Calculating Office Space for Your Home Business

Switching to e-commerce takes some finagling when you’re used to selling goods or assembling crafts in a storefront. Think about where you will store your wares and where couriers will park. You may have to press the garage or basement into service for doing business from home. Could the neighbours complain? If they do, could you afford the extra expense of doing business from home and buying or leasing a studio, storage space, or warehouse? 

7 questions for live work loft buyers. 

How Much Room Home-based Businesses Need

So let’s measure your home to see if you have the space you actually need (calculations courtesy Houzz): 

  • 122 to 183 cm wide x 61 to 91 cm deep x 74 to 76 cm high for a desk 
  • 76 cm of walk-around space between your desk, room door and other furniture
  • 122 to 152 cm between your desk and chair so you can circulate easily
  • 107 cm square for a desk chair, more if you need to swivel or move to reach office equipment
  • 102 cm square for a side chair or 102 cm deep x 157 cm long for a loveseat
  • 46 to 61 cm square for a printer 
  • 36 to 41 cm wide x 20 to 25 cm deep x 36 to 46 cm high for shredders
  • 38 to 46 cm wide x 74 cm deep for vertical file cabinets
  • 76 cm wide x 46 cm deep x 81 cm high for two-drawer laterals
  • 91 cm wide x 122 cm high for two-shelf bookcases (30 cm deep x 41 cm high for each shelf).

Measurements are just a guide. Take a measuring tape along while you’re shopping or check dimensions before you buy. 

Mortgages for backyard tiny homes – check zoning bylaws first. 

Placing Furniture in Your Home Office

Arranging office furniture for maximum efficiency is key to enjoying your work. Use ruled graph paper to plot where your desk, file cabinets, and office equipment will go. Give yourself plenty of elbow room. Figure out in advance where to put waste baskets, white boards, and the espresso machine. Check if your printer or shredder opens from the top, side, or back before you back yourself into a corner.

In the Zon(ing)

Not all municipalities or strata councils are equal when it comes to home offices. A business licence or council permission could be required. Local bylaw officers will want to know if you are a sole proprietor or business corporation — your decision determines if personal or corporate assets are at risk. Get legal advice before venturing into doing business from home in Ontario for the first time.

What to know about zoning bylaws in Toronto. 

The Devil’s in the Details

Before you decide your home is just right for your work space, think about all the little details that go into doing business from home in Ontario:

  • insurance for use of your home and car
  • parking restrictions
  • environmental regulations for products you use
  • potential fire hazards
  • heating and ventilation 
  • and capital gains if you sell your home.

Qualms? A real estate agent can help you find something that works for optimum work-life balance. Business regulations for home-based businesses. 

Insuring a home you buy. 

Affordable Legal Services, Anywhere in Ontario

Access lawyers for less in Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or anywhere in Ontario when you buy, sell, or transfer property. Axess Law’s flat fee real estate lawyers are affordable, and our rates are all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your itemized statement of adjustments is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it.

Find a real estate lawyer in Ontario. 

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