Basements haven’t exactly gotten a good rep from people over the years. They’re often seen as dark, scary, or just plain creepy spaces that you’d rather avoid if given a chance. And since their primary function is to make extra room for your belongings, it’s easy to leave them that way.
But if you do have the room to spare and a little patience to put in the work, basements can be transformed into beautiful living spaces — dens where you can hang out with your friends and family. With enough work, you can even turn it into a place that you’ll find yourself wanting to spend a lot of time in.
However, there are some basics that you need to follow if you’re looking to transform your basement, like:
No matter what kind of design you have in mind for your basement, it’s essential to keep in mind that it’s still underground, and therefore needs ventilation. A whole host of issues can crop up if you fail to ventilate properly, like air quality and water damage.
One of the best ways to get around this issue — and also to introduce a little natural lighting in your basement — is to make window wells. They act as windows for rooms that are below ground level and can be fitted with things like steel window well covers to prevent things from getting in.
Check your utility lines
For most residential neighborhoods, it’s not uncommon to see that the power, water, and sewage lines be located underneath the property. That’s why before you start thinking about taking a hammer and smashing away at your walls to make room, it’s best to consult your local zoning and ordinance department about it.
There are even some places that will expressly forbid you from construction if you don’t get the right permits. Coordinating with local zoning teams can give you the best bang out of your buck for reconstructing your basement, and they may be able to connect you to people that can do it for you.
Proper furniture and fixtures
The underground nature of a basement means that you’ll need to be a little more thoughtful as to what kind of furniture you can bring down there. Sometimes the foundation to your home is exposed in your basement, which makes attaching fixtures or bringing in particularly large furniture a little challenging.
When in doubt, you should get a contractor to help you out. It’s best to get one that can both survey your basement and give you recommendations on how realistic your design is, as it’s a considerable investment that can easily be wasted if you aren’t careful.
Properly constructed, you’d be surprised at how much fun a basement can be. As it’s one of the most private areas of any home, it can be an excellent place for you and your loved ones to let loose, or be a space where you can concentrate on doing something you love. The possibilities are endless and can be easily reached with a little hard work and patience.
And once it’s done, you’ll find the phrase “basement-dweller” to be much friendlier than what it usually implies.