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Monday, July 25, 2011

Spruce Up Your Basement With a Remodel For a Lasting and Positive Effect – in More Ways Than One

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The opportunity that exists in basements is huge – and it’s simply a matter of availing it to the fullest. Many property owners neglect to realize the hidden potential in all that extra space which can offer a whole host of added benefits. Whether you have a teenager who could benefit from his own space, would like a recreation/bar area for entertaining, or if you regularly have guests and want to offer a private living space for them – there are myriad reasons to remodel a basement. A quality remodeling project will address five areas so that you are left with a usable, livable and comfortable space in your basement.


One of the most noticeable differences in any space, especially basements, is flooring. Most basements have unfinished flooring, so even if you were to install a less expensive industrial-grade carpet it would be an improvement. However, in the spirit of being economical and utilizing all resources, homeowners often upgrade to higher quality carpet or rugs to soften the seemingly harsh or rough basement finish. Wood floors are usually not recommended, since there is a potential for flooding or water leakage from heating/cooling systems. However there are several options that are practical and without compromise on quality. Tiling, linoleum or carpeting are the popular choices these days. Keeping in mind your end use, choose wisely. For families with small children, a solid Berber carpet works very well, whereas empty nesters can get away with tile.


Like the floors, basements walls are also usually unfinished. Though for several years paneling received considerable slack for being “too seventies”, there has been a recent revival but with an updated style. Instead of the standard plywood paneling we’ve seen in many finished basements in homes built in the 70s and 80s, now there is an influx of walls covered with drywall, architectural panels and even synthetic siding. If budget is a concern, you can get creative with simple tension rods and simple curtain panels, strings of beads or other hanging wall/window coverings.


The inclusion of a bathroom in a basement is a must. Many homeowners who have some experience in Do-It-Yourself projects attempt to do this portion of the basement on their own. If managed properly the workings of a bathroom building/remodeling project, very closely monitored by you, can result in a beautiful addition to the space. Not only will adding a bathroom to your basement significantly increase the value of your home, it will also add a tremendous about of comfort and convenient. Depending on the end purpose plus how the rest of the basement is finished – choose fixtures and other permanent bathroom elements accordingly.


A lot of basements are used as an extra entertaining space, particularly if you are avid entertainers and enjoy having groups of people over for recreation. Some popular choices are to set up a bar or game room, secondary lounge and relaxation space, an activity space for kids or a library/study or work area as a home office. With just a few finishing touches like putting up wall hangings, decorating with a cohesive style or including some essential furniture items, you will complete the space. For game rooms, installing appropriate elements such as a cork wall for darts or a table tennis area and a wet bar space preferably located near a plumbing set-up are also finishing touches that will perfect the rooms.


There is hardly a basement that isn’t used for storage purposes – and chances are that even if you already have a finished basement there is probably a space set aside for storage. One of the most popular things to do during a remodel is to get organized – literally. By setting up proper storage systems in terms of the structural aspect, you can minimize space wastage and maximize your basement’s usage. Utilizing the space behind and under staircases, for example, is a very convenient method of using otherwise dead space. By installing simple, durable shelves you can get miles of use out of the area setting it aside for those smaller storage items like tools or garden supplies.

When a home on the market has a finished basement, the basement is usually one of the first things that generate buyers’ interest. Many prospective buyers may not have even had a finished basement in mind at first but when they see an updated, modern and usable space that increases the live-in space by as much as 30%, their interest is piqued.

No matter what your final purpose is in having your basement remodeled, it is undoubtedly a great decision and one that will reap benefits for years to come. So if you can do it, don’t hesitate!

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