For many decades the basement was a forgotten area in most homes. It was the resting place of every forgotten gadget and piece of exercise equipment, home to boxes and boxes of clothing you swore you would fit into one day. Basements were cold, and dark; a perfect place for any bogeyman to make his home; as in all childhood tales. All of this stood true of course unless you were like our families. Most of us had turned that basement into the main living quarters in the home complete with family room and full functioning kitchens. That’s where all meals and festivities were enjoyed. Heaven forbid we use the “good kitchen” upstairs. The house might come toppling down if we sat on the “good living room set” on the upper floor. Some of us even went as far as making a separate entrance as in not disturbing the sacred floors above. My my how times have changed.
Today’s basements have truly come full circle from the heavily laden ed dark plywood walls and low ceilings. No more bumping your head on the bulkhead as you come down the stairs. The air is no longer musty and damp.
Many home owners are now finishing their basements instead of selling and buying bigger. For the simple fact that perhaps they love the neighbourhood in which they are living. A professionally finished basement can create additional living space and add to the comfort of the home. Here are CALITRI’S 5 points to consider when renovating your basement.
1. KEEP WARM. Address the issue of cold concrete floors; easily solved by adding heated floors. Make sure you upgrade windows and insulate walls. “If you have hot water heating, hot water radiant heat is relatively inexpensive to install and run, and it is efficient. Otherwise, ensure that you install a vapour barrier and insulated sub floor before tiling or installing carpet.”
2. CREATE HEADROOM. CALITRI recommends a minimum of 8ft. or more in an ideal situation. This would require a procedure called underpinning which essentially means excavation of the basement deeper in order to lower that floor. Underpinning is required in order to be sure that the structure is secure.
3. ADD LIGHTING. Make sure that lighting is arranged in zones; and we also recommend that it is placed on dimmer switches therefore you have control of what areas you want lite, and how bright or dim you want the transmission. This in turn will save you money on electricity as well as add ambiance to the space.
4. CREATE STORAGE. Combining areas that are hidden with some open area shelving can make the space look bigger. Storage can be added for relatively low cost in the grand scope of renovation. Toys in wicker baskets proves effective for children to take out and put away their toys.
5. USE WARM PAINT COLOURS. CALITRI advises: Avoid dark colours, which can close in a space. Trim colours should be painted white or off white, semi gloss. Paint ceilings white.
Happy Spring, time to de-clutter and revive those basements!!