One of the easiest ways to "add a new room or rooms" to your home is by basement remodeling. Most basements are dark areas where we store seasonal decorations, old toys, sporting equipment and anything else not used on a regular basis. We rarely go down to the basement, and much of the stuff in the piles gets thrown out or given away when we move.
But, perhaps it is time you reconsider how you use your basement. Remodeling the basement is a cost-effective way to greatly expand your home's living space. Suddenly you could have a guest room, a children's play room, a home office, a recreation room; the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Below are eight easy steps to reclaim your basement.
1. Solve Basement Water Problems First
Even if your basement rarely has problems with dampness or flooding, it's best to solve the problem completely before beginning any remodeling work.
Permanent solutions can take time to implement. A good place to start is to talk to an independent home inspector who specializes in waterproofing problems.
2. Decide on the Best Use of Your Basement
Consider using the space for activities for which typical basement characteristics offer natural advantages.
The lack of light is useful when setting up a home theater or a dark room. The isolation helps create a sound break for a play area, a teenager's hangout or a place to practice a musical instrument.
3. Get Help with Your Basement Design
While your basement may not be much to look at now, you'll want to end up with quality living space when the project is complete. An architect or interior designer can help you get the most out of the space. A little forethought and careful planning now can help you create a space that is attractive, comfortable and useful.
4. Pay Attention to Air Circulation
When your home was first built, the odds are that there were few if any registers or vents installed in the basement. When you remodel your basement, you need to think about the need for good air circulation, adding openings where necessary.
To be on the safe side, install a carbon monoxide detector in your basement so that you'll have an early warning of any problems with the venting of the furnace or any other major appliances.
5. Maximize Your Basement's Natural Light
For many reasons, you'll probably want to add more light in your basement.
Another advantage of enlarged windows is that they provide alternative escape routes in case of fire.
One concern that some people have about basement windows is that they provide thieves with ideal access to the home. One way to mitigate that risk is to install glass bricks (rather than conventional windows) at high-risk locations.
Maximize the effect of regular windows by mounting some windows in the interior walls between rooms that open pathways for natural light to reach interior rooms.