The basement renovation plan might be as simple as drywall finishing the wall framing, a few extra light fixtures and shelving to increase basement storage potential. Or, it can be as detailed as transforming the area into a family room or basement game room that includes finished walls, ceiling, carpeting, and the addition of bathroom plumbing.
Considering that basements generally tend to contain a lot of junk, piping and electricity lines, and that they tend to be shabby spaces, dimly lit and unfinished, the amount of money that goes into the makeover can be prohibitive. On the other hand, a forsaken basement doesn't only deprive you of valuable extra living space, but can also affect the value of your property.
Here are a few simple cost saving ideas that will help you get the most out of your basement without breaking the bank.
Budget Basement Storage Idea
A popular idea for Toronto style basement renovation is to make use of the wasted space under the lower end of the stairway leading into the basement. Consider custom-made roll-out bins for this project.
Simple-style bins made from plywood and mounted on casters can be designed. Reinforce the inside corners of the bins using square molding. Create a template for the front, back, and filler pieces of each bin by tracing the slope of the stairs on cardboard. You can also buy ready-made shelves that fit under the staircase, or hire a carpenter to build it on site.
Remember to allow for the casters when determining bin height; the back and front of the bins should clear the stairs. Attach cupboard handles to the front of the bins for ease of access. This makes great basement storage space for sports equipment, boots and winter wear, seasonal decorations, or even cleaning supplies.
Low Cost Basement Floor Idea
If the floor of your basement is concrete, the following is a great way to make it chill-free. Of course, concrete floor should be level.
1. Clean off the surface of the basement concrete floor.
2. Apply thinned asphalt mastic (used for roof waterproofing).
3. Lay high-density polyethylene sheeting; 6-mil is good. Press flat using a weighted floor roller.
4. Using 2 X 4 pressure-treated sleepers, embed them from one end of the floor to the other in rows of mastic.
5. Nail sheets of B-grade exterior plywood to the sleepers.
6. Install carpet pad.
7. Install carpet.
Hiding Ugly Concrete-Filled Steel Posts on a Budget
A great way to hide the eye-sore steel support posts in the basement is to box them in. Shimming bottom edges off the floor use 1 X 6 and 1 X 4 lumber. Join the pieces in a box around the post, using same-size lumber on opposite sides.
Drill 1/8 holes through the box into the post. Attach using concrete screws; countersink the heads so they are flush with the wood. Trim the top and bottom of the wood box using quarter round.
Low Cost Basement Bathroom Idea
If part of your basement renovation design includes a bathroom, time and costs can be cut if bathroom fixtures are located near existing plumbing. This means designing the bathroom floor plan close to the main waste-vent stack and house drain. Fixture drain lines should maintain a downward slope of at least per foot.
Plumbing rough-ins are a common addition during the construction of many newer homes. If your house is older and has no drain rough-ins, you will most probably have to cut into the slab floor to make drain connections.
And remember, when deciding on small bathroom design it is easier and less complicated to arrange the bathroom fixtures along a line on one wall. Be sure to check local codes for plumbing and electrical aspects of your project.
Hanging Drywall on Concrete Basement Walls
Another aspect of basement renovation might be hanging drywall. If your basement walls consist of concrete instead of basement framing, here s a handy drywall tip. Use masonry nails to install furring strips on concrete basement walls. Of course, you ll want to pre-drill holes first to make the job easier.
Start holes through the furring strips for each masonry nail so that they just begin poking through the back of the strip. Hold the strip firmly in place against the wall; tap the nails to mark their locations on the walls.
Remove the strip and drill holes in the concrete using a 1/8 masonry bit. Replace the strip and nail them in place. Pre-drilling the holes first prevents the concrete from chipping and helps insure that the masonry nails will go in straight and hold tight.
Now you are ready to hang drywall. Be sure and tape each drywall corner and seam. When you are finished with drywall taping, cover nail heads with drywall compound; sand smooth when dry. Complete the project by painting drywall, using drywall texturing, or some other drywall finish technique.
Handy Safety Tip
One other basement renovation idea; if you plan on the addition of a space heater for basement use, select a model with safety features such as automatic shut off in case the unit gets tipped over. If basement flooring is flammable, make a brick platform to set the heater on. Make the platform large enough so that if the heater does get tipped over it won t fall on the floor.
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