Want more living space in your home but don't want to
build up or out? Then think about renovating your
Main floor family rooms have been the trend in many newer
homes, but when there is no extra outdoor space for an
addition or you want to save money, your basement may be
the answer to your space problems.
This isn't a return to the "rec" room of the past. With
the variety of new materials and innovative building
techniques available today, the sky's the limit for the
lowest level of your home. Light-toned floorings and wall
coverings and specialty lighting can turn even a dark,
cramped space into a cozy, pleasant room. Whether it's a
home theatre, a games room, a home office, an exercise gym
or just a place to relax at the end of the day, with the
right paint, furnishings, wall and floor coverings, you
can create almost any atmosphere you want.
Converting a basement into a comfortable living space also
have several advantages. It usually costs less to renovate
a basement than to build an addition. Basements are also
removed from the main household traffic areas, making them
the perfect place to watch a movie, work from home or give
the kids their own space.
Before deciding what to include in a basement renovation,
determine what your family will benefit from the most in
years to come. If you plan to knock down walls and install
creature comforts such as a home spa, wine cellar, big
screen television, pool or shuffleboard tables, be sure to
measure the cost against the long-term use of these
features. Also, take measurements; you want to be sure you
can fit big-size items down the stairs and into your new
Most basements present two key problems: too much moisture
and a lack of natural light. Any renovation plans should
try to compensate for both.
If the air in your basement feels damp occasionally, the
solution may be as simple as adding a number of
dehumidifiers to the new rooms. Most basement
wetness/moisture is caused by inadequate drainage away
from the house and foundation. Landscaping improvements
around the exterior of your home can often resolve this
problem. You may want to consult with a basement
specialist before deciding what to do.
Most basements, even ones with walkouts, lack natural
light. A wide variety of lighting fixtures and features
are available today to help you solve that problem. Task
lighting, dimmers, accent and other forms of lighting can
be used to provide the brightness and atmosphere you want
for different rooms or activities.
Turning a basement into a high-quality living space can
present significant problems in some homes, especially
older ones. A variety of posts, ducts and other structural
challenges can turn a simple project into a complex
renovation exercise. Some older homes, for example, have
low basement ceilings. To get more head room or meet
building standards, the basement floor may have to be
lowered. This is an expensive and difficult undertaking.
Most people will benefit from hiring a reputable basement
renovation company to do this kind of major work.
Hiring a contractor
If you plan to hire a contractor to do the renovation,
interview and get quotes from several before selecting
one. A good contractor will be able to advise you on
everything that's needed to create the kind of space you
want for the amount of money you have in mind.
When you select a company, be sure to get a signed
contract that outlines in detail the scope of the work and
the payment schedule.