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In what might seem like another lifetime, you worked in a traditional office on a full-time basis. You’ve been remote for a while now though, so you’re ready to give your home office a much-needed makeover. Since you spend many hours daily in this space, you want it to be a comfortable spot, conducive to productivity. You’re willing to invest some cash in this update, but you want to be smart about it. Good call.
Read: 4 Expensive Home-Remodeling Mistakes To Avoid
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Here’s a look at 10 spending mistakes to avoid on your home office upgrade.
Choosing Energy-Zapping Fluorescent Lights
The lighting in your home office should never be overlooked, said Vicky Noufal, owner of the Platinum Group Real Estate team at Pearson Smith Realty. She recommended choosing LED lighting over fluorescent lights, as it is cheaper and saves energy.
“LED lighting not just stands out in terms of functionality, rather they bring a warm and stylish look into your home aesthetics,” she said. “The calm and cheery ambiance will enhance your productivity for sure.”
The average cost to install fluorescent light fixtures in a room ranges from $85 to $217, according to HomeAdvisor. Installing a single LED light strip has an average price tag of $125.
Going for New and Branded Office Furniture
You might be tempted to splurge on chic, expensive furniture for your office space, but Noufal said this isn’t the room for that. “You should always prefer functionality over beauty when choosing your office furniture,” she said. “This is not a place where you greet your guests after all.”
Finding affordable office furniture — that’s also notably stylish — isn’t as hard as you think. Wayfair sells the Albertdine Desk for $62.99 and the Crompton Reversible Desk for $93.99.
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Choosing the Wrong Office Chair
Your desk chair can have a huge impact on your posture, health, comfort and concentration, so Roy Thompson, director of ACI, an office design and fit out firm based in Nottingham, England, said to spend time finding the right one.
“Taking yourself to a shop and physically trying different chairs out would be a top tip here,” he said. “It’s also important to purchase a chair that comes with personalization and allows you to adjust the positioning easily.”
Quality office chairs range in price from $100 to more than $1,000, according to Staples, so not getting it right the first time can be an expensive mistake.
Dedicating the Entire Room to the Office
“One major and probably the top mistake people make when designing and creating a home office is dedicating a whole room for that purpose,” Thompson said. He said purchasing minimal office equipment and choosing a smaller desk area is a great way to save space and resources.
When you look at this in terms of the price per square foot in your home, this can equate to serious savings. For example, the median listing home price per square foot in Pittsburgh was $155, as of February 2022.
Buying Too Much Storage
When you worked in a traditional office, you probably had plenty of file cabinets at your disposal. However, Thompson said investing in too much storage is a …….