In most homes, the basement seems to function as one of three things: (1) an untapped resource filled with storage boxes and messes, (2) a utilitarian space used for laundry or exercise equipment, or (3) a beloved downstairs nook. If your basement most closely resembles #1, we urge you to consider finishing your basement and transforming it into a space that you can use and enjoy. Plus, a finished basement will add value to your home! Before you jump into your renovation plans, take some time to think about all of the space’s functions, needs, and details. Check out the basement remodeling tips we’ve compiled below for help.
Basement Remodeling Tips
1. Inspect the space carefully. Is the foundation in good condition? Is there excess moisture? Insect damage? Mold, mildew, or rot? Inspect both the interior and exterior for moisture problems. Your basement needs to be in tip-top shape before you begin so that preexisting problems won’t ruin your remodeling project.
2. Check out applicable building codes beforehand. If you don’t work in architecture or construction, you might not be aware of some of the rules and regulations that apply to home remodeling. For example, if you want to add a bedroom to your basement, it must have a window for egress. Also, many codes call for 7 to 7 1/2 feet of clearance. Your contractor can help you avoid amateur building mistakes regarding building codes and permits.
3. Make good use of natural light. As they’re located beneath the earth, it should come as no surprise that basements tend to lack natural light. Windows are typically high and narrow, if they’re present at all. So as you’re planning the space, be sure to make good use of the areas surrounding windows. You could use that well-lit space for a bedroom, a socializing area, or a desk. You might also want to consider adding extra windows or lighting fixtures for added light and beauty. Recessed lighting works well because most basements have low ceilings.
4. Be flexible. It might be tempting to turn your basement into a specialized room like a gym or a theatre, but the smartest solution financially will be to focus on flexibility. If you keep the architecture and major design details (flooring, storage) simple and versatile, you’ll be able to change the room as you age and your preferences shift. Plus, the basement’s flexibility will appeal to future homebuyers. One man’s recreation room is another man’s home office!
5. Focus on enlarging and warming up the space. Basements are often dismissed as cold, uninviting, and cave-like, so if you want your basement to transform into a welcoming and comfortable space, focus on three things: space, light, and warmth. Space and light work together, as brighter spaces feel larger than shadowy, dark ones. If possible, you might want to consider a higher ceiling or an open stairwell to visually enlarge the space. Finally, consider splurging on high-quality and comfortable flooring and furniture, which will make the space feel more cozy and welcoming.
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Finishing your basement is a huge task, but I hope that these basement remodeling tips give you some good ideas as you move forward with the project. Good luck!
If you’re remodeling your house or building a new home and you live in the southwest Missouri area, please give Adam Cowherd Construction a call at 417-877-7548 or click here for a free quote. We would love to help you build the home of your dreams!