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Basement Remodeling

For many years remodeling the basement meant turning it into a family recreation room, which provided more useable space but added little to the resale value of the house. Recently, however, the desire for space to create a media room, hobby and craft area, exercise room, sophisticated laundry room, home office, or wine cellar has refocused attention on basement remodeling possibilities.

If you are thinking of remodeling your basement, consider the following:

  • New uses for your basement will often necessitate improved plumbing, lighting, and heating and cooling systems (local building codes may also require you to get a permit before the remodeling work can start). Many basements will only be comfortable in warmer weather if they are equipped with dehumidifiers. Check to make sure your current systems can handle the increased loads.
  • Putting in an acoustical tile ceiling, inexpensive paneled walls, and vinyl flooring will not produce the kind of space currently in demand. Older staircases should be replaced with well lighted stairs that are integrated into the total space. Ceilings and walls should be dry walled and painted in pleasingly light neutral colors. Moldings should be as attractive as those in the rest of the house. Floors should be finished with carpeting, tiles, or engineered hardwood. Rubber floors are a good choice for playrooms or exercise rooms. It may be necessary to install special sub-floor panels underneath your flooring in order to prevent moisture problems. To protect against possible flooding, it may be wise to waterproof your basement or at least to install a sump pump.
  • Good looking cabinets, whether they are housing media equipment or providing extra storage space, are important when remodeling a basement. Built-ins will give the room a better look and provide more usable space, but attractive individual units can also look good.
  • Consider installing a powder room or full bathroom and small kitchen if you are remodeling your basement, as these will really add to its convenience. Microwave ovens, small sinks, and under the counter refrigerators and dishwashers are extremely popular appliances. Washing machines, dryers, furnaces, and hot water heaters can be concealed behind doors. If space is a problem, consider stacking a front loaded washing machine with a dryer.

  • Upholstered chairs and sofas should be comfortably sturdy and covered with family friendly fabrics that will resist staining and wear and tear. Cotton slipcovers that can be dry cleaned or washed are a good choice.

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