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DIY: Creating a Basement Home Office

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 5/14/2010

If you want to telecommute, you're going to need a home office. Prepare your basement for use as a home office or for home office storage with these DIY tips.

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    Using a Basement

    Basements can be excellent places for storage but they can also easily become junk magnets if you are not careful. The biggest mistake most people make with their basements is that they throw everything they don’t want in their house down in the basement and they forget about it until they have to go down there. It’s the same thing people do with their garages.

    By getting rid of big and bulky things that are taking up unnecessary space in your basement, you’ll free up some valuable real estate that can be later used as a home office or for home office storage. In fact, if you have the time and stamina, creating a basement home office space can be a fairly inexpensive DIY project.

    Here are some things to consider before turning your basement into a home office or home office storage space:

    • Be mindful of moisture. If you have a moisture problem, make sure you deal with it before putting sensitive equipment or data down there.
    • Make sure you configure your basement with proper partitions and storage units so that the stuff you store doesn’t take over the entire basement.
    • If possible, improve the basement by cleaning and painting the walls and floors, applying a waterproofing sealant, cleaning the drain (if you have one), installing a smoke detector, and try to keep the temperature around 65-70 degrees. All of these things will help protect what’s down there, and encourage family members to keep it tidy.
    • Install shelving to store bulk items or wine racks to hold wine.
    • Hang as many items as you can and make sure to hang a flashlight by the basement steps.
    • If your laundry room is in the basement, vent the dryer to the outside.

    Consider also creating some sort of floor covering, shelving, or storage system that works and can be used effectively for the long term. For the most part, an unfinished basement can be turned into a functional storage or work area for minimal cost.

    Finally, items such as old photos, delicate items (such as wedding dresses), and valuable wooden antique furniture , and antique books and documents should not be stored in the basement if at all possible as the fluctuation of temperatures can create fading, swelling and cracking and delicate materials such as silk and fur.

    Note: If you decide that turning your basement into a home office is too big of a DIY project, you may want to consider using your garage for home office storage instead.