How to make the most out of your Basement.
Basements are often synonymous with storage spaces for unwanted items and that is why most houses end up with old dusty – sometimes kind of scary looking – ones. However, basements can be amazing spaces that can be transformed into innovative rooms of many kinds, especially when a house has limited above-ground space.
What can I turn my Basement into?
A Playroom or a Game room.
If you live with children, a playroom full of toys and activity spaces can be created in the basement. On the other hand, a Game room with high-tech consoles or even traditional options like ping-pong and table football is a fun area for everyone, especially teens and adults who need a relaxing bonding time.
A Gym or Sauna
Many fitness fans would love to create their own gym and the basement can be perfect for that. That way you can work out whenever you want during the day or night and for free! Another idea is to install a small sauna in the basement, if you can fulfil the technical requirements of course! A sauna helps reduce toxic stress, it can ease muscle pains and of course it is a great way to relax!
If you are a fan of movies, you can transform your basement into a home cinema, installing comfy sofas, a projector and a cinematic cloth. It is an easy process and it definitely makes this space the most interesting part of the house. Remember to include a popcorn machine!
For wine lovers, the basement is an ideal place for storing wines, bottles and barrels, as the temperature can be ideal. You can also install a mixer’s bench or a small bar and spend quality tasting time there.
If you often work from home and need a space to concentrate on your work, you can transform the basement into a private office. For more tips on the home office concept, you can check out our articles “Home Office Solutions” & “Working from Home with a family”.
An artist’s studio can be a messy place, especially when it comes to painting, sculpting or generally hand-made art. Turning the basement into an arts studio gives you the opportunity to concentrate on your creativity and keep the rest of the house intact.
If you are a musician you’ll probably love having your own studio to practice in. That also applies for people who have podcasts or make videos. With the right soundproofing equipment, you can install a recording studio at home. Not only will you be able to do your work or hobby whenever you want, but you won’t disturb any roommates or neighbours.
Before the Renovation
First and foremost, you need to know what to take care of.
Check for Moisture – Mold
In basements, there is always water in the surrounding soil, either as an aquifer or as rainwater drainage from roofs and gardens. One tiny crack or hole and the damage is done. So if you want your basement to be clean and dry, you need to re-insulate your walls. When it comes to mold one thing you should not do is paint over it. An efficient technique is cementoid spread. You can also apply a self-adhesive bituminous membrane on the walls, to absorb the humid. A good final solution is commercially sold dehumidifiers.
Check for insects – Τermites
Many basements can have termites or other insects that can damage the building and transmit diseases or cause allergies, especially if there is wood construction. Before you start the process of renovating the basement, it would be a good idea to ask for an inspection by experts in disinsectisation.
Especially if you live in Amsterdam or the Netherlands in general, you should be extra careful with flooding risk. One measure to avoid flooding is to clean the gutters. Blocked gutters will cause all of the roof water to seep straight into your home, increasing the chance of basement flooding. In the event that you do not prevent any damage, it is a good idea to have an automatic emergency generator installed in the basement, to provide power to the home’s basic electrical circuits.
During the Design
Things to take care of:
Τake care of the staircase that leads to the basement.
For aesthetic and most importantly safety reasons, the staircase that leads to the basement should be well considered and regularly maintained especially if it is made of wood.
Select the right materials for flooring, walls & ceilings.
Since basements can be filled with moisture, selecting the appropriate insulating materials during the renovation is of no small importance.
Ventilation , Heating & Cooling.
Since basements were not necessarily built for regular use, but indeed as a storage space, many have inadequate ventilation, heating and cooling. Ventilation in basements is of particular importance. For more insights on ventilation, check out this article. Dehydrator machines will prove very efficient. At the same time the regulation of the temperature in the basement is of utmost importance and there should be provision for heaters.
Major focus on the lighting.
Many basements can have no windows and therefore no source of natural lighting. For some functions, such as s home office for example, you will need to introduce natural lighting. For others, it might be ok not to have it. Either way, lighting (natural or artificial) remains one of the most important aspects to work out. Start your lighting design from the approach to the basement, for example as you come down the stair, it is important to have proper lighting. Automatic light sensors can be a good idea here. Moreover, whatever room you turn your basement into, the light is an important factor for this place to function well but also achieve the atmosphere you are trying to create. You can invest in ceiling, floor and wall lights, depending on the overall design.
To sum up, transforming your basement adds up to the entire house, literally in additional space to use and figuratively as well! However, before diving into the design you should take care of major construction and technical factors that will save you time and money in the future. It is a process that in the end, refreshes not just the underground space but your entire lifestyle.
If you are considering renovating your basement and would like some help, contact us. We’ll be happy to help you with any questions you have.