When we think about renovating an older property in France, the first things which usually come to mind will be the kitchens, bathrooms as well as the general living areas. That’s natural, it’s where we spend much of our time, for sure.
However, as work/life patterns change, many more of us are now able to work from home – and therefore it’s well worth thinking about how to include remote working solutions in your renovation project, such as an office or workspace. Older properties are also likely to present unique challenges, so careful planning and attention to detail are essential.
Understanding the potential planning issues is a critical first step.
Adding a new extension or annexe to your older property to create the appropriate amount of office/workspace is one option. Generally speaking, it is possible for homeowners to add an annexe if their property is in agricultural zones, for example, although the size of the annexe should be smaller than the existing building attached to it.
Assuming that a planning consent is likely to be successful, you can then think about the design of your home office or workspace area.
Design the renovation with flexibility in mind, allowing for adaptable spaces that can serve both living and working needs. Consider open-plan layouts or movable partitions to create multi-functional areas.
With energy costs continuing to increase, ensuring that the workspace has appropriate insulation and energy efficiency measures is similarly important. If the workspace is within the existing building structure, add insulation to reduce energy costs and create a more comfortable working environment.
Home office working is generally quiet! However if you have a workshop area and regularly use power tools, how to reduce the impact of noise is necessary. Older properties may have thinner walls and floors, making noise an issue. Consider soundproofing solutions such as acoustic panels or insulation to minimize disturbances between living and working spaces.
We hope that this has given you a few ideas, whether it is addition of workspace in an existing structure or planning an annexe or extension. Please get in touch if you wish to discuss further.
Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.
Grant & Joeline Norris
+33 (0) 6 03 18 53 31