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The Ultimate Basement Remodeling Guide: Turn Your Basement Into a Masterpiece

a remodeled basement with a wide open floorplan

There was a time when the underbelly of the home— i.e. the basement—was a dark and dreary place, mildewy and moldy, cluttered by old junk, stuffy with old books and dusty old furniture, used for laundry, storage, or the occasional teenage rock drummer, but it was devoid of style, design, and unique touch. A basement renovation project is not only a fun venture and a solid investment, but it allows an opportunity to express yourself in a completely different way than any other house remodeling project might. These creative options are what make basement remodels so exciting. There is no shortage of ideas, possibilities, or designs. 

Ready to explore them? What do you envision in your basement? Let’s look at some of the common trends and questions revolving around basement remodels in 2021. 

The Basement Remodel, A Blank Slate for the Designer and Builder

Basements were originally purely utilitarian spaces meant to house the washer, boiler, or other household necessities. In the mid-20th century, many basements were still built without considering mildew or mold. It took time before many considered air circulation and drainage into the design. The 1950s saw an uptick in the building of this underground space. During this time, the design was at least more considered than it had been previously, but it still lacked. And in recent decades, turning basements into living spaces with unique design and all the creature comforts and luxury has become a design genre in and of itself. 

Today, people turn their basements into functional, high-performing, eco-friendly spaces like: 

  • Game rooms
  • High-tech offices 
  • Workshops
  • Indoor theaters 
  • Study rooms and libraries 
  • Gyms and workout rooms 
  • Music studios
  • Extra bedroom
  • Home bar and mini kitchen

Where Do You Begin with a Basement Remodel? 

You have unused space beneath your home. You see possibilities. You have a vision, an idea, or a function that the space can fulfill but don’t know where to begin. A good starting point is always to first lay out this vision or idea. Knowing what you’re looking to turn the room into will guide decisions such as flooring, paint, materials, etc. 

  • Map out the layout and write/sketch it out. Putting the idea into paper will draw out questions, issues that need to be dealt with, etc. You want to start thinking about space distribution, layout, flooring, and other materials. 
  • Take the time to test and inspect before any building begins. Testing for moisture or water accumulation is critical to ensure there is no condensation forming or that the foundation is not compromised. Inspect for rot, damage to joists, windows, etc. Also, check for the home’s ventilation system for carbon monoxide. 
  • Ensure other foundation issues are addressed and checked. This may include insulating pipes before they get boxed in, diverting water away from the foundation using diverters, and sealing any cracks or gaps around pipes. 
  • Get rid of any mold and ensure the right materials are used for walls. Installing mold-resistant material saves homeowners a lot of grief down the road.

Modern Trends and Ideas for Functional Basement Design 

Whether you’re planning on building a game room or a home office, the materials and layout you choose will ultimately decide the functionality and longevity of your new basement. Here are a few things to consider: 

Flooring

The basement flooring will play a central role in the final result. The final function of the basement will be what determines the best flooring options. The floor in a basement needs to be more resistant to moisture and therefore should be what is referred to as above-grade. The term refers to ground level. Above-grade means it is safer from water migration and below-grade refers to a risk of water vapor damage and mild flooding. 

Inorganic materials are often better in basements. These include materials such as:

  • Concrete
  • Vinyl
  • Tile

Popular options for flooring in modern basements range from: 

  • Sheet vinyl flooring
  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
  • Engineered wood
  • Luxury vinyl plank
  • Plank tile flooring 
  • Concrete 
  • Laminate flooring

Lighting Options

The lighting of your basement is a critical component of the final result. The lighting considerations will vary, of course, depending on the type of basement renovation and its light requirements. A game room will have different lighting than a home office or a home theater. There are plenty of options when it comes to lighting including:

  • Ambient lighting
  • All-over lighting
  • Task lighting
  • Indirect lighting 

Many options exist for keeping your basement energy-efficient as well, whether it’s by using LED lighting or compact fluorescent lights. Depending on the function of the room, the light fixtures will be positioned in different ways. 

Hire a Professional for a Basement Renovation and Overhaul 

A full basement remodel is a heavy undertaking. While it may appear easy at face value, addressing building codes and dealing with complications is necessary for a good project. A professional remodeling company will not only ensure the proper planning and preliminary work is done but also provide the expertise to turn your basement into a masterpiece. 

At Heartwood Homes, we like to offer homeowners creative freedom in developing their basement design, but we offer our expertise and service to help flesh out the ideas and ensure they are executed properly. 

Get Sustainable and Modern Basement Renovations with Heartwood Homes

Our mission is to incorporate sustainable and energy-efficient practices in all of our buildings and designs. That is, of course, never at the expense of beauty, functionality, or convenience. On the contrary, we use this as a challenge to take sustainable design to the next level. Your basement is a place that you get to define, a room that provides you an escape from the confined home expectations. Here is where you can bring your vision to life. We want to help you do it. 

Ready for a basement renovation or remodel? Contact Heartwood Homes today and find out more. 

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