When we’re looking for extra space around the home, the loft is often the first space we turn to. But if you’ve got a good-sized basement, it may be another great option.
However, it’s not simply a case of doing a bit of light decoration and many things can go wrong without careful planning. So, here are some essential tips to make sure your basement remodel goes smoothly.
Let an expert see it first
Before you start making any plans to convert your basement, it’s essential to get an expert in to look at it. This will ensure that it’s suitable for conversion, and it will give you a good idea of what needs to be done and how much it will cost you.
This could mean consulting with a structural engineer as well as a builder. You will also need to check that any plans and changes meet with current building regulations before you start.
Keep out moisture
The one thing that basements are well-known for is damp, and keeping it out can be a mammoth task. That’s because basements are below ground, where a high level of moisture is prevalent and with building materials such as stone and brick being porous, it’s no wonder that damp is an issue.
Thankfully this can be fixed. Damp proofing a basement is a little more complex than your rooms above ground but it can be done by installing a tanking membrane or waterproof layer in most cases.
Bring in light
Apart from getting rid of damp, getting enough light into your basement is important for making it inhabitable and pleasant to be in.
If you can get natural light into your basement, then that’s a big bonus. But not all basements have access to light or can be fitted with windows. If you don’t have a window in your basement, it does limit what you can do with it. For example, you couldn’t convert it to a bedroom as there wouldn’t be an adequate fire escape route.
If you’re converting the basement into a games or cinema room and don’t have any or enough natural light, then installing adequate electric lighting is essential.
Another important thing to get right is the access to your basement room. That means easy access via a staircase that isn’t too steep and doesn’t have restricted headroom. This will make your basement safer and more inviting to use. Doing this could mean that you have to make some minor structural changes such as taking out an old staircase, switching the direction of your steps or moving the location of the entrance.
If your staircase feels enclosed or dark, try improving the sense of space by increasing lighting, using glass panels or keeping the colour scheme fresh and bright.
Give it a distinct function
Once the structural elements are sorted, there’s one more tip to achieving a good conversion that you should know about and that’s to give it a distinct function. You should decide this before you start spending money renovating it.
Knowing what the function of your basement will be, will help you target your renovation money in the right places. It will also make sure the remodel adds valuable and usable space to your home.