Even if your basement currently looks like a dark and dank storage facility for seasonal decorations and discarded household items, rest assured the lowest level of your home probably has a ton of potential! A finished basement is a beautiful way to add living space and makes a great addition to any home.
How to Remodel a Basement
A basement remodel can be tricky. The challenge of creating an inviting, attractive space often stems from the fact that many of your home’s systems, like plumbing and electrical, are exposed there. The floor plan may be chopped up into smaller areas that house hot water heaters and storage facilities. It takes careful planning and creative design to tastefully conceal these potential eyesores.
Frequently referred to as a bonus room, a remodeled basement often quickly becomes one of the most popular spots in the house. Here’s how to turn an underutilized area into a place the entire family will enjoy for years.
There are several practical considerations in designing a basement layout:
- How will you use the space? Do you want an open concept? Maybe you want to remodel your basement to have separate areas for a media room, workout area, and powder and/or laundry room? Or are you looking to add an extra bedroom or in-law suite?
- Is there ductwork or ceiling pipes that need covering up? You may want to add a drop ceiling.
- Do you want to build separate areas to house the furnace, hot water heater, and breaker box? Local codes often have specific requirements for spacing and framing.
First, some basic tips. If there will be a space for socializing, position it in an area that gets the best natural light. Bedrooms require a second egress and should be positioned along the perimeter. If you’re designing a media room, choose a darker spot for the screen so to reduce glare. When adding a kitchen area, make sure people can access it without crossing in front of a TV, etc.
Before You Start a Basement Remodel
Prior to any design planning or construction work, it’s necessary to check for water issues or damage. The interior floor and walls should be inspected, as should the downspouts and gutters. Obvious signs to look for are pools of water or drips coming through the walls. Is the ground outside graded away from the home’s foundation? Finally, look for cracks in the foundation. They’ll need to be repaired before work begins.
Because it is adjacent to the ground, even in dry weather basement flooring can leak residual moisture in the form of vapor. If you’re worried about basement moisture, consider installing flooring that offers the best protection. The harder, the better when it comes to basement flooring. For example, choose tile and concrete over carpet. Ceramic tile can be a great choice as it easily dries out in the event of flooding. But laminate and wood can also work. A floor drain is another terrific idea.
Good lighting design is crucial to making the basement a place where people want to gather. When remodeling your basement, natural, direct, and indirect lighting sources can be combined to give the room a warm and inviting feel. Windows, recessed lights, LEDs, and CFLs work perfectly together and accommodate different uses and moods.
Track lights are ideal for ambient lighting, and overhead recessed lights give the room a clean, modern look. Don’t overlook task lighting, as it helps prevent eye strain. Pendant lights and floor and table lamps are efficient ways to create task lighting. They’re also easy to reposition if you change things around. Use accent lights to create drama, showcase collections, and create visual appeal.
This is a Basement?
There are two design elements you can include that will make your basement look like it belongs upstairs.
- A dropped ceiling that continues to the walls for a natural transition not only conceals pipes and ducts, it avoids the “we’re hiding something” look of soffits and chases.
- Moisture-resistant drywall gives a finished appearance similar to the upstairs. It’s simple to place access panels over junction boxes, shut-offs, or meters.
Creating a living space in your home’s basement opens up a world of possibilities! You’re only limited by your imagination.
Want to learn more about how to remodel your basement into an indispensable additional living area, or need to talk about remodeling other rooms in your home? Schedule a conversation with us today to talk about all your family’s remodeling needs and desires. We look forward to working with you!