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New home office, lab and server room

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This project is a work in progress. Please check back later for additional changes.
Before and after
Floor plan

In our new house there is an 20 m2 basement, it consists of two rooms — both 10 m2. The inner room will be my new home office/server room, with my electronics lab and homelab.

All walls are concrete, there is only one outer wall as the house extends beyond the side walls. The two basement rooms are also separated by a concrete wall. The outer wall is 40 cm thick, the inner wall is 20 cm. I haven't decided if I need a door between the rooms or not.

The room is 3.1×3.2 meters, witch a ceiling height of 2 meters. The floor has tiles, and there is a water heater in one corner.


Heat pump Done
Paint ceiling and walls white Done
Exhaust ventilation and fume extraction In progress
Fiber run and installation Done
Server rack Done
Dedicated electrical circuit Done
Electrical outlets on desk In progress
Good lighting In progress
Shelves and storage Done
New corner desk Done
Replace water heater Done
Computer workstation Done
Electronics lab In progress
Network patch panel In progress

Ceiling and walls

All the walls are concrete, and quite rough. I like the look, and the fact that I can easily fasten heavy loads using concrete plugs. I'm keeping the walls are they are, but painting them white.

The ceiling is old wood paneling, with some pretty big gaps between the panels. To make it look a bit nicer, and to prevent dust and debris from falling though, I will be filling this gap with caulk. Finally I will paint it white to make the room brighter. I thought about installing ceiling boards of some kind, but I like the idea of keeping the old wood paneling.


Heat pump

To deal with the heat of the homelab, and possible the cold — should that ever happen, I'm putting in a heat pump (split system). I'm getting a model that is capable of cooling with an outside temperature down to -15°C.

Since the wall is 40 cm solid concrete — core drilling was required to get the coolant pipes through to the outside unit.

Ventilation and fume extraction

Plans for the ventilation and fume extraction

To get rid of the solder fumes I'm putting in a small fume extraction system that will went outside, luckily there is already a 11.5×11.5 14×14 cm vent that will fit the exhaust duct.

Update: Luckily it was just on the inside that the vent was 11.5cm, I was able to expand it to 14cm by chiselling out some concrete.

I will be using the 125mm duct parts that I have from the previous home office, but I will need a reducer to go from 125mm to 100mm to be able to fit the duct through the vent opening in the outer wall I only need to buy the outside vent cover.

In addition to the fume extraction arm — I will be putting in a ceiling intake with a valve. This will allow me to vent the room, should I need to, this will purely be to get rid of fumes and gasses as I will be using the heat-pump for cooling.

Air quality and climate

Netatmo Home Coach app

To monitor the air quality and climate in the home office; I've purchased a Netatmo air quality sensor — it seemed to be the cheapest, and easiest, way of monitoring temperature, humidity and CO2. It sends me a notification if the values go above or below the "safe" zone.

I wanted a CO2 sensor, in addition to temperature and humidity, because I will be using the heat-pump to control the temperature. But the heat-pump does not replace the air, it just cools or heats it. But with a CO2 sensor I get to know when the air is bad and I should run the ventilation fan.

So far the room is cold and a bit humid, but I imagine this will change when I move the homelab server rack and start booting up servers :)


Main article: Home network


No home office, or server room, is complete without a fast internet connection — and I am getting fiber installed. As luck would have it the ISP is currently installing fiber on my street, so I should be getting it soon. And I get to choose where they install it :)

The fiber is delayed, so I've ordered a 4G modem to keep me going until it gets installed.


I'm starting off by replacing everything inside the house distribution board — installing surge protection and breakers with RCD protection and indicators. These breakers have LEDs indicating the amount of residual current, if any. Then I'm bringing down two 16A circuits. I'm planning on placing the sockets in the ceiling, and mounting power distributors under the desk.


I'm planning to run LED strips in the ceiling alongside the walls, to "wash" them with light. I think that will make the room look spacier. And some coloured Hue lights, to set the mood.


I've had an undersized desk for years now, so it's time to get something bigger. I'm getting a corner desk with 1 meter extensions on both sides and adjustable legs. This should leave me with enough room to get a much more comfortable electronics lab area. I'm thinking my lab instruments will be placed on a wall mounted shelf above the desk, freeing up desk space.

Electronics lab


The starting point

This is what I have to work with.

Moving in