Remodel your basement

Remodel your basement

The basement in your home offers the perfect opportunity to add more living space. It generally spans the entire length of the home so provides much needed space. Even if you have problems with moisture there are inexpensive ways to make the basement livable.
Steps to take to prepare your basement for remodeling:

  • Clean and dust. Basements are notorious for harboring insects and dust mites.
  • Clean the air ducts. Ventilation is important if you are going to be spending extensive time here.
  • First of all cover all open and bare piping and ducts on the ceiling.
  • Fill in the floor and wall cracks, if there are any, with a polyurethane seal.
  •  Add electrical, cable and phone lines if they are needed.
  • Adding a drop down ceiling preferably made of sound absorbent material.
  • Add a subfloor as floor between the ground and your home.
  • Keep your rain gutters clean and create a slope around your home. Having soil of 8 to 12 inches packed around the exterior of the home, then sloping downward helps to stop moisture from pooling around your home.
  • Test for radon gas in your home and if it does test high crack a window and turn on a fan, then retest. Usually all that is required is better air circulation. Recheck from time to time.
  • If needed use a dehumidifier. If you have problems with flooding you may need a sump pump.
  • Inspect for mold. Small areas of mold can be treated with a solution ½ cup bleach per quart of water. Clean up mold with lots of ventilation in the area while you work as inhaling bleach or mold can cause illness. Larger areas of mold would require expert handling as they can be hazardous to you and your family’s health. Eliminate cause of mold by finding the source of moisture.

This particular basement pictured is a walk-up basement.

Basements come in a variety of types the most common being:

  • Cellar
  • Crawl spaces
  • Walk-up basement
  • Look-out basement

When aren’t basements useful for living in?

Basements generally form the wall of the home’s foundation except in a crawl space, and the crawl space basement, even when large enough to occupy, is not recommended to live in. Crawl space basements are designed only to allow access to pipes, electrical wiring and so forth for the purpose of maintenance and not to be inhabited for any extended length of time. In areas that are prone to earth quakes basements are not recommended because of the risk of the home collapsing in.

Proper flooring is a must.

Another way to reduce moisture is by using proper flooring. Concrete is cold and encourages moisture to linger, but now that you have built a subfloor and are looking at ideas for flooring consider flooring that dries quicker and resists mold such as tile, hardwood flooring and flooring containing rubber. Consider doing the same thing for the walls in the basement. Wall paneling will enable you to clean easier, add more warmth to the home, absorb sound better and improve the overall appearance considerably.

A basement offers limitless potential.

Your basement can be used for any number of things and once remodeled will add considerable resale value to your home:

  • Exercise room
  • Guest room
  • Laundry room
  • Extra bathroom
  • Bedroom
  • Rec room
  • Entertainment/living room
  • Bar
  • Kitchenette
  • Wine cellar
  • Office
  • Craft room

The unused floor space in your basement could give you the perfect opportunity to make the room of your dreams with just a little finance and some hard work. Then you can enjoy a home improvement that will pay you back in tenfold.

Marina is a home décor writer and writes about specialty products like tiffany lamps, Matryoshka dolls, etageres, water walls and lot more.

Title Image from Basement Remodeling Ideas

6 Comments

  1. one
    Comment by Mike Kent: Feb 17, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    This is a good post for how to keep our basement clean, i want to know is it not possible to keep the moisture problem away for ever when we are remodeling the basement.

  2. two
    Comment by chris@flat screen tv: Feb 28, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    I also found that the lines for cable tv and gas line let cold air into basement. I used spray foam to fill the leaks so it is warmer before framing the walls. I also added a flat screen tv so i can watch tv while working out or playing pool.

  3. three
    Comment by joe@dividend paying stocks: Feb 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    I think tile is best for floor in basement. i would not put wood floor in case it ever gets wet. even carpet can get wet and be ruined if you get water in basement. make sure to have yard graded so water moves away from house before you remodel and that gutters and down spouts work. i would also use gutter guards to make sure gutters do not fill up with leaves they have different types of screens and gurads in stock at most home remdodeling stores like home depot or lowes.

  4. four
    Comment by Workbenchwizard: Apr 14, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Mike,the best way to keep moisture or damp from entering a basement is by “tanking” (at least thats what we call it in the UK).This a kind of plastic barrier which is fixed to all the surfaces in the basement,when this is completed you should have no problems with moisture.Only trouble is,it is expensive to get done,so I would only reccommend this if it is actually going to be a room that is used for more than storage.

  5. five
    Comment by Rosita: Apr 19, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    In many homes, the basement is an unfinished room that contains appliances such as your furnace and water heater, while also being used for storage. Finishing the basement can provide you with an extra room to use without going through the expensive process of building an addition to your home.

  6. six
    Comment by Jay Mari@design your room: Jun 13, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    Basement sounds unimportant, but for many people basements are one of the most important rooms for them.

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