From Downright Scary to Cozy & Comfortable

Is your basement calling you to remodel it?

Basement remodeling is an opportunity to increase living space. From an in-law apartment to a stocked bar and entertainment center, an office or workshop, your unfinished basement is waiting for you to make it into a special place to spend time, whether it’s for work, rest or IMG_20130918_095653play.

Some older homes have dark, musty cellars with cobwebbed dark corners in which small children might imagine that monsters dwell. Prior to modern, effective waterproofing techniques, the basement was considered a place to either keep utility units and store durable items or simply forget about.

Basements in very old houses often leak and need a thorough waterproofing treatment before any remodeling can take place, but in newer homes and new construction, the foundations are designed and built with long term integrity and are much more secure against leaks and water damage. Therefore, if your home was built in the last 20 years or so, chances are the basement is either finished, partially finished or is ready and waiting to be remodeled.

Subterranean finishing requires attention to a few extra details compared with remodeling other sections of the home. We’ll cover some of the more common considerations unique to basements in this article.

Get the lowdown on staying high and dry!

First and foremost, don’t begin the work until you are certain the entire space is dry and will stay dry long term. Water damage can cause all kinds of problems including toxic mold water damage basementgrowth. Thoroughly inspect exterior foundations and interior walls for moisture problems. Make sure there’s good drainage all around the foundation work.

Nailing through framing into concrete flooring can require special nails and is best done using a construction “shotgun.” There are different strengths and calibers of the nails, aka “bullets.”

It’s extremely important to have a vapor barrier between the outside walls and finished interior. We recommend using one inch rigid foam on the walls and then frame the walls with two-by-fours to add another layer of un-faced batt form insulation between the framing. This offers the best possible insulation and virtually eliminates any potential moisture issues.

Lose your preconceptions (if you have any) about suspended ceiling tiles. This will give you much easier access to electrical and plumbing systems – pipes and wiring running into the upper living spaces. Otherwise, install access panels in the ceiling where needed for maintenance and repairs.

Now consider the lighting. Recessed lighting can be ideal for basements because of lower ceilings. There is limited or sometimes nonexistent natural light so by all means thinkfinished basement through your basement lighting options because the right light will be absolutely essential to create the mood, look and feel you desire.

There are several more important considerations to address when successfully remodeling a basement. Hopefully, the few we’ve offered will help you understand some of the important first steps to planning and building your ideal basement space.

Remodeling your basement might be the right move to consider instead of building an addition. The space is already there, weatherproof and waiting for your finishing touches. You can make it not only livable, but a welcoming new space to enjoy with your family and friends.

3W design offers complete basement design and remodeling services. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about basements and other design & construction services. (603) 226-3399.

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