How to Remodel a Basement
Frame your basement walls, lay down a moisture-resistant floor, and you have a whole new room
By Larry Ray Palmer
Basements are traditionally an unused portion of the home. If your basement stays dry, there is no reason why your family cannot make use of this extra living space. Simple remodeling techniques can turn a dreary basement into a warm and inviting area of your home. Remodeling your basement can be a very effective way of adding value to your home without encountering a great deal of expense.
- What You Need to Know
- A basement remodeling project may involve some significant rerouting of HVAC ducts, electrical conduit and plumbing pipes. A good starting point for your remodel job is a consultation with your plumber, electrician or heating/cooling technician.
- The biggest enemy of a basement remodel is moisture. If your basement has not been waterproofed, take this opportunity to get the job done. Brush-on waterproofing goes right on the masonry and is very effective. Upgrade your sump pump as well.
Add some character to your walls. Seriously, no one wants to spend time in a room that looks like a prison cell. Cold, hard concrete walls are neither inviting nor comforting. Fix the problem by adding a moisture barrier and framing to the existing concrete walls. Add a layer of drywall and you can almost feel a difference in the mood your basement evokes. Make the whole arrangement more energy efficient by including insulating foam board between the concrete and your new walls.
Break up the room a little. Basements are often huge cavernous rooms. Unless you intend to have an indoor soccer game, this wide-open space can be a little overwhelming. Converting this one large area into several smaller rooms can create a more pleasant aesthetic appearance and provide your family with some extra room. Consider adding a spare guest room, a playroom for your kids or a family room. If your basement has an outside door, the addition of a mud room can be a great way to keep the mess of the outside world from finding its way into the rest of your home.
Hire a plumber. If your basement is situated in a way that you could install a bathroom and a small wet bar or kitchenette, these little extras will increase the value of your home and add another level of comfort to your basement living space. By adding bathroom and kitchen facilities during your basement remodeling project, you will create a comforting environment for your family to seek shelter in situations where Mother Nature turns violent.
Plan for power. If you are remodeling your basement to allow extended living space, add electrical connections to power your family's lifestyle. Installing extra outlets and lights will provide your family with a more comfortable experience when they visit your newly remodeled basement. Hiring a certified electrician to install extra light fixtures, outlets or even a circuit breaker panel will insure that there are no issues with electrical codes and safety.
Experiment a little. Everyone has his own sense of style and taste. You may have furnishing ideas you would like to try but have always questioned their appropriateness for rooms in the main part of your home. Your remodeled basement can be a place to experiment with these ideas. Go ahead and throw a few beanbag chairs and an inflatable couch in the basement family room. Re-create the place "where everybody knows your name" and find a buddy named Norm to sit at your wet bar and complain about his wife. Build a room devoted to your model cars and trains. Build a home recording studio. Your basement is your playground. Have fun with it.
About the Author
Larry Ray Palmer is a contributor to DexKnows.com.
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Turning the basement into something other than a storage area maximizes the square footage of a home. The first task is to assess and correct any moisture problems of the existing floor, such as by sealing or installing a subfloor. Next, determine the type of floor that is suitable to the needs of the new room.... Read More