Back to School & Back to Work: 4 Ways to Get Your Home Ready.

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, back-to-school activities are in full swing, and that means it’s also time to get into the back-to-work mode. You may already have a room ─ or a corner ─ in your home that you use as a dedicated homework or home office space, but if you don’t, let’s get to work!

Home office space

Home office space by Metro Building & Remodeling

More and more people in the DC Metro region are teleworking. In the latest survey conducted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 32 percent of commuters reported working remotely or from home “at least occasionally.” That’s up from 27 percent in 2013. And Loudoun County has a higher share of its workforce teleworking on a regular basis than any other county in the area.

If you’ve vowed this year to remodel your work-at-home office or study space to be a more efficient place to get things done, here are 4 ideas to inspire you and keep you on track.

1. Finish it up

Finished basement home office space

Finished basement home office space by Metro Building & Remodeling

A finished basement is almost always the lowest cost living space you can add to your home. It’s space you already have and finishing it to meet your family’s needs can give you room to both work and play. It’s an especially good solution if you have more than one student working at the same time or the tasks involved require more room to spread out or to store supplies.

Finishing your basement requires consideration of some specific construction details, such as solving moisture issues and adding plumbing and adequate lighting, but with the right planning it can become the perfect place to get things done.

2. In the pocket

home offices

“Pocket” home office photos courtesy Better Homes & Gardens

Many homes don’t have a room to spare to use solely as a home office. If that’s true of your home, join the growing trend of creating a pocket office. That’s a small space set aside with a built-in desk and the tech essentials to function as an office. Pocket offices are often set up near high traffic areas such as the kitchen, great room, or tucked away in a closet or under a stairway. With so many of the devices we use now being small and wireless, you don’t need to worry about cord clutter. Just make sure you have plenty of outlets for charging.

3. A study corner for the kids

Getting back on a schedule and in the mindset to tackle homework again is a hard thing for kids to adjust to at summer’s end. So, make it a bit easier by providing them with a comfy and organized corner for them to hunker down to study in their room without distractions.

Child's bedroom study space

Kid’s bedroom study space by Metro Building & Remodeling

A built-in desk and storage shelves, drawers or cubbies can be customized and organized for their age and needs. A kid-size desk and chair will be more conducive to getting work done neatly than sprawling on the floor. Curling up with some cute pillows on a window seat could help that reading assignment get done. Make sure they have a handy place for their school supplies (and a laptop if they need one). If you include them in discussions of the design for the homework corner, they just might want to use that study space.

4. Vertical thinking

Photo courtesy Pottery Barn

When you don’t have floor space for more than a desk and chair (or you just like to keep your desktop clean), put the walls to work. Take advantage of vertical space with floor-to-ceiling built-in cabinets, shelves and a pegboard, magnetic board or corkboard. If you like to “think big” when you brainstorm, you can turn part of a wall into a whiteboard or a chalkboard with special paint, like Benjamin Moore’s Chalkboard Paint.

Whether you run a home-based business, bring work home regularly, telecommute a few days a week, or just need a better, more convenient homework space for the kids, we can show you how the basement, attic or a corner of a bedroom or kitchen can be transformed. We’ll create a home office space that suits your style and works for your family. Just give us a call!

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