How to build a warehouse office space

By Chris Dawson March 4, 2013 - 12:02 pm

Having shared a warehouse with my mate John for many years, we’ve worked through a fair few winters together in temperatures which to call “chilly” were an understatement. Although I no longer work from the warehouse I’ve been replaced by John’s lovely wife Nicola, who put her foot down, installed herself as project manager and said it was time to build a proper office space.

John called me back in and after a ton of wood and plasterboard was delivered on Friday we got cracking to build a cozy office on Saturday morning. It had to be done in a single weekend as it’s a working warehouse and there are orders to pick and pack on Monday morning. The office was built in a day leaving Sunday to put the desks back and figure out which wire was supposed to go to which computer!

If you’ve no idea how to build an office here’s our step by step guide!

Start building a frame with a cup of tea in hand

Office Build 1 Office Build 2

Build another two frames for the ends – leave room for a door!

Office Build 3 Office Build 4

Stand the frames up and screw them together

Office Build 5 Office Build 6

Fit the roof beams and get the roof panels up and screwed down

Office Build 7 Office Build 8

Fit the side panels, hang the door,lay carpet tiles and get the computers hooked up

Office Build 9 Office Build 10

I spoke to John this morning on the phone and he told me it was too hot and they’d had to turn the radiator down! The warehouse team are warm as toast in their new office and the only problem is no one wants to go out into the warehouse to pick and pack the stock!

If you are after an office then John and I are available at extortionate rates plus plenty of bacon rolls (veggie version for John please!) and cups of tea. Alternatively just follow the steps above to create a toasty warm office in a corner of your warehouse.

  • 8 years ago

    what are you selling?

    • 8 years ago

      That warehouse mainly sells shoes and boots

  • Gary
    8 years ago

    How do you build a warehouse within an office?

    That is the solution many of us are looking for I would guess!

  • Glenn
    8 years ago

    Impressive, nice one.

  • Noel
    8 years ago

    I’m not one for coincidences but I’ve been in my cold warehouse 7 years and the builders have just started building my office…….THIS MORNING !
    Your email made us all laugh, I’ve printed it off and given it to the builders 🙂

    • 8 years ago

      Ha – you should have said…. I was free on Sunday – could have knocked you an office up then 😀

  • 8 years ago

    Well, 48 hours after the builders started with literally an empty corner of my cold warehouse I have a 10 x 12′ office with 10 double plug sockets, phone, Cat5e cabling, and a locking door.
    The joiner is coming back in the morning to fix one last bit of architrave and it’s ready for me to paint on Sunday. Carpet fitters Tuesday and we’re in.
    I’ve been working on a desk in an 1800 sq ft warehouse for 6 years and I’ve splashed out a bit on this new office but I honestly think it will up our productivity a lot (and my accountant said we should up our capital expenditure a little before the year end’.

    • 8 years ago

      Fantastic – have you got photos?

      We cheated on John’s office – we built it where all the electrics were and the desks and computers have been for years anyway so no wiring required! 🙂

      Sounds very much like you’ve gone for the deluxe version instead of our “not pretty but warm” version 😛

    • 8 years ago

      I have loads of photos, how can I upload them here ?
      Important to note that we also started with many cups of tea, it’s mandatory !

  • John Pemberton
    8 years ago

    Hi Noel
    I read your messages – exactly the situation I have been in. I acquired my warehouse (circ 1300sqft) just over 3 years ago. This last winter just took it out of me – I have given up trying to fight the cold with thermals. Also the price of gas has shot up, so have been spending over £200 a month just to have a few degrees more in the warehouse than outside.

    The new office has already made a massive difference. we now use one oil radiator to effectively heat the office, and its not even on the top setting!!

    If anyone is considering doing this, then DO IT – you will not regret it.

  • puddleglum
    8 years ago

    sovvern softies

  • 8 years ago

    Re – Office.

    Years ago I was thinking about having a warehouse and then the practicalities of an office. But then I thought about how SME businesses often develop. First they are in a small Warehouse and out grow that and move into a slightly larger one and then continue to grow and move up the scale of Warehouse size.

    In the case of my Book Business it has stayed small so it did not prove to be a problem. However I thought about buying one of those Offices on wheels. The sort you often see on such as Rally Sites where a Car Dealer or Double Glazing Company might operate from on site.

    They last a few years and then the effects of weather start to affect them so the company buys a new one. Usually they start to look a bit weather beaten and possibly develop a leak or two.

    But I thought about backing it into the Warehouse and operating from that. After all the weather would be kept from it by the warehouse itself and not being directly onto the floor it would be insulated from some of the cold.

    Then in time when I needed to go to a larger Warehouse it was just a case of hitching it up and towing it to the new Warehouse. Saves all the work of dismantling the Office and moving it in bits and rebuilding.

    As I said above this was what I planned to do but never ended up needing to do it. However it could be an answer for somebody else thinking about an Office in a Warehouse.

    • puddleglum
      8 years ago

      millions of caravans un road worthy fitted with electric and plumbing just tow one in

    • 8 years ago

      You are of course correct. However when I was thinking about it I had been to a rally and had admired such a mobile office and I knew that it was soon to be replaced by a newer and much more attractive vehicle.

      At the end of each season(usually about October time) caravans drop dramatically in price. After all who wants to go away caravaning in winter?

      So the older caravans can be picked up quite cheaply. They don’t have to be unroadworthy. After all if they are too bad and you later wanted to move them from one warehouse to another larger one they could be a confounded nuisance if they are unroadworthy.

      One problem could be that you will want to remove many of the “domestic” bits and pieces. While the Mobile Office(or showroom) that I suggested originally would be relatively easy to adapt.

      So for perhaps a couple of hundred pounds you could fit yourself up with an office that could be moved from Warehouse to Warehouse as the business grew and each move would be easy. Just hitch it up to a car tow bar and drive it away(making certain everything inside was secure and all the exterior connections had been disconnected).

  • 8 years ago

    An associated idea. I sell Books and for many years I used to take a Mobile Book Stall around the events. I would usually count on selling more in a 2 day weekend(some events include the Friday or Monday and become 3 day weekend events)at an event than I sell in a month on ebay.

    My Stall was a 10 foot long Market Traders Stall which complete with books weighed about half a ton. I often thought about the time it took to put it all together and take it down. The idea I had was to buy an old Mobile Library and use that instead.

    I found myself imagining it at each event that I did. Traction Engine Rallies were easy just drive it in. But I have done Railway Events on such as Waterloo Station and Salisbury Station and inside Railway Workshops etc. Some of these the Mobile Library either could not get in or would be unpopular in other ways.

    Also the site fee tends to be based upon length of frontage the Mobile Library would be a lot longer than my 10 foot Stall. But I still think about how much it could have done over the years.

    However depending on what you sell there could be a market out there for you with a mobile Showroom. Especially if Postal Charges became totally unacceptable. Some events attract a large audience. 2k, 5K, 10K or even like the Great Dorset Steam Rally up to about 250K people. It could be an alternative to “Pop Up Shops” or investing in a Bricks and Mortar Shop. Instead follow the crowds

    Another point is that the existing sellers at these events tend to be a very friendly bunch. At the end of the day often standing around in the Bar Tent comparing notes. Also if a potential customer comes up and asks if you have a such and such. You haven’t but you know that Ted across the way has got one you will usually direct the customer across to Ted’s stall(and he will do the same if he gets a similar request and he knows that you have one).

  • Sam
    8 years ago

    We are looking at doing the same thing and would like to put something up ourselves.

    Did you buy that office as a kit somewhere? We can’t seem to find anything similiar.

    • 8 years ago

      It’s not a kit – it’s simply plasterboard and timber. If your handy with a saw and screwdriver it’s really not too hard, if not find a mate that knows what they’re doing.

      Let me know if you want some help figuring out what you’ll need.

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