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Basement Design and Remodeling

"Converting your unused basement area into an office, or recreation area, can be a very efficient way of creating usable space in your home."

Basement Remodeling Tips

Website: Editor - The Home Improvement Web

Converting your unused basement area into an office, or recreation area, can be a very efficient way of creating usable space in your home. Before starting your basement remodeling project make sure that you check for moisture problems first. Moisture problems can be caused by a variety of reasons. Improperly installed/clogged downspout drainage is usually the number one cause of moisture problems in a basement. Also make sure that the earth outside of the foundation walls slope away from the house.

If you have serious moisture problems we recommend having the problem repaired from the outside of the foundation walls. Yes, this creates more of a mess when it comes to replanting shrubs, grass, and other existing landscaping enhancements, but assures the homeowner that the problem is really corrected. It is a very tempting to have the problem solved from the inside by many of the water- proofing companies that are in business. This method does not solve the water related problems you have, but only diverts the water problems that are occurring. This is similar to fixing a leak in your roof by placing a bucket under the leak it doesn't fix the problem, just diverts the water.

Correcting the water problem from the outside usually involves placing corrugated drain piping at the base of the foundation walls along with other materials/methods that take the water away from the foundation. We will not get into these methods in detail here. Now that we have all of the water-proofing companies hair standing on end, lets move on.

Once you have established that the basement is free from moisture problems besides the natural occurrence of being located below ground level in which a dehumidifier will take care of it's time for planning your design. You need to ask yourself the following questions:
1) What activities will you use your space for recreation, office space, etc?
2) Will you be spending enough time in your new basement to allow for a bathroom to be located on the same level?
3) Would this be feasible in both your design and budget?
4) If your laundry facilities are located on the basement level, is there a more convenient and/or better location to move these facilities as to not interfere with the basement plan?

Once you have figured out the above questions you can proceed with your planning. Planning your basement remodeling project should revolve around what your planned usage is for the completed project.
Below are a few tips to consider when planning the remodeling of your basement:

Incorporate closets to enclose utilities such as natural gas and water meters. This will create storage space and provide a means of access if the components should need repair or replaced.
1) If possible, drywall the ceilings instead of the common drop-style ceilings. This provides a natural room appearance instead of a basement look.
2) Use trim and mouldings that have been used throughout the rest of the house to further enhance the flow of the area to the main level of the house.
3) Locate plenty of electrical receptacles, telephone jacks, and any cable TV or satellite jacks in the needed areas of your design.
4) Make sure you are within earshot of your doorbell or incorporate one into your design.
5) Always make sure that you have smoke detectors and an alternate means of escape if your stairway would become blocked by fire.
6) Many homes have had glass block style windows installed. Make sure you have at least one window that is easily removable that can be used as a means of escape. 7) Locate an item of furniture under this window that can be used as a stepping stool to enhance the accessibility of escape.

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