The basement is an opportunity to have the spaces you want along with the spaces you need upstairs. But before crafting lower level dream spaces there are crucial steps of basement remodeling that must be addressed.
Build it to Code
Local building codes can vary, but most towns require egress windows, fire stops, and smoke and carbon monoxide detection systems. These are for your safety, so apply for these permits and build to code. Bypassing this step can come back to haunt you in the future when trying to sell the home or changing a home insurance policy.
Keep It Dry
Remodeling a wet basement is a waste of time and money. Any water leaks, moisture or humidity problems and flooding needs to be corrected before remodeling begins. After any repairs, ways to insure it stays dry includes filling foundation cracks with epoxy injections, applying a moisture lock coating to bare concrete, and installing a sump pump with battery backup.
Make it Comfortable
Basements are notoriously cool because they are underground, and if you overlook insulation and temperature control people will be less likely to use these new spaces because it still feels like a basement. Apply rigid polystyrene insulation sheets to exterior walls and R13 fiberglass roll insulation to interior walls. Also upgrade or alter your HVAC system to keep the downstairs as comfortable as the upstairs.
And Now the Fun Part – Designing a Recreational Basement
A previously finished basement in Jefferson County, MO is focused on recreation for the family and their friends of all ages. Over the years, it became a scattered jumble of gaming, sporting and exercise equipment crowding out the family room.
The Mosby design team took an inventory of all the recreational items, and the entertaining needs of the family to create a new plan that gives function to the fun. The main theme is to create distinct areas for specific activities yet keep a communal flow.
In the main room, polished and dynamic finishes lend glamour to a new kitchenette and bar overlooking the pool table and a modern, wall-mounted gas fireplace. This space is now the inviting hub for food, drink and conversation before heading off to other activities in the basement.
Mosby designers used an unfinished portion of the basement to create a separate home theater just off the family room. Theater-style seating, surround sound and soundproof walls and ceiling make this a quiet and relaxing place to watch movie son the big screen.
Previously, a separate game room was cram packed with goodies, but there wasn’t enough room to properly enjoy them, especially if there were multiple games going at once.
Mosby designers moved the pool table to the new gathering space so there was comfortable elbow room for foosball, ping pong and poker. On the left side of this room (above) is an opening and doorway to a brand new room, below. This is the pinball arcade, which was carved from the same unfinished portion of the basement as the home theater.
This lower level remodel was about refining recreational needs, with form following function. The beauty of your basement is that it can be anything you desire.
Mosby Building Arts is offering a free seminar on planning for a lower level remodel. Our designers will share the latest basement finishing trends, tips and challenges. You’ll learn how to prepare for every step of the process, from financing to construction. RSVP here for this or other upcoming remodeling seminars.