When remodeling a basement, it’s quite different than remodeling just about any other room in the house. A basement is basically an open space—undefined by conventional plans. It’s a fresh canvas ready for you to make it what you will.
So, what can you do with a basement remodel that will increase the value and appreciation of your home?
A basement opens up the door for a gathering space. It’s an open, unused space which with some quick alterations can become a family or rec room. Hang a big screen tv, add a pool table, or a craft table. Finish the room to carry the same appeal of the upstairs and make sure to add sufficient lighting so the room isn’t dark or dingy, but rather, inviting.
Before committing to this plan, however, always verify codes with the governing city municipality. Many cities require an egress window be installed in basements converted into living spaces. These are required to be able to be utilized as an emergency escape route in the case of a fire or other disaster and often need to be large enough for a person to crawl through should the need arise.
Haven’t you always wanted a wet bar or mini-kitchen to help with entertaining co-workers or friends and family? Utilizing the basement space to add a room specifically for entertaining will not only increase the functionality of your home, but the appeal. Adding a kitchen requires a few extra tweaks to the space, however. Remodeling the basement to include a new kitchen area means having to install access to hot and cold water, electrical outlets for a full-sized or mini-refrigerator, a microwave oven, small countertop appliances. If you’re looking to add a small dishwasher or dishwasher drawer, there are even more requirements to look into.
Despite being at the very bottom of the house, adding windows will increase the welcoming ambiance of the space. In addition to adding natural light, windows increase the available ventilation in the room, reducing the risk of any mold or mildew.
You can never go wrong with adding storage when remodeling a basement. Built-in storage is in high demand, whether you are looking to rent, sell, or just looking to increase the functionality of your own home. Attractive, chic storage will help hide the unsightly all-room storage that tends to accumulate in a basement while increasing the visual appeal of the room.
Regardless of what type of room you decide to remodel the basement space into, adding “finishing touches” will go a long way in the appeal of the area. Finish the ceiling by hiding joists, pipes, and ductwork with drywall or simply add paneling for a quick fix solution to the unsightly ceiling appearance. Finish the walls with a proper drywall finishes instead of leaving the bare foundation walls and select high quality, comfortable flooring to give a change to the basic, cement flooring that was originally in place. Keep in mind that in spaces such as basements, wooden flooring is generally not recommended as the material shrinks and expands in temperature changes. Most importantly, don’t forget good lighting. When trying to remodel a basement into a livable, useable space, brightening the room with additional lighting is vital.
Basements are a remodeler’s paradise. They’re a clean slate, an empty board. They’re ready to be molded, shaped, and finagled into whatever your imagination can create. The sky’s the limit when it comes to remodeling a basement—just make sure to verify with your local municipality that your remodel design doesn’t include any forgotten permits or requirements or you could find yourself standing in hot water.