The first is, your town may have zoning rules that preclude using your home as your business location.
Then, it's nice to be able to leave work at ... work. This is especially true once you grow a bit and have a few others working on your behalf.
A "real" office tends to make a positive impression on all you encounter. It's nice to have the room to set up a table just for reading prints, a bench for testing / repairing fixtures, etc. Most likely, you will want to park your truck inside at night.
The downside? Money. Make sure your rates are set to cover your operating costs. Utilities are going to be a shocker. You WILL want an alarm system.
On a side note, it sounds like you're about to make a big step .... why not stop by the chat room, and bounce your ideas off a few who've been there already?
Considering that it's that time of the year again...there's an advantage to not having to fiddle with that "home office" when calculating your taxes. If the whole building is your place of business, life (and math) gets a whole lot easier.
One thing you can do to help the math on your home office is to separately meter the power. Places like Hialeah Meter will sell you a real utility meter, reconditioned and set at zero pretty cheap. I paid $16 for one when I set up my office. I needed more power anyway so I just ran a little sub panel through the meter. That way I had a real, verifiable number for what my office equipment and task lighting was using. The other thing is to avoid mixed use of the area. (spare bedroom etc). If you follow the rules and keep good records the IRS won't be able to screw with you.
Leasing would obviously add to overhead, but wouldn't you think that it could be made up in less gas and less trips to the supply house? We would actually be working in the area that we plan to lease. Picking up the van at the shop will give the guys time to stock the van each morning. Right now we have a storage unit to store material, no one has the time to go there and look to see if we have material that can be used. I go to the storage unit to drop off material and find 20 or 30 of everything, usually things we don't use that often! I think we would be bucks up if we all started at the shop in the morning and loaded the van with parts for the day, I think it will help with unecessary trips to the supply house and it will cut down on reduntancy of stock. What are your thoughts?
I built the house around the vans. Meaning I put in 9' foot high garage doors so I could pull 2 inside at night. I sleep better now. My office is at my house also.
Same for me...a 3 car garage with 9'doors & office in the house with 2 phone lines 2 desks, 2 PCs, etc. I can do a little paperwork at my convenience anytime. For residential service having trucks on the road shows you're in business more than a store IMO.
Just one intresting point, we just 2 of out local EC's retire, and talking to them the one thing they said was the best move they ever made was to buy a shop for the business, when they sold the business they had nice pay back on the investment, so now they can live out the retirement years less the worries of money.
One of the EC's bought a shop with 4 rental appartments, and the other EC bought 2 commercial office park buildings, they said it was easy to buy the commercial property with little money outlay, and the commercial buildings generated some fill in work at times.
We also have an EC that started buying small industrial buildings, today his company owns and operated over 20 major industrial parks
I finally built an electric shop for my business last December. I did it then because several positives lined up at the time. 2007 was a very high profit year for me and I could either give it to Uncle Sam or invest it in a building I needed. My main supply house offered to set up to $30k of materials at my shop on consignment, meaning I only paid for what I drew from the on-site inventory at the end of the month. Separate service/meter for my building as well as phone line, insurance and gas make it clearly deductible, no red flags. I put in (2) 10 x 10 OH doors, one with a keypad entry so the supply house delivery guy can have access when I'm not there. Same for my UPS and Fedex guys. It has been great having all of the materials I need at my fingertips every day. Real handy during the ice storm here a few weeks ago. I was able to work all hours until the outages were over. For 15 years I had an office in my garage and stored tools and some materials in my garage and in a barn. Not too handy. My building is 30x50x12 high. I have a 12x14 heated/cooled office and a 12x16 heated/cooled workshop inside the building. The rest is for the truck and cold storage of materials. It is about 100' from my house so it is close enough to be handy but far enough that my noise/activity doesn't bother the family.