Finishing Your Basement 101

Raise your hand if you have a basement comparable to that of a horror movie. For many of us, the charm that pulled us to move into an older home means being stuck with a creepy, uninviting basement. Our team at Kliethermes can help you turn your dark, dingy basement into a recreational space that your whole family (and guests) will love! Check out these 7 components of creating the perfect finished basement:

Think Storage

If you have a basement, you know how easy it is to fill it up with holiday decorations, old workout equipment, and boxes and boxes of junk you haven’t sorted through in years. When you start designing your new space, remember to include ample storage options for those boxes. Think about where all your “stuff” will go once your space is remodeled. Some options include adding a closet or adding shelving that can be hidden with cabinet doors or curtains. That way, you still have access to all your boxes of goodies, but won’t have to put them on display in your new space.

Temperature / Moisture Control

Ever noticed that your basement smells and feels different than the rest of your home? Typically, basements tend to hold moisture and are not equipped with central heating/cooling like the rest of your home. To make sure that moisture isn’t seeping in through your foundation, make sure you slope soil away from the foundation, seal cracks in your foundation and install gutter diverters to send water away from your home. Before painting or making any drastic changes, you should check for mold as well, and identify the cause before moving forward.

As for temperature control, adding insulation in the basement will keep the inside temperature regulated. If your basement isn’t tied into your HVAC system, talk with your remodeling company about adding floor vents or baseboard heating. It’s important NOT to rely on space heaters – it is both expensive and a fire hazard if left unattended.

Room for Activities

When finishing your basement, it’s important to consider what purpose this extra space will serve. Will it be another living area? A game room? A bedroom? Depending on the function, you will need to allow ample space to accommodate furniture, people and again, storage! For example, if you want to include a pool table, you’ll need about 13’ x 16’ for a seven-foot table, 13’ 6” x 17’ for an eight-foot table and 14’ x 18’ for a nine-foot table. You’ll also need to consider how you will get furniture (maybe a tricky sectional or large headboard) down the stairs and situated in your space.

Additionally, you’ll want to leave space around your hot water tank, fuse box or any other plumbing or heating units, so that there is enough access room in case of repairs.

Sound Reduction

Another item to consider when finishing your basement is a sound reduction. Does your son like to practice his drum solo during dinner parties? Or maybe your husband and his friends get a little rowdy during Monday night football? Not a problem! Ask your remodeling company about adding sound reduction panels to your design to keep noise from traveling up to the rest of your home.

Efficiency Is Key

Efficiency should play a major role in the overall design of your space. Because space is limited, it’s important to have a design that is efficient, storage-friendly and has enough room for relaxation. If your basement will be used a “bonus room” that includes a living space, office and wet bar all in one, think about creative ways to divide the space by creating a partition wall or setting up furniture in a way that sections off parts of the room.

Look Up

Basements in older homes tend to have low, unfinished ceilings where ductwork, vents, and pipes are exposed. While this makes sense for your typical basement storage/laundry room combo, it’s not the most aesthetic look for a recreational space. Many clients opt for a drop ceiling that showcases a cleaner look and allows for allows for easy access to any ducts or pipes that may need repair in the future.

Building Codes

Just like any remodel project, there might be instances where you need approval from the city to make certain changes to your home. For example, if you are adding a bedroom in the basement, there must be a window. There are also building codes for ceiling clearance, insulation, electrical and more. If you are using a remodeling company, they will know the specifications in your location and how to make sure your new space is up to code.

 

Ready to start your basement remodel? Kliethermes has more than 40 years of experience and can design a space that works for all your needs. Give us a call for a free consultation today.

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