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Great Ideas For Your Finished Basement

Great Ideas For Your Finished Basement - Image 1Finishing a basement is an excellent way to add a new living area to your home.  While most homeowners don't take full advantage of this floor of usable space, a basement can be remodeled at half the cost of building an addition on to your home, and with no loss of valuable yard space.


A basement can be upgraded with minimal noise and disturbance to the rest of your home – in as little as 7 to 10 days, with proper planning and materials.  The space can be used for nearly anything you can imagine – from a guest bedroom to an entertainment room, basement bar, or even a second kitchen!

Basement Finishing Tips

Planning a finished basement is a unique challenge – one that is different from any other kind of remodeling project.  Your contractor will need to plan around objects such as staircases and utilities, as well as locating walls around support beams, windows, and more.  Additionally, there are these considerations:

•    Basement Lighting:  When finishing a basement, lighting comes at a premium  Maximize the available lighting by strategically locating egress windows to the east or west walls, where they will pick up the maximum light from the rising or setting sun.

Be sure to also add lamps and task lighting throughout the basement, so there is always a light source at hand.  Installing a hexagonal aquarium in the room, with fluorescent lighting, is another fantastic way to add light, greenery, and movement to a finished basement.

•    Use Of Available Space:  Many homeowners tend to overplan what they'd like to do with their finished basement.  Partition walls take up space, and additional rooms may require additional egress windows, which can be costly to install.  When finishing a basement, it's wise to plan on adding one, two, or three rooms only, and partition off the remaining space as an area to use for storage and to house your utilities.

•    Creating Continuity Of Style:  One challenge that many homeowners face is making their basement match the style and feel that's been used for the rest of the home.  However, the unfortunate truth is that many of the building materials used for the main area of the home, such as drywall, wood studs, and carpeting made with organic materials, can easily be ruined in the sometimes damp environment of a basement.

Many of these issues can be avoided by using insulation on your basement walls that will also create a vapor barrier (such as rigid foam panels or spray foam), and studs made from inorganic materials.  Installing waterproof floor matting that also creates a vapor barrier on your concrete floor will protect your custom carpeting from water vapor that would otherwise seep through the pores of the concrete floor.

•    Designing An Energy Efficient Space:  Designing your basement to be energy efficient will make the space more comfortable, and will save you hundreds of dollars each year on your utility bills.  Your basement wall insulation should be a layer of R-13 insulation.  Be careful that this sheet of insulation is unbroken – if the insulation must be cut away to mount cabinets, for example, then the resulting hole in your insulation layer will greatly compromise its value.

If you have single-paned, steel-framed basement windows, this is also an excellent time to consider double-paned, vinyl replacements that use low-E glass.  The vinyl frames are much more energy efficient than their steel counterparts, and the double-paned, energy efficient glass can make a big difference in how drafty your basement feels.  Protecting the windows with covered window wells will shield them from cold winter winds while keeping the window wells free of snow, rain, and debris, for added energy efficiency and beauty in your space.

Once Your Basement Is Finished...

Many homeowners find that once the renovations are complete, their basement quickly becomes their favorite place in the home.  A finished basement is warm, quiet, and naturally private, and provides a safe place for children to play.

When selling a home with a finished basement, you can expect to see 70% of the cost of the work added to the resale value, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report.  This makes basement finishing a sound investment in comfort, value, and your quality of life.

At Buck Buckley's Total Basement Finishing, we provide free, no obligation estimates for basement finishing in Hartland, WI as well as other parts of Wisconsin and Illinois, including Fort Sheridan, Fond Du Lac, Germantown, and Cedarburg.  Visit us online for a free basement finishing quote.

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