Being banished to the basement doesn’t always have to be punishment! Nowadays, owners of homes with a basement consider the space to be prime square footage. Everything from hobby rooms, play rooms, media centers, music rooms, poker parlors, exercise areas, office space and of course, it’s original purpose, storage space, is finding new life in the space “down below.”
The definition of a basement is an area that is either fully or partially below ground level. This is not to be confused with the crawl space of a house, since another part of the definition is that a person should be able to stand upright in the area.
The amount of square footage in the basement is generally equivalent to that on the ground floor. In most homes, it’s like having another entire level of living space, which can add up to quite a bit! The options for utilizing that amount of space really are limited only by the imagination since the space usually will have electricity and plumbing.
The basement can be partitioned off into different rooms or it can be one huge open space. If this part of your home is “finished” then consider yourself lucky. If not, or if the space is on the remodeling To Do list, there are issues to consider before proceeding with the project. First, it’s important to identify “trouble” spots such as lowered ceilings, enclosed boiler rooms, and ductwork. Second, the space must not leak. Uncontrolled moisture will cause a number of dangerous and damaging problems including the growth of mold.
Once the identification and remediation of basement problem areas is finished, the next step is determining a layout for the space. The task can be overwhelming, and a good way to begin is by determining the activities that’ll likely take place in the space. Looking at pictures or at what others have done always helps jump-start the imagination.
Keep in mind that the basement will have little or no natural light so consider this when planning the layout. Slowly but surely this space will spring to life and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
Next time you think it’s no big deal, remember that over time, excessive exposure to UV rays can lead to the onset of eye conditions including retina damage and even cataracts. So do your eyes a favor – eat your carrots and be sure to carry your sunglasses with you at all times!