Transforming your basement from a forgotten area to a functional space can be tricky. Most people tend to neglect their basements. More often than not, basements serve as dumping grounds for things you do not want to throw away but don’t quite know what to do with. It is a shame because basement renovation can be one of the upgrades that can add value to your home if you ever decide to sell. Of course, there are many other benefits to ‘revitalizing’ your basement area. Hence, we will talk about finishing a basement the right way.
There are many ways you can use your basement. In fact, some people decide to move to a larger home to get an additional room they can customize as a hobby room or a home office. Yet, before you start planning your renovation, it makes sense to make a tenable plan covering each area of your new home – including your basement.
Declutter the basement area
Renovating a basement involves much more than deciding how you will use the room. It is just the start, but a good start nonetheless. First of all, your basement might be in a state of disarray. As we have mentioned, basements tend to suffer some neglect. Soon enough, your basement’s sole purpose is to displace unnecessary or unsightly belongings.
This means you might need to do some serious decluttering. Breaking your attachment to piled-up things can be challenging but also unavoidable. However, you also need to figure out what to do with your prized possessions or family belongings that might make it difficult to transform the basement into something more functional.
Most people decide to rent a safe storage space for their valuables or other belongings that they need to have in the vicinity of their home. Be sure to approach the decluttering seriously so that you can find a perfect fit for your storage unit. The math is simple. The more you declutter, the smaller storage size you will need to rent.
Adjust the basement area for use
So, you have decided that you want to transform your basement into the perfect home study space. Yet your HVAC system control box, the pipes, and other such pieces of infrastructure might make the room feel too uninviting or industrial. It would be best to find a way to repair, paint, or conceal these parts of the basement so that you can make the area pleasant to spend time in.
After a major decluttering session, thorough cleaning should come next. This can be tricky if you have to deal with rust, mold, or moisture, but it is simply something you must approach seriously. You will be thankful to yourself that you took the time and made an effort to root out these problems.
Add a bathroom to your basement
Adding a bathroom to the basement is a great way to improve the entire basement area. Even if you do not intend to make an additional bedroom, having an extra bathroom is advantageous for several reasons.
First of all, if you ever decide to move house, you will list that your home has more bathrooms than what it currently has. The new owners might want to change the purpose of the basement after you move out, so they will be able to add an additional bedroom if they feel like doing so.
In fact, the basement area could almost serve as another smaller apartment inside the house, particularly if it has enough daylight coming in through the basement windows. In sum, if you are already planning to do some major remodeling in your basement, why not add a bathroom? Who knows when you will have the opportunity to do so next time?
Find your soil stack and check if your basement’s plumbing can support a piping extension for the new bathroom. If the main drain runs exclusively underground, you will have to place the new bathroom near the main drain. However, if it goes above the ground, you will probably need a pump and a grinder.
Let in more natural light for finishing a basement the right way
As we have mentioned, if your basement windows let in enough light, you can play around with space and even make an additional bedroom or living area. However, few are lucky to have this luxury, so if you have the resources to expand the windows, be sure to do that.
You can build an egress window or a window well to maximize the amount of light coming into the basement. An additional advantage to adding these types of structures is that you will have more natural light and a fire escape! They only need to be large enough for a grown person to walk out easily. Also, consider getting some fire escape stairs if the windows are still too high enough to reach.
The only counter-argument to expanding the windows is that you could unintentionally create water problems for yourself. Yet, you can quickly solve these if you install a drain at the bottom of the window well.
Take care of the insulation properly
Basements are typically much colder than other rooms in your house. It means that you need to insulate it well if you intend to spend a lot of time in it after renovation. You can do this while the piping is still exposed by adding foam insulation. It will allow you to prevent the loss of heat and condensation. Insulation is essential for finishing a basement the right way because, without it, any remodeling that you do might be a waste of money if the area is too cold in the winter.
Alicia Grinder is an interior design enthusiast and a freelance blogger. She focuses primarily on creating content for interior design websites giving various helpful tips for people who lack inspiration. In her free time, Alicia enjoys DIY projects and has a she-shed in her garden where she sometimes spends hours on her hobby.