If you work from home, or just need a refuge from the rest of your family to pay bills and write emails, a home office makes for a relatively straightforward home addition or modification. Knowing what kinds of tasks you plan on handling, the amount of time you plan on spending in the home office, and the tools and amenities you need can focus your planning.
At the bottom line, you need a comfortable, quiet place to sit, sufficient lighting and electrical supply, furniture, flooring, and ventilation. Even a small, closet-sized space for a desk and computer should be cheery, with ample temperature control and have room for paper storage and a shelf for coffee or soft drinks.
Serious Office or Quick Getaway?
Do you work from home? At the higher end of the planning scale, you may want to consider your office as a working retreat. That means you want a good space with room for a couch, television, fax and printer, mini-fridge or sink, and bar.
Power Home Biz suggests you modify your home for an office if you're just starting out--saving money from renting an office space outside the home. The best part of going wireless is that you can abandon the home office when it gets stale and work on your deck in good weather, or in the family room when you want company.
If you just need a niche for completing projects you bring home from work and a homework center for your kids, you might consider a kitchen office. If you have a pantry to devote to the task, so much the better. Pantries may already have adequate lighting and electrical supply for a small office. If you already have home Internet with a router, you can go wireless in the kitchen office and bring in each family member's laptop when it's time to get down to work.
A hideaway kitchen office can also remove clutter from other rooms where you previously connected to the web. A home office is one of the top five room additions to consider when searching for more elbow room about the house.
If you're in an attic, you need ventilation and windows. A basement office needs adequate ventilation, heating, and dry flooring. For sanity's sake, don't combine the laundry area and office in the same space!