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Most basements are dark, gloomy, and simply serve as a storage area for old toys, clothes, seasonal items, and anything else that is not used on a regular basis. Most of us rarely go down into the basement unless it is to unload more clutter that we don't want or need.
But, why not turn this gloomy storage room into something functional and useful? Remodeling your basement is a cost-effective way to significantly increase your home's living space. Suddenly you could have a nice, cozy guest room, a playroom for your children, a home office, a game room; the possibilities are endless!
Below are five simple steps to a brand new basement.
1. Repair any Basement Water Problems First
Even if your basement hardly ever has issues with flooding or dampness, it's best to take care of the problem completely before beginning any remodeling efforts.
Permanent solutions can take time to put into operation. A smart place to begin is to get in touch with a home inspector who specializes in waterproofing problems.
2. Decide What You Want to Use Your Basement For
This is where you can turn lemons into lemonade. Your Basement has poor lighting? Consider setting up a dark room or a home theater. Is your basement lonely and isolated? The isolation helps provide a nice sound cushion for noisy activities such as a teenager hangout, a game room, or a place for your kids to practice their musical instruments to their hearts content. Use your imagination and come up with something that will benefit your family's lifestyle.
3. Consider Professional Advice with Your Basement Design
Even though your basement might not be much to look at now, you'll want to end up with quality living space when the project is finished. An interior designer or architect can help you get the most out of the space. A little forethought and careful planning now can help you design a space that is attractive, comfortable and practical.
4. Consider the Air Circulation
Something important to consider is the air circulation of your basement. When your home was originally built, chances are that there were very few if any registers or vents installed in the basement. When you remodel your basement, you need to think about the need for good air circulation, adding openings where necessary.
To be on the safe side, install a carbon monoxide detector in your basement so that you'll have an early warning of any problems with the venting of the furnace or any other major appliances.
5. Make the Most of Your Basement's Natural Light
Depending on what you are using your basement for, you may wish to add more natural lighting. This can be done by enlarging your basement's windows. Another benefit of larger windows is that they provide additional escape routes in case of fire.
Some may be concerned that by having basement windows that is providing easier access into the home by thieves. One way to lessen that risk is to install glass bricks instead of conventional windows at any location that is high-risk.
Take full advantage of the effect of regular windows by mounting some windows in the interior walls between rooms that open pathways for natural light to reach interior rooms.
Are You Thinking of Basement Remodelling?
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!