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When it comes to basement renovations, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to your number of options. Merely conducting a search online for the phrase "basement renovations" will produce a myriad of different basement renovations to give you an idea of what others have done with their basements and to give you an idea of what is truly possible with a basement renovation. The great thing about renovating a basement is that it has the potential to not just add living space to your home but it could potentially transform your basement into the most popular room in your house!
Most households utilize their basements for functional purposes such as storage rooms or laundry rooms but more and more households are discovering that renovating their basement can add value and comfort to their home as well. Unfortunately renovating a basement is significantly different from remodeling any other room in your house. Like any other renovation project you take on, it's imperative that you have a plan, create a budget and stick to it and have a clear idea on what you want your basement to look like when it's done.
Before entertaining the idea of renovating your basement, you'll have to take a look at a few different things to ensure your basement is livable and safe. It's important to remember that most basements were not designed to be living spaces so you'll have to take a few precautions prior to beginning any work.
Moisture can be a potentially big problem in a basement since most basements are typically underground. Moisture can become a problem in your basement if too much of it is allowed to get under your home's foundation. Some common things that can lead to a moisture problem in your basement are a lack of rain gutters (without rain gutters all rain water will fall around the base of your home), improper grading of the ground around the base of your home (the grading should lead the water away from your home) and faulty basement plumbing. Whatever the reason, moisture can lead to some serious health problems if it is not addressed.
If you think you may have excessive moisture in your basement, there's a simple and easy test virtually any homeowner should be able to conduct. To check for moisture in your basement, you'll need a trash bag and some industrial tape. Basically what you want to do is lay the trash bag down flat on the floor and create a seal around all of the edges by applying tape around the edges of the trash bag. What this will do is trap the moisture underneath the bag and you'll be able to see it after you remove it if you do, indeed, have moisture in your basement. You will want to leave the sealed bag on the floor for a couple of days. If you have moisture in your basement, you'll notice condensation underneath the trash bag when you pick it up off the basement floor. If you have a moisture problem in your basement, you'll definitely want to take care of it prior to proceeding with a renovation as moisture can lead to mildew and possibly mold which can lead to some serious health complications.
To further control a minor moisture problem in your basement we offer the following tips:
While moisture poses the most significant challenge to remodeling a basement, there are also other less dangerous but still problematic structural challenges you'll have to overcome when renovating a basement. Below are some of the more obvious ones.
Another common problem you'll find in most basements is a lack of lighting which is to be expected since most basements are underground. Lighting is definitely something you'll want to take into consideration if you're planning a basement renovation. Not only is lighting scarce in most basements but it can also be pretty expensive to add additional lighting to the basement particularly if you're trying to add natural light!
A lot of homeowners circumvent the lighting problem by creating a room in the basement that actually takes advantage of the dark atmosphere that is typical for basements. A home theater, home gym and home office are all rooms that could greatly benefit from the peace and quiet that a basement will provide. And you'll have trouble finding a better location for a home theater in your home other than your basement. But what do you do if you still need an adequate amount of lighting in your basement for your planned basement renovation?
To compensate for the lack of lighting in the basement, you should consider multiple sources of lighting around the basement. Recessed lighting and fluorescent lights can do wonders for brightening up a room especially if you spread them out around the basement. Another thing you can do to brighten up your basement is use soft colors to paint the walls. Softer and warmer colors can be used along with additional lighting to give the illusion of a much brighter and warmer space.
If you have the budget for it, introducing more natural light into your basement is always a great idea. One great way to accomplish this is by building window wells at the ground level to allow natural light into the basement. Another great option for some homeowners who have a light and bright room leading to the basement is changing out the old door that leads to the basement and replacing it with a French door. A French door is a door with a transparent and decorative panel built into it and that transparency will allow more natural light to enter into your basement all at a pretty low cost.
Another problem you'll have to deal with when renovating your basement is the fact that there is no ceiling. Furthermore since basements aren't designed to be living spaces, the typical basement has exposed pipes and ducts where the ceiling should be and a lower ceiling height when compared to other rooms in the house. Below are a couple of options for dealing with the ceiling problem in your basement.
A suspended tile ceiling is usually the best option for a basement since you'll still occasionally need access to the ducts and pipes hanging from your basement ceiling. Not only are suspended tile ceiling perfect for basements but they're also surprisingly cost-effective. The other option is of course a drywall ceiling. The obvious drawback with a drywall ceiling is that you'll have poor to no access to all of the important mechanical ducts and pipes on your basement ceiling. Still, a lot of homeowners prefer it because they prefer it aesthetically and because a drywall ceiling also doesn't lower your ceiling as much as a suspended tile ceiling.
Basement renovations are becoming more and more popular with every passing day. With more and more families and households looking to spend more time at home, renovating a basement to create a space that everyone can enjoy makes perfect sense!
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