When remodelling a basement, getting the fundamentals right is important. Without doing this, it can undo considerable progress made to date on the project, especially if it’s being untaken gradually over successive weekends.
The major issue that homeowners face in the basement is excessive moisture. We will cover this first because it’s just so damaging to plans if not tackled early and decisively. Heating and lighting also get a mention because staying warm and making the basement light enough to be inviting matters too.
Here are four useful tips for remodelling your basement.
Deal with Moisture and Wet Conditions First
When you haven’t touched the basement before or it’s been having moisture problems following a first remodelling project that didn’t turn out so well, tackling the moisture issue is paramount.
If you are setting up the basement for the first time, ensure the soil is actively moving in the opposite direction to the foundation to avoid water build up from damaging the home’s base. It’s possible that some moisture issues originate elsewhere in the gutters outside. If the water is allowed to fall onto the ground and find cracks to seep into, eventually it’ll reach the basement and foundational levels. Solving the gutter run off problem should be a priority if this is the case. Perform a test if necessary to discover the path that water run off takes from the gutter system.
Should the basement area have deeper issues with water or floods, then a sump pump might be necessary to protect against future flooding. The walls might benefit from waterproofing to keep rainwater out too. Be aware that moisture is damaging to health and any decorations or furnishings in the basement too.
Tend to the Basement Furnace
If your home has a furnace in the basement, this shouldn’t be an oversight with a basement setup or remodelling project. Have there been any reoccurring difficulties when using the furnace? Have any strange smells emanated up from the basement when the furnace kicks into action? Depending on the type of smell, it could be indicative of a real problem. If you’re aware that the furnace is not operating properly, seek out one of the excellent local furnace repair companies to perform a check or routine maintenance.
It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your gas furnace, especially with older models. A gas leak in a basement is serious because of the reduced ventilation options down there. Make sure that the burners and gas system are working as they should while resolving any strange smells from the furnace before the basement remodelling is finalised.
The Beauty of Drainage Flooring
One modern innovation is the creation of the simple drainage mat. These are plastic flooring solutions that come with dimples protruding on the underside which creates a gap between the basement floor and the surface you’ll walk on. The air situated between the hard flooring and the top of the mat provides insulation from moisture rising from the foundational level. Usually in the early morning, the change can be most noticeable with condensation. Even concrete is permeable and sees vapour rise through it into the basement.
Not only is excessive moisture bad for your health, it also affects technology equipment. So, if you’re planning to turn your basement into a home office or an entertainment room, the extra moisture could cause the electronics to malfunction way sooner than normally expected.
Lighting is Everything
The thing that is most noticeable in a basement is the lack of natural light. While a wall window might be available, it still won’t provide enough illumination.
Lighting in a basement is a tricky thing. The major issue is with inconsistent lighting where corners and dark spaces get too little brightness to make them useable. The space can just feel gloomy and uninspiring.
Aim to have multiple sources to bounce light off the walls to keep every part of the basement well lit. Use dimmer switches and smartphone-controllable lighting options to control what sections of the basement receive greater illumination and those that need less. This is useful when one area is used as a home office, but another area performs a home entertainment function in the evenings. While the home office will certainly benefit from as much light as possible, watching a movie with dimmed illumination is preferable to avoid being distracted. Plan the light sources accordingly.
When done right, remodelling the basement can give a house a large floor plan that can be put to good use. Rather than getting permission to build an extension at the back of the house or having to consider making a move to get more space, better use of your basement is smart and economical. Just do it the right way to avoid unnecessary problems coming back to haunt you later.