Though currently cold concrete, most probably wet and crammed with old utilities, your basement is a hub of potential in your home. It is only fair that we give our basements as much attention as we give other rooms in our house. If you feel your home is squeezed out, the solution to increasing the size of your home may lay, right underneath your feet. Rather than external home expansions which are by far expensive and likely to be met by zoning restrictions, remodeling the basement is a good way to expand your living area. It may save you up to 10% of construction costs per square foot. Here are tips on how to turn this underutilized space into a beautiful living space and some photos on the subject of Basement windows energy star galleries.
First, start with the basic structure; The walls, Floors and Roof.
Moisture is the biggest concern to all these in the basement. Any leaks, condensation or flooding must first be tackled before any installations can be made on the walls, floor and roof. The remedial measures for this may cost you a few 100-1000 dollars for utmost efficiency. This is worth it because you are investing in a new space free from musty smells, creeping mold and a soggy foundation all which are beneficial to your house in the long run.
Solutions to moisture may entail pumping the leakages out from the inside using an interior draining system- view in the photos basement gallery- clearing the gutters and diverting gutter drainage away from the basement. If the water is sipping in from underground, more vigorous measures should be taken. Consider additional gutter extensions, these enable you to guide water further out with additional plastic or metal gutter solutions. A permanent underground drain pipe may however work more effectively since it is invisible and can move large quantities of gutter run off further from the house.
The Floor choice must allow for keeping the basement dry and free from condensation. The key for successful flooring is to ensure the basement is waterproof and the surface is smooth, flat and leveled for the new finishing material. Once the moisture and wetness is out of the way, you may consider the new trend of wall to wall basement carpeting. This technique is warmer and adds some level of soundproofing to the basement. If you are still concerned with issue of moisture, from liquid spills or pet wetting, consider a pad made to block moisture from seeping into the carpet or the concrete. This moisture resistant pads reduce cleanup chores but will not solve chronic moisture problems.
A staircase that is open up such as one on the photos on the subject of Basement windows energy star gallery provide the seamless transition from the basement upstairs. A clean cut ceiling also improves the elegance of the basements architectural touch.