Suddenly Need a Home Office? 10 Things to Consider When Converting Your Basement into an Office
Updated: Apr 15, 2020
In light of COVID-19, you may be thinking of how to best maintain productivity while working from home. If you are thinking of putting a new office in your home, you may not need to look any further than the basement. A lower level can be the ideal spot for a home office, since it can offer the necessary quiet and separation from the rest of the home.
If you think your basement could transition into a productive, comfortable home office, here are some tips to help you get started.
Assess the basement. Make sure the area is suitable for furniture; business equipment, such as computers and fax machines, communication lines, such as phone and Internet, storage needs, and basics such as lighting and heating or AC.
Consider the noise. Plan your basement space so that the office is at one end of the basement and noisy areas, such as playrooms or media rooms, are at the other. For extra insurance against noise, we can add sound insulation between the studs or add foam insulation to common walls.
Think about a separate entrance. If your new office will be visited by clients and you have a walk-out basement, it is always nice to have a separate entrance for privacy.
Plan your floor layout before any constructive work begins. For the best outcome, measure available space, then lay out furniture and organize it in the area. Consider proximity to existing outlets, any natural light and surrounding noise. Check out access points to ensure that furniture will fit through doors and stairwells, including any turns and ceiling heights. Wire for technology strategically. Be mindful of equipment specifications when designing or selecting office furniture so that printers, scanners, monitors etc. are properly placed. It is always better to have a plan for furniture prior to wiring.
Consider including a bathroom or kitchenette. Adding a bathroom and kitchenette as a part of your office environment can help you stay on track and keep from family or home-chore distractions. These added amenities will also be beneficial to the privacy issues one has if clients visit your home office.
Get the lighting right. Good lighting is critical to any workspace. In addition to overhead recessed lighting or ceiling fixtures, make sure you have the receptacles for under cabinet and plug-in lamps. If you’re short on table space, consider a clamp-style lamp — they allow you to add an adjustable task light anywhere that an edge is available.
Select hardworking storage. Drawers and cubbies to the side of desk space come in very handy. Of all the versatile office furniture we've seen in every price range, nothing beats Ikea’s line for value and usability. The cubby-style wall units come in all sizes, many colors and hold everything with unique accessory drawers, doors, baskets and shelves.
Don’t skimp on the seat. You’ll be spending tons of productive hours in your office chair, and you don't want to end the day with a sore back. “Spend your money here and get the most comfortable chair you can afford; we recommend giving office chairs a test-drive before purchasing one.
Leave your walls open for inspiration. Keep wall space, even the back of the door, open for posting your best ideas and those ever-important reminders. We recommend using whiteboards instead of blackboards to avoid dust allergens and suggest hanging magnetic and cork strips to keep track of small paper items and office supplies.
Reach out to us at Spagnolo Homes to discuss next steps and timing expectations. We’re still in the office and glad to brainstorm with you about how to transform your basement into an enjoyable and versatile workspace.