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Taking Your Basement Out of the Dark Ages

While most homeowners consider their basement to be a purely utilitarian space, it may be time to consider the possibility of turning the lowest level of your home into a functional and livable room that the whole family can enjoy.

Many people have turned their ugly basements into laundry rooms and other functional spaces, but something many homeowners never realize is that basement remodeling has endless possibilities as a great venue for relaxation, gaming, gathering, guest rooms, and so much more.

So, if you’re a savvy homeowner thinking about a Chicago basement remodel in the near future, here are some important things to consider before you proceed:

Plan Accordingly

Basement Interior Renovation - Lake Forest ILWhether your newly finished basement is going to be a game room, a guestroom, or something completely different, it is essential that you have a plan in place before you proceed. It is important to consider all the necessary electrical, heating, air conditioning, and plumbing work that will be needed to complete this task. Remember that basements are likely to attract unwanted moisture, so, instead of carpet or wood, look into a tasteful laminate floor.

Because this initial phase is so important, it may be in your best interest to consult a professional for help with utility installation and local building codes.

Maximize Space and Light

Since basements tend to be a little claustrophobic, it is vital that you do everything you can to make it feel as spacious as possible. For example, you may want to avoid a drop ceiling, as it takes away precious ceiling space. To avoid clutter, utilize built-in shelves and storage.

Another method is to create the illusion of more space by using illusions, like light-colored paints and surfaces that reflect light. Even light from the smallest of windows can be a breath of fresh air to an otherwise dreary space. If windows are in short supply, other reflective surfaces, like mirrors can be used to create the illusion of a more spacious room.

Look to the Future

When finishing your basement, be sure to keep any future projects in mind. Because the basement is the site of most home’s mechanical systems, it is likely you will need to use it to do any improvements on the main floor. Of course, there’s nothing worse than having to remove and replace new work. So, if you’re planning future remodels to the first floor, take this opportunity to run a few electrical wires or waste and supply lines for a future bathroom.

Reduce Noise

Basement home theaterOne downfall of a furnished basement is that it can afflict the rest of the house with noise, especially if you plan to use it as a media center. Without any sound break, sound can travel right through wood and drywall, projecting noise throughout the home. Installing sound insulation or an RC channel can be immensely helpful for noise reduction — ensuring peace and quiet in the rest of the house.

Go Green

As with any project, it’s always a good idea to look for recycled parts that can be used. Keep in mind that there are many building suppliers and décor shops that sell items made of recycled elements. It’s a great way to save money, help the environment, and find some great things.

A refinished basement is a great way to add value and function to any home. It is also a smart alternative to an addition, as you will, on average, save approximately $100 per square foot. By following this advice, you will find that a renovated basement room can be a great addition to any home.

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