A basement can add a lot of value to a home, it’s like having a whole additional story that’s just located underground! It’s also a great way to add some much needed space to a home that’s not quite as large as you’d like. The first step in finishing or remodeling a basement is of course to decide what you’d like to use all the extra space for!
Basements make great spaces for family or game rooms. If you’ve always wanted a pool table but never had the room, the basement is the perfect place to have one. And, if you’re basement is large enough, you could have a large family room plus a guest room. There’s just so many options when you’ve got a whole additional floor in your home.
Basements are naturally sound resistant, so it’s a great place for a home theater. And, other things like musical instruments won’t bother the neighbors as much underground. One good advantage in turning your basement into a very much used section of the home is that there is already everything you need, pipes and electrical wires are usually easy to access from the basement.
After you’ve decided exactly what you want to use the basement for, the next step is to check for any water problems and fix them. A basement that never gets used might have leakage problems without you even knowing it. If you’re only in the basement occasionally, the water could have time to dry up and you won’t be aware of a problem.
Fixing water and moisture problems before adding insulation and walls is much easier and less expensive than finding out there’s a leak after you’ve done all the work. Even if you’re going to do all the work on the basement yourself, leaks are one area that it will be worth calling in a professional.
Before you start any of the remodeling, get a plan. Take exact measurements of the basement and draw it out on paper. Mark the water and electrical sources so that you can plan where to put outlets, light fixtures or an extra bathroom. Drawing out a rough blue print can help a lot when you start making separations or adding extra walls.
Another really important consideration when finishing a basement is the air circulation. Most basements have little if any vents, good air circulation is essential to help prevent the chances of molds and mildew growing. You’ll also need to decide on the type of heating and cooling you’ll want to use. Duct work can be used to connect into the existing heat and air units that service the rest of the home.
Installing insulation is critical step in not only keeping the basement comfortable, but it can also keep it dry. Since the ground stays cool, warm air will create condensation on the walls. Insulation will block warm air from hitting the walls and creating moisture. It’s another way to reduce the chance of mold and mildew, but it can also keep the walls from eventually rotting.
If you have a basement that is partially above ground, make use of the space by adding larger windows. But, if you don’t have the advantage of natural light, make the best out of artificial lighting. Since basement ceilings are generally lower than regular ceilings, add some indirect sources of light that shine on the ceiling to make them appear higher.
Mirrors can also magnify the lighting that you do have. Light reflecting off of mirrors can really increase the light of any room. Recessed lighting fixtures are also good additions to a basement. Just remember that lighting is very important, unlike traditional rooms that have windows, a basement can still appear dark with just a few lighting sources.