5 Amazing Basement Remodels
If you’re lucky enough to have a basement and access to a list of basement remodelling contractors, you probably have entertained ideas of how you would make the space more useful. But, you considered a basement remodel to be a considerable undertaking, so you never got around to finalizing a plan for this lower floor.
You might be overwhelmed by the cavernous expanse of emptiness, or you might simply be concerned about your budget. Fear not! An unfinished basement is full of potential—it’s all potential! You have something that most apartment residents only dream of, and many Californians have only heard about in stories from their grandparents. Making this space usable isn’t as difficult as you might think. When properly executed, a basement remodel can greatly increase the value of your property and give your family the space it needs. While a redoing your basement may be less expensive than a room addition, it is still a considerable investment, and you will want to make the right decisions from the start. Here are five things you should consider incorporating into your basement remodel. The first thing is to call a basement renovation contractor.
1. Break up open spaces.
The nice thing about a basement is that it is suitable for so many different activities. This single floor may function as a play room, media room, gym, guest room or (if you’re not careful) giant storage space. You can define areas for these different uses by building partial height walls. By keeping the wall height low, you avoid blocking out any natural light your basement might have. If wall building doesn’t fit into your budget at the moment, you can achieve a similar effect by using bookshelves with finished backs in place of the low walls. Paint can also be used to define spaces. Different paint colors can identify separate zones and break up a large basement into cozy little gathering points.
2. Add a bathroom.
Consider adding a bathroom if you use your basement regularly. This is particularly important if you plan to use the space as a guest room, or for entertaining. Having a bathroom on the basement level will prevent people from traveling up and down the stairs every time they need to “powder their noses”. If you are entertaining in the basement, this trip to an upper level bathroom forces guests to make an awkward grand exit/entrance every time they have to go. If you are using the basement for your office, an attached bathroom will allow you to stay downstairs and continue working without the risk of being distracted by upstairs life. If you are planning on adding bathroom plumbing anyway, you might also consider installing a sink with a counter to make a kitchenette. This will make entertaining easier, and give you an extra place for preparing food if you are having a large party.
3. Hide you’re stuff.
Many people make the mistake of using their basements strictly for storage. To avoid being overwhelmed with too many “treasures”, wall off a portion (preferably the most unpleasant corner) of the basement to restrict all of your unsightly junk. Don’t forget to add a door so that everything will be fully concealed. The walls of your new storage room will give you plenty of space for hanging shelves so you can stay perfectly organized. Decide where you are going to position the shelving before the drywall is installed so you can easily add blocking between the studs for shelving attachment. If you’re not a fan of drilling and hammering, you can purchase metro style shelving which will enable you to adjust shelf heights as your storage needs evolve.
4. Let there be light
If your basement has natural light, take advantage of it! Consider replacing windows if they don’t let in much light or if they are difficult to operate. Try to make the window sill height lower than 36” so it can function as an exit in case of an emergency.
If natural lighting is impossible in your basement, you can still have a bright and happy lower floor. Add energy efficient bulbs to existing and new lighting fixtures so you can turn on all the lights you want without fear of breaking the bank. Transom (above the door height) windows are a good way to “borrow” light from other rooms without sacrificing privacy. If you want to be ultra chic, “living glass” panels can be used to divide spaces. This is translucent material with anything from seashells and grass to a photo of your baby laminated between two sheets of clear glass. It gives the illusion of division without sacrificing the light. If you are still determined to have natural light despite your underground circumstances, you can install a light tube which can reflect natural light into your room even if you don’t have direct access to the outdoors.
5. Open up the staircase
If your basement is separated from the rest of your house with a door, you might want to remove it. This will make your basement feel more like it is a part of the house rather than a shameful secret that has to be closed off. By removing this barrier, natural light from the rest of the house can filter down into the basement. If you aren’t sure about this, you can take the door off and leave the hinges in place. This will allow you to easily reinstall the door if the new open plan doesn’t work for you. If you have the budget for it, you can add a pocket or sliding door at the top of the basement stairs. This will allow you to keep the space open most of the time, but will enable you to close off the basement during extreme weather when you don’t want to heat/cool the basement.
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