|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
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