How to Fix up a Basement Without Remodeling It

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Homeowners sometimes relegate their basements to use as an unorganized storage area, filling it with unwanted gifts, out-of-date furniture, holiday decorations and just plain junk.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.

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References

  • "Basement Ideas That Work: Creative Design Solutions for Your Home"; Peter Jeswald; 2007
  • "Space Planning Basics"; Mark Karlen; 2009
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