Basement Finishing – Make The Most Of A Great Space
Living in an area where full basements are common gives Madison WI homeowners access to dozens of options for expand their living space. Basement finishing projects are not only economical they can quickly turn under-utilized space into exciting living areas.
Your under-appreciated basement becomes a focal point for family and friends after a basement remodel or lower level renovation. There’s no shortage of great ideas for basement rooms and activities. Consider a few of the most popular:
- Your “game-time” recreation room – would a Bucky Badger of Packers theme work for you?
- An expended family room for kids and their friends.
- A personal gym, workout room.
- A media center, home theater.
- The perfect place to dive into your hobbies and crafts.
- A workshop.
- A dedicated home office.
- An extra bedroom or two.
- An added bathroom – ideal complement to a home gym or bedroom.
- The perfect up-dated, inviting laundry room.
Let your imagination and family lifestyle dictate the best use of your below ground level space. When you’ve organized your thoughts, we’re ready to tweak your plans based on our years of experience. There’s more to a basement remodel or lower level renovation than you might think.
Westring Construction listens to customer needs and wants and then exceeds expectations. Superb quality.
Your basement needn’t be a catch-all for “junk” from main floor closets or the garage. It deserves its own place in daily life.
Begin Basement Finishing With The Basics
To begin your plan for making the basement a more useable space, evaluate the basics from floor to ceiling, including:
Walls and the ceiling – consider dressing up the walls with more than paint. But don’t undervalue bright colors – unless you’re going for the “cave” look use light colors to avoid making a confined space seem even smaller. Drywall on basement walls adds a finished touch. A design feature called wainscot – adding a more rugged material along the lower half of the drywall – not only creates a unique look it protects drywall from dings and dents. Ceilings can be drywall or specifically-designed creations for a basement remodel.
Employ plenty of light – traditional basement construction includes small unattractive windows and single-bulb light fixtures. One of the reasons you’ve avoided the basement is because “it’s too dark down there,” right? Because lower level ceilings are usually lower than the rest of the house consider recessed lighting to make the most of space between upped level floor joists.
Choose new windows – whenever possible go for new, larger windows. Natural light is the No. 1 choice for creating a welcoming space. Unless your home has a walkout basement adding windows is a major task. However, it is possible even with a full, below ground poured concrete basement. NOTE—If you are considering adding a basement bedroom you must add an egress window – a way to safely escape the basement if the stairway is blocked. It’s the law.
Renew the stairway – the “basement stairs” doesn’t get much consideration or attention during the building process. Now as you consider basement refinishing plans give the stairs a makeover, too. Consider them as important to your basement remodel as the stairway to the second floor is. Give specific thought to safety and lighting.
Call Upon A Pro For Basement Renovation
What are the top priorities for your family home? You have options when it comes to home remodeling – you can go out, up or down. Your basement may be a great space disguised as a drab storage closet. No doubt it has unique characteristics. There are features influencing what you can and cannot do with the space. In some cases you’re limited. In others you can do most anything. Call upon the pros at Westring Construction to evaluate your basement and see which category best describes your space. We’ll sit down with you and discuss:
- The foundation – you have to begin with the walls holding up the house. Are there cracks or signs of stress? A professional inspection is worth every second, especially for older homes.
- Water issues – are there signs of water damage? Do you have water in your basement whenever we get a heavy rain? A thorough inspection can reveal areas where water has seeped in even if you’re unaware of it. Water issues don’t make finishing your basement impossible, but dealing with them is important. Time and money spent to find the cause and stop the leak is worth it before putting in new flooring, walls or furniture isn’t it?
- Heating/Cooling – basements generally feel warmer in winter and cooler in summer because they are below grade (below ground). As you remodel you’ll need to pay attention to how duct work is routed. The ducts feeding the upper floors are in the ceiling of your basement rooms. In addition, always make sure hot water heater, furnace, etc. are easy to access when new walls go up.
- Flooring – what kind of floor do you want? Inspect the basement floor as it is today. Are there cracks or chips? Concrete repair or replacement could be the first order of business. From there, determine what works in you setting – wood, laminate, vinyl, tile, carpet – you have many options.
What Is An Egress Window
If you’re hoping to add a basement bedroom an egress window is required by law. Even if there won’t be a bedroom right now, look into the future. Adding a window meeting the requirements can be a timely investment.
Modern building codes dictate any basement with sleeping quarters MUST have an egress window. Egress simply means “a way out.” The window has to be big enough for an adult to crawl out of and there needs to be a clear path to ground level outside.
You can’t beat the reward from bringing more natural light into the new rooms, can you? Adding a large window increases the comfort level of any room and adds to resale value.
Westring Construction Understands Basement Finishing
As a dedicated home remodeling contractor Westring Construction LLC has served the Madison area for years. It’s provided renovation solutions for basements of all sizes and shapes. In both newer homes and the area’s most historic residences.
As you create a wish list for your home’s lower level renovation we suggest documenting all your likes and dislikes. Consider all the elements we’ve shared here. As an underlying theme, think “energy efficiency.” Don’t overlook function in favor of style. An energy-conscious basement remodel benefits the entire house because:
- Insulated basement walls seal and control air leaks around incoming pipes and wires.
- New windows are more energy-efficient than decades-old versions.
- Efficiently space heating/AC ducts improve overall performance.
Done right, basement remodeling projects boost your family’s living space without adding to your energy bills.
Westring Construction LLC is known for its versatile approach to remodeling – we work up, out and down! When you’re ready to explore bringing your home’s lower level into the 21st century, give us a call. There’s no better time than right now to make the most of the great space beneath your feet. Contact us for a basement finishing plan to complement your Madison WI home.