The basement depicted here had unused space underneath the stairs. Why not transform this area into a storage or display area instead? These homeowners found some usable square footage in their home by remodeling their basement into a space-conscious hangout, an inventive and creative strategy that shows you don’t have to substitute style for function.
But the brilliant trick she employed to disguise the too-low ceiling was to paint the walls and ceiling the same color (Farrow & Ball, Elephant's Breath). Painting the ceiling white and the walls a different color would have created a horizontal line. The eye would use this line to establish the height of the ceiling. Instead, walls and ceiling blur together, making the ceiling look higher than it really is.
Increasing numbers of homeowners decide to enhance the existing concrete in their basement instead of covering it up. Stained and painted concrete floors offer many benefits, including their suitability for people with allergies. Skilled contractors can reproduce the look of slate, tile and marble, or they can apply dyes, paints and stencils in a variety of designs.
Simply finishing the floors, walls, and ceilings of the basement can help increase the value of your home. But putting extra thought into what you want to use the space for now, will save you on fees later. For example, if you intend to use this as a children’s playroom, then building shelves into the walls, adding egress windows, and putting down carpeting can all be done at the time of the remodel, rather than added later.
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.
In choosing the best décor for the basement, try to create some sense of continuity with the rest of the house. Start by creating an open stairwell leading from the rest of the house. It makes the basement feel open, lighter and connected to your home. Next, make sure that anyone descending the stairwell isn’t jarred by the contrast in décor with the space above. As much as you need to create defining styles for different sections of the basement, ensure there is a flow from the décor above to the one below. Otherwise, your basement is going to feel like some far off disconnected place and not part of your home.
Most cities and towns will require a permit for basement remodels. In addition, there are several codes that dictate what can be done in this area. For example, a basement must have a ceiling height of a minimum of 7-feet. If your basement has a ceiling height lower than this, it may not pass code if remodeled. In addition, plan the cost of the building permits, around $430 on average, into your budget.
For homeowners who are seeking fully remodel a basement, then they will be aiming to spend anywhere from $30,000 to $65,000. The varied range depends on the extent of the renovations that are made to the space. The addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, exterior insulation, electrical wiring, plumbing, flooring, furniture, light fixtures and the help of a contractor will all cause an increase in the price. Of course, the cost to remodel a basement will also depend on the square footage of the space.
"We love that the basement now has a cozy feel yet is very on-trend and modern. It has doubled our square footage with very usable space and given us an additional bedroom and full bathroom. We used a beautiful door from the 1800s to line the wall behind the urinal in the bathroom, and we burned the cabinets in the dry bar and the bathroom countertop with a blowtorch to achieve a unique look. We lightly etched the concrete floors and then used a urethane, making a mirror-like finish that reflects light."