A good basement renovation should reflect the tastes and preferences of the household. Thankfully, since most basements are rather large, you can turn your basement into a bar for your friends, a playroom for your younger children and a sleepover paradise for your older kids without sacrificing space!
Following is a list of the most popular current renovations. As you'll see, there's no reason why you need to tackle only one of these, as most of them don't require the use of the entire basement.
- Add an Apartment: It's common for elderly parents to move in with their children's' families for comfort and safety. In today's economy, it's also increasingly popular for a child to move back home after graduating college! There's no need for these scenarios to lead to space battles if you convert your basement to an apartment. Family members can have their own space, which will help to avoid that dreaded crowded feeling.
- Build a Bar: Why risk impaired driving when you can party in your own basement? Turn your basement into the neighborhood bar and enjoy the company of your friends in the safety and privacy of your own home. Those who have partied a bit too much can spend the night.
- Extra Bedrooms: If your child loves to have friends spend the night, why should you suffer through all-night giggle fests? A designated bedroom for such parties saves your sanity as well as providing accommodations for grownup visitors.
- Work at Home: Tired of putting up with screaming children and barking dogs while you try to finish that report? Converting part of your basement into a home office is extremely easy, and can make working at home much more relaxing.
- Home Cinema: Due to inflated ticket prices, more and more families and couples are waiting for the DVD when it comes to movies. Why sacrifice the experience? With a little creativity and a surround-sound system, your basement can become the hottest ticket in town.
Dry it Up
No matter how skillfully your basement renovation is done, a wet and musty environment will ruin it in a hurry. Waterproofing your basement is absolutely essential before you begin a renovation.
There are several ways to do this. One is to install plastic edging where the floor meets the wall. This plastic edging creates a waterproof barrier, and bead-board, then sheetrock, is installed over it.
One of the most effective ways to lessen water and moisture in your basement is to do a bit of landscaping. Take a look at your foundation. Are there wells which allow water to collect next to the wall when it rains? Do your gutters and downspouts deposit water right next to the foundation? Fixing these simple foundation-weakening trouble spots can help the indoor waterproofing do its job much more easily.
Simply build up the ground slightly around your home so that water flows away from it. Adjust or add to your downspouts so that water is deposited at least 6 to 8 feet away from the house. This will require, at the very least, a concrete slab to guide water away. These slabs can be hidden by creative landscaping; however, it can save you a great deal in time and money spent fixing potential water damage.
Once you've taken external steps to prevent excess water, you may also want to use a waterproofing sealant. These have taken major strides in recent years, and are seen by many professionals as a reliable way to add waterproofing to a basement. There are many different brands available; ask your contractor or a knowledgeable worker at your local home-improvement store for recommendations. The best products involve at least two steps: sealing cracks and applying a coat to the entire concrete floor and all the walls. This is done before any sheetrock or finishing materials are applied.
Hiring a Professional
If you're thinking of hiring a professional to help you with all or part of your basement renovation, you have some important decisions to make. Do you need help with the entire renovation, or just trickier portions like plumbing? Will you hire a contractor, a handyman, or a plumber? How will you find this person in the first place?
Luckily, there are now websites which have taken a lot of the legwork and headache out of finding a reliable professional. These websites allow you to find all kinds of professionals in your area, from general handymen to contractors with every imaginable specialty. These professionals are then divided by area. Former clients can post reviews, allowing you to read first-hand accounts of work ethic and quality before you even contact a particular professional...what a time-saver!
As a general rule, you should look for certain things right away. Is this person licensed? Do they carry adequate insurance? Do they have experience in the sort of work I need performed? Are their references positive?
Answering these questions can practically make your decision for you, and ensure that you hire a reliable and reputable professional instead of a scam artist. Take the time necessary to verify all information, and you'll reap the rewards!Posted by: TrustedPros