Basement Remodeling: Cost-Effective Space Is Right Below Your Feet

Written by 
Basement Remodeling: Cost-Effective Space Is Right Below Your Feet

Plan 498-3 Plan 498-3 Plan 479-6 Plan 140-101 Browse these plans and others at
  1. Plug the leaks and cracks. You can’t make the basement nice until you get rid of what’s nasty. First, gather up all your junk and clutter and have a yard sale (you’ll need the space and you might as well make a few dollars). Next, examine the walls and floors for cracks, mold, and fungus. Fix what you can and bring in a waterproofing expert if you have more challenging problems.

  2. Make a layout, check it twice. The main challenge in basement remodeling is the number of obstructions (poles, columns, utilities, etc.) you have to creatively work with and around. Develop a scaled floor plan of what’s there now. Include the location of windows, doors, poles, fuse boxes, shutoff valves, appliances, slop sinks, etc. Quick tip: you may want to do this on traceable paper so you can overlay your existing plan with your remodeling plan.

  3. Design your dream basement. OK, maybe it doesn’t have to be a dream basement, but you want to think through the rough location, sizes, and types of rooms for your remodeled space. Try to differentiate between the rooms you need and the rooms you want. Common types of rooms include bedrooms, bathrooms, home offices, home theaters, work out rooms, hobby/craft areas, and even “man caves.”

  4. Be creative (or know someone who is). The goal of your remodeling project should be to “debasementize” your basement. ("Debasementize" is not a word, but you probably know what I mean). You want to make your lower level living space feel and work like the above-grade floors of your home. Identify cool approaches to work around poles, look into lighting methods to provide a warm, comfortable feel, etc.

  5. Don’t skimp today and pay tomorrow. It’s better to do fewer rooms better than more rooms poorly or unsafely. Know the rules of basement remodeling for your city or town. If you’re adding a bedroom or a TV or exercise room, you’ll most likely need to include an emergency escape egress window. (This is not an inexpensive item but it is required in most building codes. It will have the benefit of adding light and ventilation and is a very good selling feature.) Think about improving your basement windows as well; glass blocks are a cost-effective way to get air, light, and reduce the drafts through old metal and wood framed windows. Make sure to add sound deadening insulation if you’re creating a home office or a bedroom.

  6. Add the cool factor. Think about one or two fun elements that will really make you want to go in the basement. Maybe it’s a wet bar with a granite countertop, a steam room or walk in shower, or a complete home theater.

Basement Remodeling: Cost-Effective Space Is Right Below Your Feet was originally published on News from the Block.

Mike Foti

Mike Foti is President of Innovate Building Solutions – including Columbus Glass Block, Cleveland Glass Block, Mid America Glass Block, West Side Glass Block, Bath Doctor, Cleveland Design and Remodeling, and Cincinnati Design and Remodeling. Mike purchased the business from his father Joe in 1989 and set upon an aggressive growth path to expand the company both geographically and with new products and services that can add value to our customers’ properties. Mike has authored over 70 articles on glass blocks, windows, doors, bathtub and shower liners, and remodeling. In addition Mike is the author of “News from the Block” -- a remodeling blog with tips and ideas for the nicest home or business on the block.

blog comments powered by Disqus