Over the past several months, there has been a spike in home improvements. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, and telecommuters are now prioritizing a dedicated office space within their home.
To learn more about how people are adapting their living spaces while working from home, we surveyed homeowners across the country to find the best place for a home office.
What’s the Ideal Location for a Home Office?
Our latest survey of home office renovation trends reveals that 75 percent of people prefer a home office that is separated from the rest of their living space by a door or is located on a different floor of the house.
Telecommuters are trying to maintain professionalism on Zoom calls, and a workday can become more difficult with typical household distractions. Home renovation trends reveal that the most sought-after home office designs make it possible to keep personal life separate from work life.
For half of all homeowners, a guest room is the top spot for a home office, and a basement office is the second most popular choice.
What’s the Best Place for a Home Office?
- Guest Room: 51%
- Basement: 17%
- Living Room: 10%
- Dining Room: 8%
- Attic: 7%
- Kitchen: 7%
More Men Prefer Basement Offices Than Women
When we look closer at the data, we see that there is a gender divide about the location of home offices. At a rate of two to one, men are more likely than women to set up their workspaces in the basement.
Ratio of Men to Women Who Prefer a Home Office in the Basement
- Male: 66%
- Female: 34%
Of the people who prefer basement offices, 66 percent are men. Men’s preference for a home office space in the basement is similar to location preferences for a man cave. Whether using the basement for work or personal time, utilizing the lower level of the home provides respite from other household activities.
Unlike a guest room, a basement office typically has a door and a flight of stairs separating it from the personal space of the house. This can mean the space provides a quieter and more focused workday, and soundproofing can even be added to the basement ceiling.
Plus, converting a basement doesn’t come with the same issues of using a small space for a dedicated work area. Using the lower level for a workspace means there’s room to add comfortable seating, a mini-fridge, filing cabinets, and a secondary standing desk.
How Does Home Office Location Affect Real Estate Value?
When converting a spare room into a home office, there isn’t much structural change needed, and there’s no impact on the home value or square footage.
However, converting a basement into a home office can increase your home’s value while also improving the livability of your home. A single guest room won’t solve the needs of family members when parents and children are telecommuting.
Plus, a finished basement is a good option to add long-term value to your home. According to Motley Fool, a finished basement can increase your property’s value by 70 percent.
During the coronavirus pandemic, square footage has become one of the most sought-after home features. According to Realtor.com, “Folks are seeking enough space to accommodate being home around the clock, say real estate experts. An extra 300 square feet for a dedicated home office never sounded so good.”
How Are Space Needs Changing During COVID-19?
One Kansas City homeowner spoke on their local radio station how spending all their time at home prompted a series of renovations.
“As soon as COVID hit, we needed someplace the kids could play,” adding that the nearby parks were all closed. “So we put a playhouse down [in the basement] first and then found the kids liked it so much that we went ahead and built a living room. And then my wife needed the space to work.”
The usable space of a finished basement is a key advantage in today’s changing real estate market. With the right home office ideas, the finished space could have many future uses. As needs change, the multipurpose space can become a family room, home classroom space, in-law suite, teenager hangout, fitness room, or home theatre.
Basement updates can be one of the most dramatic and exciting home renovations. Before transforming this spot of your home, you need to make sure it is free of mold, moisture, and other potential issues. Basement waterproofing seals out any dampness or insects, making it a pleasant and fresh living space. Updating a stylish egress window brings natural light into the basement while also adapting your home to current safety codes.