Homeowners sometimes relegate their basements to use as an unorganized storage area, filling it with unwanted gifts, out-of-date furniture, holiday decorations and just plain junk. Making better use of a basement is a smart idea, because it expands a family's living area. Professionally finishing or remodeling a basement can be costly, but there are inexpensive alternatives that will still yield livable space.
Remove any items stored in the basement. Take out everything being stored or placed temporarily in the basement until it is empty.
Sweep and vacuum the floor. Seal the floor with floor sealer. Paint the walls with a mold-resistant paint primer. Allow the sealer and primer to dry. Then apply paint to the walls in a color of your choosing. Allow the paint to dry completely.
Install indoor-outdoor carpeting. This will give the basement a warmer, homey feel. Use double-faced carpet tape or adhesive to tack down the indoor-outdoor carpet.
Furnish the basement. If the basement is not climate controlled and/or insulated, use sturdy but comfortable outdoor furniture. If the basement is climate controlled and insulated, use interior furniture.
Place appliances in the basement. Most basements are wired for electricity and have electrical outlets. Bring in a small refrigerator and lighting to make the basement bright and usable. You may also elect to bring in a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture, fans to circulate the air or space heaters to make the basement warmer.
Tips & Warnings
- Before you do anything else, check the entire basement floor for any pooled water. Remove the water with a wet vacuum and find the source of the water. If it's a leak, seal it. If the problem appears to be more serious than a leak, consult a professional to determine what you need to do to keep the basement dry.
- "Basement Ideas That Work: Creative Design Solutions for Your Home"; Peter Jeswald; 2007
- "Space Planning Basics"; Mark Karlen; 2009
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