Considerations for Creating a Home Office

Creating a work space at home can be as simple as arranging a kitchen ‘command’ center with space for mail, a calendar, and other household documents.  If greater functionality and privacy are required, designating a separate area of the home as an office is generally a better solution. Whatever the need, there are a few considerations that should be addressed when integrating a workspace into the home.

One of the first questions we ask our clients is: How will the space be used?  Understanding who will be using the space and for what purpose can help identify an appropriate location in the home.  A homework area for the kids and small household tasks like bill paying might be appropriately integrated into a family space like the kitchen.  This way the parent can provide assistance or keep tabs on the family as needed. If more privacy is required for a home-based business, then a dedicated room or outbuilding may be necessary.

Once an area for the workspace is identified, it’s important to make sure the area is functional for users.  This means making sure there is adequate desk area for a computer – we recommend a desk about 24” to 30” deep, 30” high, with at least 36” of work area.  Also making sure there is plenty of room for storage with file drawers, bookshelves, and closed storage for supplies.
Adequate lighting is integral to the functionality and comfort of the space.  To some extent, the amount and type of light depends on the work but we recommend maximizing natural light to the space whenever possible.  The ambient lighting in the room can often be accommodated through a combination of recessed ceiling fixtures and table lamps.  A smaller desk lamp with a multi-directional head can be adjusted based on the specific task.

With all the electronic equipment that we use today, managing the power to the space becomes important.  For a home office room, typically a 20 Amp dedicated circuit at 120 V is adequate for power needs.  Putting the office on a dedicated circuit minimizes the chances that someone in an adjacent room will overload a shared circuit resulting in a power loss.  Locating outlets based on power needs and managing cords also helps to maintain an organized workspace. Surge protectors are another important feature of a home office and should be included to protect the electronic devices kept in this room, from computers to printers.

Whatever your needs are, a functional workspace at home starts with a well thought out design. If you need assistance designing and building your new home office, please contact us at (610) 762-1632. Click here to view photos of a home office renovation we recently completed for one of our clients.

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