Are you looking to gain added space in your home but don’t have the budget or the space for an addition? The answer to your problem might be right under your feet. A basement renovation to increase a home’s square footage is not only a solution to expanding a home’s usable space but is often considered a good investment with returns as much as 75 cents on the dollar at the time of sale.
Many homeowners believe that a finished basement will always have that basement feeling, cold, damp and musty smelling. The truth is that a basement renovation done properly can look and feel as bright and open as any other living area in the home. Plus a basement remodelling project has a definite advantage over adding a ground level addition since the walls, floor and ceiling are already in place
Fixing Basement Structural Problems
Probably the first and foremost concerns when considering a basement remodel are structural problems. You don’t want to try hiding structural issues behind wallboard or under carpeting because they will come back to haunt you. These can range from uneven walls or floors to poor drainage around the foundation. Before starting any basement remodelling project, it’s a good idea to call in a professional basement renovation contractor. He can pinpoint the problems and tell you what you need to do to correct them.
The basement is usually the dampest area in the home and the moisture and humidity create conditions for poor air quality as well as mold and mildew problems. The solution could be as simple as adding adequate ventilation but again, this is where proper drainage around the foundation is so important. It may be just a matter of moving the gutter downspouts further from the fountain or as extensive as placing a moisture barrier between the foundation wall and the ground. Talk with your basement contractor to find the best solutions for your particular problems.
Proper Insulation and Heating to Keep those Basement Spaces Cozy
Unless you have a raised ranch or similar home where a large portion of the basement is above ground, most basements will be below ground level. As a result you are not only dealing with possible moisture issues but cooler temperatures as well. This may be great for those hot summers but if you live in a climate with cold winters, you’ll need to make sure the basement is properly insulated. A well insulated basement not only helps to maintain the temperature but also acts as a barrier between the foundation wall and the living space to prevent condensation, which in turn can lead to mold and mildew.
Is your current heating system going to be adequate for the added square footage? Remember that a basement remodel is a major investment and the last thing you want is a beautiful basement where no wants to spend any time because it’s too cold! Talk with your contractor ahead of your planned project to find out if you’ll need to upgrade your heating system to handle the additional heating load.
Heated flooring is often a great idea for your keeping basement comfortable. Here’s a link that explains the process of installing radiant heated flooring in great detail.
Adding Your Basement Floors and Ceilings
What’s under foot and overhead in a finished basement can have a lot to do with how you and your family and friends feel about your new living space. A ceiling that is too low is going to leave any space feeling close and unwelcoming. Of course you’ll be limited by the actual height of the basement as far as what you can do. If you have enough height, a suspended ceiling is a good option since it covers all the plumbing and the heating and cooling duct work as well as providing easy access should you need to make any repairs. Other ceiling options include interlocking ceiling tiles and standard drywall board type applications.
When it comes to flooring, you have a number of options. Solid surfaces such a natural or man-made stone, ceramic, hardwood and even vinyl are all popular choices. Using area rugs and runners can help soften the look of these hard surfaces and add a feeling of warmth as well. Carpeting is also a favourite when it comes to flooring but when used in a basement carpet can retain moisture which also may also lead to mold and mildew problems. The basement is one area where you might want avoid carpeting, at least when it comes to wall to wall installation.
Adding Light to Your Basement Renovation Project
Unless your basement is partially above ground, it will most likely lack natural lighting. It may be possible to add larger windows but in most cases additional lighting fixtures may be the best solution and there are number of lighting options. These include recessed and flush mount ceiling fixtures that won’t take up valuable overhead space, adjustable track lighting and task lighting.
Track lighting can be directed to provide light to specific areas and can usually be upgraded with additional lights as needed. They can also be hidden behind cornices. Task lighting in the form of table lamps, free-standing pole lamps and desk lamps is important to any finished basement, focusing light on specific areas for reading, hobbies and other close work. You will most likely find that a variety of lighting will be needed for most basement remodels.
A basement renovation project can give you the opportunity to add that dream room you’ve always wanted, whether it’s a family room, a home theatre, a spacious guest room with bath or a wine cellar. With all that additional space and if the budget allows you could possibly add them all!