If your Salem home is starting to burst at the seems now might be the right time to give some thought to finishing your basement. You might have trouble seeing past the limitations of your basement, but the truth is that it does not have to be limited to a dungeon where you hide all your junk. Being creative with your basement space will allow you to make use of the extra square footage, and increase your home’s value. Having said that, the challenging nature of basement remodeling is why so many basement remain “unfinished”.
Although there can be a number of ways to transform your basement into one of the more inviting rooms in your home, you need to first ensure the space is actually livable. Remodeling your basement is completely different from remodeling the other rooms in your home. These unique challenges must be addressed. Therefore, it is vitally important that you understand these challenges if you are going to be sensible about any changes you may want to make.
There are a number of things you need to consider: whether the basement has excess moisture; whether it has provisions for heating and cooling; whether it has ducts and pipes below the ceiling joists that may need relocation; whether it is radon-free, and whether you have sufficient ceiling height.
What will you use your basement for?
Once you have finished your assessment and decided that your basement can be renovated, then you must determine the best use of the space. There are many things you can do with your basement, including turning it into a family room, children’s playroom, additional bedroom, game room, home office, music or art studio, home gym or anything else that may tickle your fancy, as long as it’s practical.
The number of possibilities is almost infinite, and you can even combine two or more ideas if you have the space. Unfortunately there are certain limits to what you are allowed to use your basement for, so you should make certain that your ideas will comply with the local building codes. Converting your basement into another bedroom is a fairly common thing, but to do so requires that you make sure there at least one more means of egress besides the basement stairs. Adding basement windows that are sufficiently big enough to crawl through will allow you to comply with the building code.
What about my storage space?
Everybody knows that for some reason or another basements have a tendency to wind up being junk rooms. Which means that all this stuff needs to go somewhere else when you renovate your basement. Taking this into consideration you will probably still need to allocate some of the square footage to storage. However, you can also find more creative ways to create storage areas in your house. For instance, you could build shelving or small closets under the stairwell, have shelves along the walls enclosed behind small doors, or use stock cabinetry as storage chests and bench seats.
What about basement flooring?
Due to the fact basements are below ground level the types of flooring choices that available are rather limited. Carpet is obviously a standard for upper level rooms, but in a basement environment it can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Perpetually wet carpet is annoying, but the mold that it could result in can cause health issues for your family as well as costly remediation expenses to eliminate it. If there is any kind of moisture issues in your basement then you should research waterproofing before you consider your flooring options. Having said that, dry basements actually do exist. If you happen to be lucky enough to have a dry basement then carpeting is a perfectly reasonable choice.
Everyone knows that moisture is often times an problem with basements and this can impact your flooring choices. Luckily there are sub-floors that are designed specifically for basements. A sub-floor works by creating a barrier to block any moisture the concrete slab below it might generate. An all-in-one floor is another option – it integrates a finished floor surface on top of plastic sub-floor tiles. Colored or stained concrete is yet another alternative that ensures you never have to worry about mold, and you can combine this with in-floor radiant heat for a design that is both comfortable and attractive.
Salem Basement Finishing
It is worth mentioning again, when it comes to basement remodeling the building code is the most important aspect. Making sure your basement is up to code has to trump all other considerations. This is where a general contractor who is aware of the many unique situations that are associated with finishing a basement can make the job much more enjoyable. Steve’s Home Improvement is a team of remodeling professionals that are specialists in basement renovation and service all of Marion County, Oregon.
Call (503) 342-8234 today for all your basement finishing needs for your Salem home.