Basement Considerations | Best Pick Reports
Basements are below ground level, generally have low ceilings, and
are often the utility hub of a household. These factors provide a
unique challenge to making a basement livable.
Moisture. A basement must be
adequately moisture-free before remodeling, because water can cause
mold, mildew, and damage to carpets and furniture. Money and energy
spent on a remodeling project will be wasted if the basement is too
damp. Find a reputable firm to fix potential moisture problems.
Lighting. Canister lighting
is popular for basements, because it does not interfere with the
already low headroom. Track lighting is another way to illuminate a
basement while avoiding a single, bright, low-hanging light. If it is a
daylight basement, think about adding or enlarging windows to admit
light and fresh air.
Climate and ventilation. Whatever
the intended use of the basement room, proper heating, air
conditioning, and ventilation are essential. In some cases, a
homeowner’s existing furnace and air conditioning system can meet
heating and air requirements. In other cases, a dedicated heating and
air unit may be required to condition the basement properly.
Supports. Support structures
could disrupt the new space by creating unnecessary obstacles. Removing
or relocating steel beams and posts is a difficult, and often
impossible, undertaking. An easy way to incorporate these posts is to
try hiding the supports within the new walls. Unsightly posts can be
disguised with architectural elements.
Access. Meters, electrical
panels, ducts, pipes, wires, and other utility hubs still need to be
accessed. Drop ceilings are a functional way of retaining access to
pipes and ducts. If a hard ceiling is installed, make sure to avoid
blocking off access to valves and electrical panels. If walls cover
meters or other essential points of access, be sure to include doors or
removable panels in those sections.