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Basement Remodeling - Design and Layout Basics
We have finally arrived at the planning stage of remodeling your basement. By now you have should have a basic idea on how much room you will have to work with and a general idea of what you wish to accomplish with your space. You also should have solved any water,mold,and radon issues before going any farther. Now lets talk about where you can go from here.
There are many options for your basement space from a new media room to a rental apartment. This will all depend on your desires and the funds you have to work with. For the purposes of our article we will go with a apartment style layout to cover all installations from the kitchen to the bathroom.
Hopefully your water heater,electrical panel, and furnace are all located closely enough to be separated into one separate room. If so then you are one lucky homeowner. For the rest of us with major separations between all of our "utilities" we need to plan for access and ways to hide them from the start. Generally speaking most people will design a layout that allows them to put each of these in a closet in their addition. Make sure when laying out your closet you have enough room to get to anything you may need to access at any point down the line.
If you find you do not have the space or desire to go with multiple closets the next option is moving your water heater. You can move any of the above mentioned utilities but the water heater will be the least costly in the majority of cases. You may find that in the case of a natural gas water heater you will not be able to move it where you would like due to venting issues. Have a certified plumber come in and assess the area and feasibility before designing or moving on with your remodel.
Next you will need to design the layout of your bathrooms and kitchen. Do not forget to take the extra height of your future subfloor into account. This can add two to four inches in height and severely complicate installations later if not planned for. Also to be remembered is the ceiling height from the lowest hanging object in the room. Once you have factored these in layout your cabinets and plumbing designs.
Now that you have these laid out bring in a plumber to help with the design of your system. In a basement problems with wastewater disposal may arise if your existing sewer system is higher then your basement floor level. If this is the case you will need the plumbers expertise in designing a new system or retrofitting a pump to your basement addition plumbing
That is all for layout and design in this part of my series. Next up we will continue on with electrical layout and lighting choices.
Basement Remodeling - Creating a Basement You'll Love
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!