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Live Work Lofts

Feb 13, 2008
Times have really changed a lot since the days when people lived, slept and ate at home and traveled a certain distance by car or public conveyance to their place of work. There, they typically spend 8 or more hours at their various tasks before making the trip back home, and the cycle continues once again. It is a scenario that is played out over and over again throughout the course of the year, and for most people, that is all that they know.

Things are much different nowadays however, and the widespread availability of modern technological conveniences such as telephones, email, faxes and high speed Internet has made it possible for an increasingly large number of people to work from the comfort of their own home. Once an idyllic-and perhaps overly optimistic-view of how things will be in the future, telecommuting, or working from home with the aid of the aforementioned technological innovations is now a reality, and has been for a number of years in fact.

Of course this shift in the work paradigm has brought about a number of changes in our homes and workspaces as well. More and more people are living where they work and working where they live. Which perhaps explains the rising popularity of the Live/Work Loft.

The concept is in itself not entirely new; people have actually been living-if not in-then right next to, or on top of their place of business for hundreds of years. Shopkeepers and storeowners have traditionally always lived atop their shops, and many older pubs and taverns had rooms built on top that served as either living quarters or rooms for rent. In fact, before the advent of superhighways and the subsequent mass availability of cars, that was pretty much the norm. We all know what happened since then however, and it is quite interesting to see how things have come full circle. The more things change, the more they stay the same as the saying goes, and no where is this saying more appropriate than with regard to Live/Work Lofts.

In its most common modern day form, the Live/Work Loft is basically a structure that is a combination of a commercial space-typically on the ground floor of a building-with living quarters on the top. In some cases this order is reversed, as is the case with a certain commercial recording studio wherein the living quarters are located right below the studio facilities, which in turn is located on the top floor of a building in order to avoid bothering the neighbors with the loud music, and also keeps any noise-which might otherwise ruin a recording-out.

These types of structures will of course have to be located in an area-usually in the city-that is cleared for mixed use by the local zoning authorities. Aside from that though, virtually anything the owner wishes to do with his or her property is fair game. This situation is ideal for a growing number of people, and allows them to not only save a considerable amount of money on travel and business rental expenses, it also allows them to make maximum use of any available space.

Designs for Live/Work Loft are numerous and can be quite varied, depending on the needs of the particular occupant. We've already mentioned one possible configuration that is used in a commercial studio facility, and there are many others besides. The commercial section of the loft can be closed off from the living quarters for example, and both sections may even have their own discreet entrances. Some people however prefer to have both sections of their Live/Work Loft totally free of barriers, allowing free access to all parts of the home/office. This kind of setup works extremely well for less rigidly defined uses, wherein you will expect to be entertaining your business clients or associates as part of your service. This will also help you save on having to outfit each section of your Live/Work Loft with two separate sets of furniture, appliances and home accessories.

Live/Work Lofts are oftentimes constructed in top levels of warehouses or commercial buildings. These types of lofts have over the years been popular choices among professional visual artists, who typically need plenty of space for their work.

Before you decide on building a Live/Work Loft, you should look into existing local laws and zoning ordinances thoroughly first, in case there are restrictions about using your workspace as a residence and vice versa.
About the Author
Bluwater Crossing: New townhomes and live work lofts just steps from the beach in the vibrant coastal city of Carlsbad, north San Diego County. Carlsbad San Diego Real Estate.
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