Basement Remodeling

by J on September 23, 2009

If you’re looking to increase the living space in your home, the answer may be closer than you think—in your unfinished basement. Perhaps it’s hard to imagine that dreary, dark space as being your family’s next hangout, but let the basement remodeling experts work their magic, and that space could soon be your new favorite spot.

Maybe you would like more room because your children are teens and need a place to chill with their friends; maybe you need a workout room or hobby room. Finished basements work well for all these uses, plus many others. Consider some of the following ideas or add a few of your own:

  • Game room
  • Gym
  • Home theater
  • Office
  • Bedroom
  • Bar
  • Guest room
  • Laundry
  • Bathroom
  • Craft room

It’s quite possible that your lower level space is large enough to configure for multiple rooms. When compared to the square footage price of installing an addition, finishing an existing basement is usually cheaper.

A point to keep in mind is that a basement poses challenges that are unique to this area of the house. It is best to consult with your basement design expert to be sure you are correctly addressing all concerns. Let’s look at some issues your basement remodeler will discuss with you.

First of all, upgrading your sump pump to a newer model with a battery backup system is essential for finished basements. You do not want to worry about flooding in the event of a power outage. It should be located in a place with easy access.

Likewise, location is critical for sewage pipes and water pipes. These pipes will occasionally need to be accessed, so be sure they are installed with that in mind. Concerning your utilities, many people like to wall off an unfinished room for the furnace/utility room. If your current furnace needs to be moved and/or replaced, be sure to allow for that in your budget.

Basement remodeling experts will also help you figure out the height of your ceiling and whether the ductwork and water pipes will be installed inside or outside of the ceiling joists. For this reason, many contractors discourage plaster ceilings in basements. The traditional acoustical tile ceilings, slightly dropped if there is enough room, allow for easy access to pipes, ducts and electrical wiring.

It’s also important to know the type of walls you have, whether poured or cement block concrete, and any moisture problems associated with them.  Additionally, realize that many basements have sloping floors to facilitate drainage, so you may want to consider installing a sub floor. Finally, be sure to plan properly for access to other traps, valves and electrical boxes.

While it sounds like a lot to deal with, the expertise of your professional basement contractor should enable you to focus on the next job—decorating and enjoying your new space!

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