Not everyone has a basement, but if you are lucky enough to have one then you can create an extension of your living area. They can be extensions of family rooms as they can be made into a library or an extra bedroom. They can create an area to fulfill a specific function, such as play area, a hobby room, an entertainment centre such as a snooker room.
One of the difficulties when remodeling a basement is that problems may arise from water infiltration. If the problem is severe enough then it will foster the growth of mould. Basements are basically concrete slabs, and the pores in concrete draw water inside by capillary action. The average basement draws in several times more water in a day than the bathroom and kitchen combined.
One idea to minimize this problem is to install underfloor heating or a fireplace. If you can control the humidity in the basement then you have a chance of controlling the air contaminants such as mold and fungi. As well as being dangerous, they harbor a distinctive and unpleasant odor.
When planning your basement the issue of lighting should be given top priority, as the area needs to be better lit than other rooms above ground level. The use of light bright colors also opens up the area. There are several tricks you can explore to maximize the amount of natural and artificial light.
Access could be a glass door rather than the more traditional wooden one. Where part of the basement is above ground the light can be maximized by the addition of large windows. Many people think that this will create a security problem as it makes it easier for potential burglars to gain access. This risk can be minimized by adding small glass blocks rather than windows.
Adding mirrored walls or ceilings will also create a bright atmosphere and will amplify the artificial light. A gloomy basement is not the best design feature, so you may also need to maximize the headroom. This means that air ducts and plumbing need to be relocated along the side walls which means you have height in the center of your basement.
The best source of artificial light is neon lighting but that may not be the best design option. If the basement area is to have a decorative use rather than a functional one way to increase the light is to focus it upward. Uplighting creates contrasts whilst incandescent recessed ceiling lights give a brilliant white light.
Function + Form
Your basement remodel ideas should also include the present purpose of the basement. If your basement is a storage area then you may have to build some separate storage space into the new design. It would be a pity to design your perfect basement and then find it cluttered with all sorts of junk.
Any basement remodeling idea must address the issue of a floor covering. In general hardwood floors such as slates, tiles or vinyl are more suitable than carpets. If a flood occurs or you develop a sewerage problem these hardwood surfaces are easier to clean.
If you desire to give the room warmth then rugs can be applied rather than wall to wall carpeting. This means that it can be removed for cleaning in the event of damage. Sometimes the basement area is utilized to get more living space; it can be turned into a laundry room to free space in your kitchen.
When designing the basement don’t forget to give some consideration to access. It may be that the stairs will need to be widened. The stars should be fairly wide to facilitate access your new area.
Photos by Wonderlane (top image) and planetttelex (lantern lights), Creative Commons Attribution License