big to need an entire room, that may come later.
I would need some storage, maybe some drawers to put cables, pens pads, etc in.
Shelves to store books, folders, and other items would be useful too.
With all these items in mind and written down I went to find a space that I could use, I had one in mind in my spare bedroom and went to take a look.
It was covered in stuff!!
Where did ALL that lot come from, ok so back to my plan.
Item 1 CLEAR UP!
With that done, I could clear the space I wanted to use and check I would have enough room to put my home office and desk in place.
This meant moving a few things around not least of which was the spare bed. I had to move twice as I didn’t quite have enough room in the first configuration.
Once I had confirmed that moving the bed would give me the space I needed I measured up the area I had to work with and went looking for a desk online.
After comparing my choice and running some figures then double-checking, I had decided that I could neither afford the cost of a desk nor did I quite have space, so back to the drawing board.
I would have to make a desk from scratch, No problem, I then added this to my DIY Plan, and considered what tasks I would need to do to complete my project:
- Clearing up.
With my tasks defined, what tools would I need to carry out those tasks?
- Paper and pencil
- Tape Measure
- Spirit level
- Quick grip clamps
- White spirit
- 18v combi drill and drill bits
- Dust sheets
- Vacuum cleaner
- And my trusted dust buster.
Check out our resources page for more details on the tools used for this DIY project:
With my plan in hand, I went to see what materials I had lying around my garage, that I could use to make a home office desk and shelves.
Result! a piece of MDF that I had left from another DIY project (which I can tell you about later) I only needed to clean up the edges and protect the surface with some light varnish.
As this was drying outside, I set about putting the wall supports in, I cut a couple of battens and then using a chair and tape measure I roughed out a height that would work for me, making sure I followed DSE guidelines for eye levels and posture.
Using a spirit level and pencil, I marked out the holes for the battens which I had cut from some scraps of wood.
Then with my trusted 18V Hitachi combi drill and an 8mm dia masonry drill, I drilled the holes in the wall.
I was careful to use a vacuum cleaner to keep things clean.
After I gently persuaded some Raw plugs in with my hammer, the battens were fitted with appropriate screws and I could offer up the now fully dry desk top surface to get the support leg the correct length, for this I used my spirit level and a pencil to mark the right height.
A quick buzz on my Chop saw and the leg was cut, then added a cutaway to allow for cables, I fitted the angle brackets to hold the desktop to the battens and the leg, making sure the screws were not going to poke through from below
Ok, what else does my home office need?
Time to check my DIY Help Desk Planning sheet. Next on the list for the home office are some drawers, shelves,
and I still need a PC!
The Drawers give me a bit of a headache. Do I make my own or buy some? After a quick trip to my local hardware superstore, I decided to buy some they were just the right size and less than £10
This would be quicker and cost the same if I made my own and I could always upgrade as and when I wanted.
I needed to turn the drawers upside down and swap the drawers around to work on the underside of the desk, then with a few screws and a little bit of thought, I fixed the drawers in place… perfect!!
Next up with the shelves,
I had measured the space available previously and checked my wood stock but I didn’t have anything to suit therefore I needed to buy some material.
Luckily I had this in my plan so I only went to the store once to buy the materials and tools I needed which saved me time and money over multiple trips and not being able to crack on with my job once I started.
I opted for the medium-duty shelf brackets which can take up to 40 Kg each, this is plenty as I didn’t want too much hanging off my walls, even though they are solid brick.
I offered up the shelf to check what height I would need allowing for a new PC screen and potential future upgrades and then marked a line.
Again using a spirit level checking to keep everything was in the right place.
Then measuring the brackets and marking positions for the holes I used my 18V Combi drill and vacuum cleaner attachment drilled the holes and knocked in some raw plugs
Switching to Driver setting on the drill I put up the shelves and secured the planks. I didn’t need to paint them as they are very smooth, just a quick run over with a high grit paper to take off any loose grains.
Once everything was fitted and checked, I cleared away my tools and any spare items that I no longer needed. and then cleaned the room using a vacuum cleaner and some dusters
Now time to set myself up, I already had an old keyboard and borrowed a monitor, which I could use with my laptop for now and then with the new PC which I am planning to set up soon.
I added the microphone stand which fitted perfectly over the end of my new office desk. and installed my XLR 2100 Microphone for recording great quality Audio.
I collected my files from the sideboard and at the moment of truth put them on the shelves ….. It works successfully, then pens and writing things can go in the drawer.
I just needed a PC.
This was really simple and would allow me to get cracking on my side hustle, this blog, and the podcast, it was good fun and a great way to re-purpose old materials I had laying around
The skills I needed can be learned by anyone but these the main ones:
- How to create a DIY project plan
- How to measure a space
- How to mark a level
- How to drill a hole into masonry
- How to fix a batten
- How to fix a shelf
- How to varnish
- How to clear up
Now I have a great very usable home office and desk, which cost me very little and was done in less than a couple of hours.
You can do the same and build your DIY skills and create a really useful home office workspace.
All I needed now was a PC to put under the desk and connect to the internet.
Find out my tips for getting set up and connected using wifi in the more great posts coming soon.
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