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Bottom Up: Ways to Make an Unfinished Basement More Habitable

Making an unfinished basement habitable is a good way to add to a home’s living space. Basement renovations can be both easy and inexpensive, if the homeowner is able to identify and focus on the right projects. It can be a DIY project, or the homeowner may use the services of Newmarket custom home builders. An unfinished basement can be made into a functional office, a children’s play area, or even a home gym. There are a large number of possibilities, but the first step should be to fix some common basement problems.

Get Rid of Moisture
One of the big obstacles to using basements, is the fact that they are often perpetually damp. No one wants to put anything nice in the basement since it will only get damp and moldy. Taking care of moisture issues is arguably the most important part of making it habitable. In many cases, basement humidity can be solved with a dehumidifier. Improving ventilation with ceiling fans or ductwork can help as well. If the moisture issues are more serious, the homeowner should look into waterproofing the basement.

Paint the Ceiling
One idea for making a ceiling seem higher, is to paint it a dark color. This presents an illusion of height that will not be there with a light-colored ceiling. Painting the ceiling with a dark color will also help to hide any unsightly joists and ductwork.

Use the Right Lighting
Poor lighting in a basement can make it feel like a dungeon, the homeowner will want to spend some time considering different lighting options. According to Newmarket home renovations, recessed lighting can help to eliminate any dark spots, and help to make a ceiling look higher.

Use Area Rugs
A bare concrete floor does not make for a welcoming or comfortable living space. One of the best ways to make a basement’s cozier, is to add floor coverings. Area rugs are a good option in that they allow the space to be quickly and easily customized. Other floor options include cork, which is durable and provides a warmer surface. If you have extra carpet rolls, just spread them out over the used area for a quick fix.

Hide the Less Appealing Items
Water heaters and other appliances commonly found in basements may not be visually appealing. However, they can be hidden with the skillful use of curtains. Another option is to divide the basement space by function, so that one part is dedicated to the appliances and storage, while another part used as living space. Bookshelves and room dividers are useful for separating areas.

Once the moisture problem have been solved, it is not particularly difficult to turn a basement into a habitable space. With a little work, a basement may even wind up as everyone’s favorite room.

Tim Esterdahl

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