01 Aug INHOUSE with Mike Robare: HELPFUL HOME OFFICES
Modern technology allows people to network with the world from their homes. Whether it’s a home-based business, keeping up with household finances or homework, families increasingly appreciate the convenience and value of having a dedicated office space. When you plan this room, consider who will use it. If it’s going to be two (or more) people, are they good at sharing space and materials? Next, consider the equipment and storage you’ll need. With all this in mind, your homebuilder will make sure you have a helpful home office.
SHARED OR SEPARATE SPACE?
If more than one person in your family will use a home office, a larger room can be designed with space and equipment for each person. This works especially well if most family members have occasional need for the room, while one person requires a dedicated desk and materials to keep organized and focused. Maybe and “L” or “U” shaped work surface is sufficient, but some just need privacy. They don’t do well, or can’t, share a desk, file cabinets, or shelves, and you might need completely separate offices.
Is the office going to support a business? If so, do you need space for special equipment like a drafting table? Is it for studying, paying bills, or just electronically connecting with family and friends via the Internet? Think carefully about how your family will use a home office. Will you need file cabinets, or are the drawers in a desk sufficient? What about wall shelving – a lot, a little, or none? Would a closet be helpful? If you plan carefully and determine your cable and electronic needs, wiring can be done out of sight behind the walls. Don’t forget flooring; keep in mind you’ll probably have a chair or file cabinets on rollers. It’s frustrating to find your home office isn’t adequately designed; think about your present and future needs, and work with your custom home builder to plan a highly functional home office – a room that maximizes concentration, productivity, and, ideally, some fun.
If your work requires quiet and focus, don’t overlook the need for sound insulation and privacy, especially if you have young children. French doors are a popular choice for offices and you may want to add blinds. If they’re closed, it sends a “do not disturb” signal to your family that you’re on a business call or just need quiet time. Your builder can also plan on a wall insulation upgrades to block out noise.
To read more about designing and building your perfect home office, including information on furniture, storage and much more, please order your FREE copy of Mike Robare’s book: INHOUSE Creating Your Dream Home Room by Room.