thanks zal, this seems like a workable idea with some tweaking. the thing is, i need manual IPs in the office to be able to enforce some firewall rules on the network with SonicWall. it works like this. I tell it to NOT block access on certain static IPs, and tell it to block them on all the rest of the dynamic IP range. For that, i will limit the DHCP range to, for example, 192.168.1.51 - 192.168.1.254. and then i'll set static IPs manually from 192.168.1.2 - 192.168.1.50 to specific computers on the network. But with the current setup, when these people take their laptops back home, they will have to change the IP settings again to match those in their home wifis, and then back again when they are in the office. i want to avoid this switching, because it is a potential screwup in the network configuration, and i will need someone setting things up on a daily basis on every machine.
with your proposed solution, the first priority will be to DHCP, and the laptop will just take in the office and run with it lol. on the other hand, if i put manually in first, it still wont work when they get home. see the mess up? any suggestions?