Homeowners wishing to enclose basement appliances should take note of air-supply requirements for both the furnace and water heater, which are powered by electricity or natural gas, oil or propane. Fuel-burning appliances use room air for combustion and require an unrestricted air supply. Any enclosure requires installation of a louvered door between living areas and the furnace room to ensure an adequate air supply and ventilation in your basement. Without sufficient air, a house may fill with dangerous gases, including carbon monoxide or radon.
Pipes will have to be brought down, and a sewage pump and backwater valve might have to be installed to ensure proper drainage of effluent and bath/shower water if gravity doesn’t work in your favor. Take care to ensure moisture prevention with a dehumidifier and vented fan system. Many building codes have minimum dimensions regarding how close each fixture can be to the next.
If the hundreds of photos and stories submitted to this year's annual Search for America's Best Remodel Contest prove one thing, it's that you love flipping the idea of what a basement can be. With a little work, these once dark, desolate spaces can become bonus rooms for entertaining family and friends or getting some work done. Here, the editors of This Old House pick the best basement remodels.

Storage is key in a multipurpose space. There are several storage units throughout this basement. An IKEA cubby bookcase is a perfect fit for the office niche. Orange baskets corral small items and add spots of color to the basement's storage solutions. Stock cabinetry did not fit in the bar or media spaces, so the homeowners opted for costly, custom cabinets. Experiment with different types of storage units in your home to utilize every possible space.
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