Basement Remodeling Tips & Ideas

Bleak, dull basements are a thing of the past. Basements deliver a bonus to homeowners seeking to increase their living space or their income. A basement remodel can be transformed into the bedroom your teenager is asking for, a room for your college grad looking to come back home, or a living space to be rented out for extra income. Regardless of your reason, the space solution is situated right under your feet.

While some basements have been constructed to create more living area, the majority of these spaces are used for temporary laundry rooms and storage repositories for everything from freezers to boxes of papers and files. In other words, most basements are underused. While basements get a bad rap at times, when they are remodeled, they actually can serve a number of purposes, including:

  • Man Cave
  • Wine Cellar
  • Wet Bar
  • Entertainment Center/Media Room
  • Playroom
  • Gym

Basement remodeling is one of the most economical ways to get the extra room you need without spending time and money searching for a new home. In order for your basement remodel to go smoothly, there are a few details to think about beforehand.

Your Basement Remodeling Project

Unlike the rest of your house, basement remodeling takes careful planning and prep work. Below-grade home construction is subject to moisture and water, two adversaries of home renovations. Furthermore, mold and mildew are common in basements, as well as the challenge posed by overhead pipes and ductwork.

Consider Whether Waterproofing is Needed

Before starting your basement remodeling project, you might want to seriously consider waterproofing. If water occasionally wells up between the slab and the foundation, you will need to call a home remodeling contractor for advice. It could be that your gutters or downspouts need replacing, or it could be something more serious.

Add to the Limited Lighting

Unless you have an open basement, where one or more walls are above-grade and have the capacity for wide windows and glazed doors, natural lighting will be limited with in the basement due to the small windows. However, since most basements possess drop ceilings, you can install additional lighting with troffer light fixtures. Additionally, you might want to consider installing other types of lighting, such as sconces, spotlights, or cove lighting.

Codes and Basement Remodels

With basement remodel, there are a number of codes that you must follow to ensure the safety of the occupants. The requirements usually include the use of smoke and CO detectors, outside combustion air for the furnace or boiler, and basement egress window. When you pick a home improvement contractor, make sure you select one that possess many years of experience with basement remodeling projects and who is knowledgeable regarding applicable codes.

Do not hire a contractor that tells you that you can covert a basement without obtaining permits. While you want to add beauty and functionality to your home by remodeling your lower level, you also must make sure that it is a safe space that you will be able to enjoy for many years to come.

If you need extra space in your home, consider remodeling your basement. It just might be a cost-effective solution to your needs.

Brian Miller is the owner of Miller's Residential Creations, a custom home builder and remodeling company servicing Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties of West Virginia since 2004.
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