Basement Remodeling: Finding Extra Living Space Underground

Posted November 10, 2016 by Gabriel Posternak

There are many changes going on currently throughout society that are slowly making a huge impact on the way we live. From teens livigin with their parents way past their 20s to people living longer and longer, there are things happening that affect us on a daily basis, even in our own homes. That's why homes need to change along with these changes in society. Downsizing may not be a possibility anymore; rather, enlarging and expanding the home may be what’s necessary.

How does a family and a homeowner do that? Adding new rooms, rearranging the ones that already exist or, basically, look for a new place. If you don't want the latter and can't consider the former, well, then this might be a solution: repurposing a room. An old garage or an attic can certainly be good options, but today we're going to look to a different option: remodeling your basement. This project doesn’t have to be costly or a huge undertaking either. Here are a few important tips to consider before you undertake a basement remodel of your own.

Check out the space

Take a good look around your basement; check and see if there are any water stains under windows, on the ceilings and on the floor. Chances are that, if there is moisture, there very well may be mold that need to be taken care ASAP. 

Before you start gutting and ripping, you may want to investigate and explore if there are any mold issues down there. Getting rid of mold once it is uncovered can be costly. Of course, if there are moisture, mold, and leak issues, you’ll want to address them, but if this is going to be someone’s living space, then you want to make certain it is safe and healthy for them to be down there.

Even if it’s just to use as a family room, you want to check out the space ahead of time. Mold isn't the only problem you might find. The floor might be damaged, the windows might need insulation, the electrical fixtures may need an upgrade to hold all the electronics that come with a person living down there. You get the picture - you definitely have to check out the space and fix any issue you find before even considering using it for daily living.

Basement remodel costs

As with any home project, you want to get as many estimates as possible before reforming your basement. Have a handy checklist of questions ready and available when it’s time to get your consult. By being ready, you avoid some of the unexpected issues that may arise with any remodeling project. You’ll want to ask what range “unexpected issues” might cost you as is typical with projects similar to yours that they have come across.

As you interview and consult with different contractors, many ideas and questions will come up. Consider keeping a clipboard or notebook handy to jot down different questions, ideas, thoughts and costs the various contractors provide you with.

Check in with your budget

Ask yourself some important questions: Do you want to use this space as a family room, guest room, office, or living quarters for grandparents? Once you know what your intention for this space is, then you have to set a budget. An office can be arranged more quickly (and can even take advantage of the 'vintage' look of the basement) while a guest room might need a higher investment to make it appealing to anyone visiting. The use will define how much money you'll have to spend.

Remember to always add more money into your budget than expected. Remodeling a basement usually means moving and uncovering things that have been laying around for years and it's highly likely you'll find issues that you might have missed the first time you investigated the room. Factor those surprises in your budget - you don't want one of them from stopping your remodel altogether simply because of lack of anticipation.

Basement remodeling might be the unexpected solution to your space problems. You just have to have a little imagination to believe that the ugly room behind your feet can be so much more than just the place where you do your laundry. Consult with your contractor and dare to change it!

Photo credit: 40 + 32 Good riddance by Bark - Attribution 2.0 Generic - CC BY 2.0

Posted November 10, 2016
by Gabriel Posternak.


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