Basement Remodeling Articles
Unwanted pests can ruin your enjoyment of your new home and damage from pests can even cause costly repairs. But there are some easy things you can do either on your own or with the help of a skilled contractor to help keep your home pest-free, such as making sure your basement and attic are well-ventilated. Click here to see more tips from the National Association of Home Builders.
Start your new year off right with some great ideas for remodeling your house! HousingZone has a top ten list of what’s hot in remodeling this year. If you’re remodeling your kitchen, try de-cluttering with clean, simple, and contemporary cabinets and practically no maintenance quartz composite countertops. HousingZone also suggests some broader trends, such as remodeling with aging in place in mind and focusing on green living and sustainable design. For more of the top remodeling trends for 2013, follow this link to the list.
Make saving money on your utility bills a priority when you remodel your home! It may seem like a large goal, but creating a more energy efficient and greener home can be accomplished through several smaller remodeling projects. Consider improving the insulation when you remodel your basement or replacing windows when you remodel your kitchen. For more energy efficient tips, check out this website.
Do you want to remodel your basement and transform it into something amazing and useful, but aren’t quite sure what to do with the space? Consider using your new basement as a home theater for your family, a playroom for the kids or even a wine cellar! Check out this link for even more ideas for how to remodel your basement.
Could basement remodeling give “the sandwich generation” that extra layer of space that’s so needed? Basement renovation might indeed be the perfect solution as college grads move home to live until they find a job and longer lifespan and extremely costly assisted living options have Grandma and Grandpa moving in, too.
A recent AARP study reported a 30% increase in households of at least three generations of family members. Meanwhile, one third of Coldwell Banker real estate agents reported an uptick in buyers looking for homes to accommodate multiple generations, with 7 out of 10 agents expecting demand for this type of housing to continue. So if you have an unfinished lower level, calling a basement remodeling contractor can help you seize a golden opportunity to improve your family’s breathing room … while also increasing the resale appeal of your home.
When it’s “the more, the merrier,” it’s important to make the most of every inch of space. Here are two ideas for turning that unfinished basement into just what your own family needs.
A lower-level suite. Basement remodeling contractors are often asked to turn an under-utilized basement into a suite for teens or even an “apartment” for college grads who’ve returned home. With an outdoor entry, it’s a good solution for accommodating the late-night schedules the younger generation often keeps. Giving the kids their own space in a finished basement frees the homes upstairs bedrooms for use by elderly relatives.
A getaway zone. Even if you have enough bedrooms for everyone, it may be a challenge for multiple generations to enjoy time outside their bedrooms. Grandparents may not always like the noise as grandkids play video games or have their friends over. A great compromise a basement renovation that turns ordinary lower-level space into a getaway zone for the grown ups – or a rec zone for the youngsters. Grandparents and parents can enjoy talking or reading upstairs while the kids do homework or hang out with friends in the newly remodeled basement space.
One word of caution when it comes to your finished basement: Contractor experience matters in finding good solutions to challenges ranging from low ceilings and lack of natural lighting, to mitigating dampness and musty odors. Working with an experienced contractor means you get a basement remodel that not only looks great, but that lives great for every member of your family.
If your home needs more elbow room, one of the first places to look is … down! With an unfinished or just a plain old outdated basement, remodeling can work wonders to create beautiful new living space. As contractors will tell you, the basement is an excellent remodeling value. It’s space you already have so it’s far more economical than to remodel a basement than to build an addition. In fact, a finished basement is almost always the lowest-cost living space you can add to your home.
So where to begin? Here are just a few of the ways a “new” basement can work for you.
Room to play: Homeowners with small, or school-age children like to remodel the basement for playtime. Built-in shelving and cabinetry keeps the space neat and organized by providing a place to stash toys and games. If you have teens, you can turn your basement into a true game room with a ping-pong or pool table and plenty of floor space for them to play interactive video games where they can jump, dance, and swing a virtual tennis racquet.
Surround sound: Today’s flatscreens have great pictures, but getting equally great sound often means using extra speakers. As part of your basement remodeling project, you can take care of wiring for the flatscreen and speakers and all your other components to create a room that’s perfect for enjoying the latest movies or sporting events. Your contractor can even build in sound-controlling acoustics so that everything sounds great downstairs – without disrupting what’s going on upstairs!
Health club: If trudging out to the gym has become a chore, think about remodeling one area of your finished basement into your own personal health club. In addition to workout space, your contractor can design in luxury spa features such as a sauna.
Party night: From book club to poker night, entertaining can be even more fun with a finished basement remodeled specifically for entertaining. Think about adding a beautiful bar with its own sink, under-counter refrigerator, wine chiller, and even a dishwasher drawer!
Guest room: If having overnight guests means having to boot the kids out of their bedrooms or blow up an air mattress, consider dedicating part of your basement remodeling project to creating space for a real guestroom and bath.
Are you ready to tackle an outdated or unfinished basement? You don’t need a good remodeler, you need a good basement remodeler. Here’s how to find a pro with the experience to solve dampness, lack of light, low ceilings and other basement challenges to create fresh, healthy, family-friendly living space.
Lots of remodelers will tell you they’re basement remodelers. But do they really have the expertise to solve the structural, environmental and comfort challenges necessary to make a basement “all that it can be?” Here are tips for making sure they do!
- Assess their basement remodeling “IQ.” A good basement remodeler will be able to suggest specialty products that can make all the difference in how well your remodeled space will look and feel. Heated floors, for example, can take away the cold, damp feel not only of basement floors but of the entire lower-level living space. So, as you interview a potential basement remodeler, ask tough questions about what they recommend for everything from sealing out moisture to dealing with any mold or mildew that may presently exist and what they will do to prevent moisture, mold and mildew problems in the future.
- Look for extra creativity. Basements typically have tiny windows, low ceilings and lots of infrastructure — ductwork, beams, furnace, hot water heater, etc. Given these challenges, you want to look for a remodeler who can apply an extra level of functional innovation and design creativity to your basement. Experienced basement remodelers, for example, are pros at combining ambient, task and spot lighting to make dark spaces glow and ceilings seem higher. They can draw on experience with other basement remodeling projects, too, to share smart ideas such as ways to tuck in extra storage or even add extra windows and doors.
- Ask to see completed basement projects. Remember, plenty of remodelers can show you beautiful photos of above-ground rooms filled with light, high ceilings and open spaces. But an experienced basement remodeler can also show you actual before-and-after photos of basements they’ve finished or remodeled. This way, you can make an apples-to-apples assessment of their skill in working with basements just like yours.
- Of course you should check references! This is always important with any contractor, but with a basement remodeler it’s especially important because you want to know how the work holds up over time. Did the flooring eventually warp? Did a musty smell return? Is the space cold and damp in winter? Or did the finished basement become the homeowners’ coziest, most favorite room of the house?
- Make sure everything is on the up-and-up. Basement remodeling can involve working around gas lines, electrical boxes and ductwork. You want to be confident that your remodeler (or his subcontractors) have the skills and licenses to work safely and to code. Ask how the remodeler will handle pulling permits (and if he says not to worry about permits or pull them yourself, run!). Also ask to see the home improvement license, general liability insurance, workers comp insurance and business registration. Check any prospective basement remodeler on search engines and social media.
Remember, basements present some tough remodeling challenges. To make sure you get the best possible job, ask tough questions up front to find your own best basement remodeler.
“I’ve checked everywhere else, it has to be down here somewhere!” How many times have you said this while digging around your basement for that one thing you need? A cluttered basement is not only inconvenient and aggravating – it could actually be dangerous. Stacked clutter can potentially fall and hurt someone. Cans and bottles could break open and leak dangerous chemicals. A fire could even start, catching on the clutter or chemicals that can be near the furnace or water heater. This is precisely why it is critical to keep your basement organized, regardless of how difficult the undertaking may seem.
In reality, the most difficult part of keeping your basement well organized is just starting. Once you have shelving and other storage systems set up, keeping your basement tidy is relatively painless. Assembling these storage systems without any help isn’t always a straightforward task, so it could possibly help to consult a qualified basement remodeler when planning things out.
As you begin to search through the accumulated clutter, ask yourself tough questions like, “Do I really need this?” and “Do I ever use this?” For instance, you may find your children’s bikes in your basement. Do you still need to hold onto them now that your children have outgrown them? Take these items and donate them to a local charity if they are still in good shape; otherwise throw them away.
Discard any broken devices and “thingamajigs” you come across. It’s possible you have intended to fix that item eventually, but if it’s still broken, you likely won’t get around to it any time soon. Throw it out and move on. Same for any little device you find. If you can’t even remember where it’s from, it’s likely that you won’t miss it.
Be willing to encounter items that start you down memory lane. The best thing to do is to set these sentimental items aside for later. And then you can reminisce after your basement cleaning task is completed.
Once your basement has been sorted and the things you don’t need any more are cleared out, you must take steps not to return to old habits. Store items in large plastic bins. Clear ones are nice since you can see just what is inside without opening them. If you can only find colored bins, try to use the different colors to represent different types of items the bins contain. For example, put Christmas decorations in a green bin and sports equipment in a blue bin. Later when you need a particular item, such as a soccer ball, you know you just have to look in blue bins.
Have shelving units installed in your basement to hold the bins. You may wish to ask a trusted basement remodeler or professional handyman service to handle this. If there are any objects that can’t be replaced, try not to store them on the bottom shelves as basements can flood from time to time. Similarly, do not store paints, cleaning products, pesticides, or other chemicals on the bottom shelves. They can make a toxic mess if your basement floods.
Set up pegboards to store odd-shaped items like ironing boards. You can also use the ceiling for the storage of items like hoses and chairs if the beams are strong enough. Do NOT use ceiling pipes for storage. They are not intended for the excess weight and can become damaged.
Objects that you use most often should be stored nearest to the basement door. If you buy food in bulk and store it in your basement, consider installing a pantry at the base of the stairs. This is one more instance when hiring an expert in basement remodeling will surely lighten your own workload. A pantry can contain sliding shelves and other conveniences that keep your basement organized and make your life easier.
By taking all these measures to organize your basement and keeping the systems in place, your basement should stay neat and tidy. This will help to prevent accidents and fires, as well as make your life easier.