Uncover your basement’s hidden potential

| by Joe Holliday
Uncover your basement’s hidden potential

According to Remodeling Magazine,homeowners recover nearly 70 percent of basement remodeling costs when selling their home. And if that isn’t enough of a reason to opt to transform your basement, maybe additional space for your growing family and your home’s increased energy efficiency—as a result of the transformation—will help tip the basement-remodeling scale.

The Layout

How will the new space be used? If the renovation includes a new bedroom, make sure it’s on the perimeter of the house and allows for an egress window. The main socializing area should be in the spot that gets the most natural light, which helps draw people into the space.

Check Codes

Once you’ve created the look and feel of your ideal basement, it is imperative to determine if a permit is needed for the proposed renovation. If electrical work needs to be done or load-bearing walls are being affected, ensure that your newly remodeled space meets all code requirements. Skipping this simple step in the beginning can cause major headaches down the road.

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate

Although hot air rises, according to HouseLogic.com, homes lose heat in all directions. By insulating your basement, you can reduce heat loss by up to 30 percent—which can result in savings of up to $170 per year. Whether you insulate the walls or the ceiling, taking this step can help to increase the efficiency of your home.

Adding An Additional Sump Pump

No need to take any chances when it comes to flooding. Installing a battery back up for a home’s main sump pump and a second pump—in case the first one gives out—helps to ensure a basement stays dry.

Keeping It Comfortable

Your home's heating system may have been installed based on main- and second-floor requirements. So, be sure to consult an HVAC contractor to ensure your heating equipment is correctly sized to keep your newly remodeled basement comfy.

One heating option is a natural-gas or propane fueleddirect vent wall furnace,which can serve as a supplementary heat source for basements, reducing the demand placed on the central-heating system. Direct vent wall furnaces differ from conventional heating systems because the units do not rely on ductwork to distribute heat. Instead, the furnaces operate by dispersing warm air directly from the base of the unit. This creates a more consistent and comfortable room temperature and reduces troublesome cold spots. 

Look Up to a Finished Ceiling

To make the basement space feel complete, a finished ceiling can do the trick. Whether you select a drop ceiling or drywall ceiling with a texture, remember the lowest hanging pipe, duct or wire will determine the height of your basement ceiling.

Also important to keep in mind, if you need access to electrical and plumbing systems in your ceiling, opt for a suspended ceiling, which will save you from needing to create access panels in a dry-wall ceiling.

A basement is a goldmine of additional living space—something your family will need more of at one time or another. Remodeling…it just makes sense. 

Topics: Basement, Building Green, Energy Audits, Heating & Cooling, Insulation, Maintenance & Repair, Plumbing & Fixtures, Remodeling

Companies: Rinnai

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