Converting Your Basement To A Home Office
If your home has a basement then you may have just found the ideal place to setup a home office. A famous Internet entrepreneur friend of mine runs his entire business from his basement. He likes it because it gives him all the space he needs to work.
It also gives him all the privacy and peace he needs to get a good day or nights work done. In effect it's like having an office that isn't strictly at home because you're working away from the general hubbub of the house itself.
Converting your basement into a home office isn't that different from the idea of converting an attic into a home office. The main thing that stands out here is that far less work is required for the actual conversion itself.
You won't have to put down a new flooring system, generally won't have to do much rewiring and won't have to mess around with ceiling heights or new window systems. Granted some work will be required to tidy it all up but most basement home offices should be quite easy to establish.
One main issue to look out for is the use of the basement space. If you have a large basement it's very easy to get "lost" down there and spread your work stuff everywhere; quickly turning it into a big case of home office clutter (this happens all too easily believe me).
Dedicate one specific area of your basement to home office activities and keep it that way. Keep this area as far away from noise and distraction as possible - especially any washing machines/dryers or other utility equipment that might be in the basement also.
A big concern for many people about using their basement as a home office is the issue of dampness and condensation. Computers and other electronic equipment (fax machines, cell phones etc) *hate* getting wet or even a little bit damp.
It can cause electrical shorts which can in turn result in electrical fires. Printer paper also suffers from the damp - paper that is even a little bit damp will get snarled up in your printer almost every single time. Based on this you'll need to make sure your basement is properly insulated and damp-proofed. A working air conditioning system would also be a great idea as basements can get quite "stuffy" if not properly airconditioned.
Your basement can provide you with an ideal home office with plenty of space to get your work done. Just make sure you plan it out properly and really, really take the problem of dampness into consideration before you start setting up.