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Basement Remodeling - Design and Layout Basics
After you have renovated every other room in your house and everything looks shiny and new, it is time to give some consideration to basement remodeling. This can become one of the most important rooms in your home not to mention the added value it can give you when it's time to sell. Most people use the basement for a dumping ground for everything anybody in the home is not using at the time or just an extra room for laundry, but it can become a show place for anyone that wants to put a little effort into doing the renovations.
Remodeling takes some thought into what you want so it takes careful planning. There are several different factors to consider such as waterproofing. Most basements hold all the pipes for the house and therefore it makes it an easy target for mold and mildew. Any leaks must be taken care of before you start your project. Then there is lighting. Basements usually don't have a lot of natural light so you want to make the most of your artificial lights by giving thought to what kind of lamps and lighting you want to put there. You also need to check your walls, floors and ceilings and consider what kind of material you want to use when you're finishing them. Most basements have low ceilings and this must be kept in mind when redoing the ceiling.
When you have given thought to all of these factors then it is time to start your renovation. First try to visualize how you want your finished basement to look. To do this all you have to do is consider the needs of your family and their activities. This will give you ideas of exactly what you need. When you first start this project you may think it's a lot of work, but once you get going on it and see how great this basement can turn into very useable rooms then it will get a lot easier.
You are finally to the point in the remodel most people are waiting for. The framing, plumbing, and wiring have all been completed and now you have a few design choices remaining. This is a critical period in your new basement remodel that will make or break the room. Lets take a walk through some of your choices.
Let us begin with the flooring, depending on your choice you may need to have it installed before your cabinets or plumbing fixtures. There are many,many choices of flooring available for your home today. Popular options include the ever durable carpet, tile of many varieties, free floating laminates, and hardwood flooring. Hardwood is available in many variations and tends to be costly in initial installation. This is only recommended in basements with a proper subfloor and a guarantee of no future moisture problems. Any moisture underneath your hard wood flooring will cause buckling and discoloration that will prove to be very costly to repair. Hardwood flooring also needs to be installed before anything else in the area. Cabinets and fixtures will need to be placed on top of this flooring. If properly cared for and installed hardwood flooring will have a lasting impact in your room and hold its value quite well.
Laminate hardwoods or tile look a like flooring is another very popular option nowadays. These floors are free floating and easily installed by homeowners. They are less susceptible to moisture damage although they still may warp if heavily saturated. They have the benefit of being able to be installed in a existing area over many surfaces and also easily removed in the future for any new flooring. As a relatively new flooring its not seen how well they will hold there value over time but new products look more and more like the real thing.
Tile is a great option in terms of durability and ease of cleaning. The installation can be complex and requires special tooling and as such this is best left to a professional installer. Costs vary widely with tile depending on types of materials used and patterns you may want laid out in the installation. One thing to be wary of with tile in a basement remodel is it will always be a very cold floor without some type of in floor heating system.
The last flooring option we will discuss is good old fashioned carpeting. Carpet is available in hundreds if not thousands of varieties and is readily available. Installation costs are cheap per square foot and installation usually can be done in a day or two. This is also a great option if you are worried about the warmth of your floor as it provides a great heat barrier. Carpeting is also easily repaired or replaced in the future at a low cost.
The last thing I would like to mention in your remodel is the placement of your cabinetry and plumbing fixtures. If you have laid down a subfloor in your basement you can install these before almost every flooring option we have discussed. As mentioned earlier if you have decided to go with hardwood it is best to wait until it is installed before placing your cabinets. Another area to be careful in is the bathroom fixture installations. Many plumbers and flooring installers will recommend having your flooring installed in here before placing anything in the bathroom. Im sure you have seem a unsightly remodel where the toilet has been tiled up to and permanently encased in the floor. This is not only unappealing but also costly to repair if the toilet ever needs to be replaced or repaired.
That does it for my articles on basement remodeling. I hope you enjoy your new space for many years to come!