How To Make Your Basement More Liveable


(NC) Cold, dark and musty, the basement is often a place to store old knick-knacks, long-forgotten projects and holiday decorations. But, for homeowners looking to create additional living space and increase the value of their home, a basement renovation can accomplish both, while costing far less than building an addition.

Control Moisture.

Basements are known to be damp and humid. Flooding may be a problem if there are cracks in the foundation or the proper waterproofing hasn’t been done. Repairing cracks, keeping gutters clear and making sure that water is sloping away from the house will help solve minor flooding issues. To keep moisture at bay inside and reduce the chance of toxic mold growth, ensure that your basement has the correct insulation and water barrier products installed.

Add Ventilation.

Since there are few windows in a basement, homeowners cannot rely on natural air flow to help with ventilation and humidity control. There are a number of solutions for adding ventilation, including extending your existing HVAC system, installing exhaust fans or an air exchanger to push damp air out while circulating the air inside, and adding dehumidifiers.

Plan plumbing.

Traditionally, to install plumbing in the basement requires cutting through concrete, which is not only expensive, but also weakens the structural integrity of the slab and can cause stress cracks.It is wise to choose a system such as Saniflo above-floor plumbing that doesn’t require installers to cut through the concrete or dig down. Unlike a sewage ejector system that stores waste in a holding tank, the waste and greywater from a toilet, sink or shower connected to an above-floor “upflush” system is pumped up and away through small-diameter piping, rather than flowing down and out like conventional plumbing. This allows for the creation of a new bathroom, wet bar, kitchenette or laundry anywhere in your future basement living space, regardless of where the main drain stack or existing pipes are located.

Improving Lighting

No one will want to spend time in your new basement if it’s as dark as a dungeon. The simplest solution for improving lighting is to choose track lighting or pot lights, which can be recessed by installing them between the joists in the ceiling. It’s best to avoid ceiling-mounted or hanging fixtures so you don’t bump your head or make the ceiling look lower.