Brightening a Basement Home Office with Egress Windows
Due to events of which we are all aware, the way we work has shifted dramatically in recent years, with fully remote and hybrid arrangements becoming much more common. Working from home has many advantages, but for some people — especially those with families — finding the peace to hunker down and focus can be a real challenge.
For this reason, the basement home office has enjoyed an unprecedented boom in popularity, becoming one of the most requested features of basement finishing projects. However, few of us love working in the dark — basement egress windows admit much-needed natural light from the overworld without sacrificing the tranquility of the underworld.
Advantages of a basement home office
Nearly any space within the home can be converted into an office, but a finished basement may be the best. Here’s why:
It’s a blank canvas
Generally speaking, most understories are wide open, providing a blank canvas for any of your basement home office ideas. Start from scratch with any layout, furniture, decor, or color scheme. You are at liberty to create an environment distinct from the rest of the home and personalized to you.
It’s removed from the action
In most homes, there’s a lot going on at ground level. Bustling bathrooms. Chaotic kitchens. Loud and lively living rooms. Unless you’re gifted with zen-like focus, productivity is far from guaranteed with so many distractions around you. A basement home office — preferably not underneath the first floor’s busiest rooms — gives you a better chance to dial in and give each day your best.
With the digitization of virtually anything and everything, the era of paper documents and filing cabinets has mostly passed. But that’s not to say we’re in the clear from clutter. Think of all the equipment you might need to perform your duties effectively — a large enough desk for a computer and one or more monitors; a mouse, keyboard, and webcam; an area to record handwritten notes or keep a desktop organizer. A basement home office allows you the space to take a deep breath and spread your wings.
It’s energy efficient
Commuters can program the thermostat to save energy while they’re at the office. But being at home all day demands a certain level of physical comfort. Basements stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, allowing you to stay comfy even as the seasons change.
It adds value to your home
As we discussed previously, fully remote and hybrid work arrangements are becoming more the rule than the exception. Basement home offices are a very desirable item for homebuyers, and if your basement is already set up for one, your property is that much more valuable.
Basement home office lighting options
One major drawback of basements? They’re gloomy, and sometimes the glow from your computer monitor is just not enough. There’s two ways we can brighten things up.
We can always turn to our old friend electricity in dark times. One of the more popular options in the modern basement home office are recessed/can lights, which are unobtrusively embedded into the ceiling and can be placed on a dimmer switch to fine-tune the ambiance. In the absence of these or more traditional flush or semi-flush mount ceiling lights, a portable desk or floor lamp can help illuminate your affairs. Check out this blog from our friends at Ayars for more finished basement lighting ideas.
The only real way to feed natural light into a below-grade finished basement is through a window. Unfortunately, in a lot of older homes, basements were preconceived as cellars or storage spaces. Sunning seasonal furniture or canned goods was definitely not a priority, and might even be detrimental.
The default window of most standard lot unfinished basements is the hopper window — neither especially wide nor especially tall, these windows hinge at the bottom to open at an angle, with the sash tilting inward. While hopper windows do let in some light and some air, they’re usually above our heads, even when standing up. They simply cannot rival a single or double-hung, casement, or sliding window in these capacities.
The good news is we can install windows of these styles at the bottom of an egress window well.
Enhancing natural lighting with basement egress windows
Sunlight comes with a host of health benefits, and high among those is improved mood and mental health. Given this, the best basement home office lighting source just might be the sun. Egress window wells serve two purposes — allowing for emergency exit and access, and bringing more light and air below ground.
They are one component of a complete basement egress system — which also includes the window itself (which is large enough to fit through), steps or a ladder (depending on the depth of the well), a grate, and a cover. Egress windows come in several operating styles, including Astro Egress Windows (which vent like a single-hung window but swing inward for escape) and Euro Style Tilt and Turn Windows (which vent like a hopper window and also swing inward for escape).
Come to the light with Egress Solutions
Bring more light, air, and cheer into your basement home office with complete basement egress systems from Egress Solutions. We proudly serve New Jersey, Central and Eastern PA (including Philadelphia), Southern New York, Maryland, and Delaware.