10 renovation projects to transform your basement
Last modified: 2019/02/07 | Approximate reading time 6 mins
The basement is a space fairly separate from the rest of the house, a particular environment that some enjoy while others tend to avoid it as much as possible. It can be used as a storage space or it can also be used as an extra unit, a family room, a laundry room and so on. This area is extremely versatile, and there are many possibilities depending on the type of set up already in place as well as the amount of work that you are willing to put into it.
The first step is to take stock of which basement project will be the most urgent as per your needs and your taste. Is your basement already fully finished? Is it welcoming enough to be used as an additional living area? These are crucial questions at the initial stages of your basement transformation. Here, you’ll find 10 ideas of basement renovation projects.
10 renovation projects to transform your basement
1- Improving the amount of light
When it comes to the basement, oftentimes, the first thing you’ll want to address is the lack of brightness, especially if you plan on turning your basement into a living space. There are two main ways to go about the issue of lacking natural light:
- Optimizing natural light
- Adding artificial lighting
An important note when it comes to lighting is to pay attention to the layout of the space. Do you plan on adding or removing walls? Are you going to change the decoration? Several factors come into play when placing light fixtures, and what seem like very simple actions will have a big impact. For example, there are decorative elements that help make the space brighter, and this includes mirrors, metallic surfaces, or light-coloured walls.
Check out this article for more info: Increasing the amount of light in your basement
2- Choosing the right colour palette
The colour palette of your basement will be used to decorate the space, but it can also affect other aspects such as the brightness of the rooms, all the while creating an area that comes across as comfortable and spacious. Taking the time to choose the right colour palette will help you better target your choices, especially in regard to decor but also when choosing other elements like materials, doors, windows, and floors. Consider creating a mood board with your palette of colours, and gather different examples of images that you like. After this, you can choose furniture and materials, then perform the work to transform your space.
3- Regulating the room temperature
One of the issues that often comes up in regards to basements is the overall temperature. It’s either too hot, too cold, too humid or in the case of homes with a wood stove, too dry. Given the combination of the lack of ventilation and proximity to the earth, it’s not easy to manage the temperature. However, certain renovation projects will allow you to maintain an overall pleasant environment. As an example, you might consider choosing a different insulation material. To learn more on this subject, check out our article “All about home insulation”
Below are a couple of other articles that will help you to take the initiative on good insulation and temperature regulating practices.
4- Improving the basement's soundproofing
Were you considering turning your basement into a music room or home theater? If so, soundproofing may become one of your main concerns. Often it’s advisable to focus your attention on the ceiling, especially if you’re looking to prevent noise from heading to the main floor. That being said, it’s important to consider other soundproofing techniques such as blocking noise leaks, installing drywall as well as sealing doors and windows.
- How to soundproof a basement
- 10 ways to soundproof your home
- Everything you need to know about soundproofing
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5- Spatial planning: building partitions, taking down walls
Basements often have a reputation for being dark and cluttered. However, simply moving around the furniture and changing the way the area is partitioned will make all the difference, giving the impression that the space is larger than it is. As an example, you might opt for glass doors, alternating clear and textured walls, or columns in place of doors altogether.
Considering French doors instead of regular doors to let the light circulate? Here’s an article that can help you through the process:
And if you have a plan to destroy walls, you should not take this project lightly! You may have to deal with load-bearing walls, which must be treated in a special way to ensure that the structure of the house is not affected. Here are some helpful articles about bearing and non-bearing walls:
6- Creating a multi-functional space
A basement is a place of various possibilities. Want to create an additional bedroom? A home office? A hair salon? You can combine all of your needs in this space by creating a layout that can work as a multifunctional area. For example, your basement can be used as an office during the day and a space to practice music in the evening. Just take the time to carefully plan the layout.
This article can offer a wider perspective on the subject of multi-functional spaces, and help you find inspiration to transform your basement into a space to combine business and pleasure.
7- Create a recreation room
Often, apart from being used as a simple storage space, the basement is generally devoted to enjoyable activities such as a home theatre, a game room or a music studio. How many people speak of childhood memories that include watching television or playing video games in their basement?
The intimacy and comfort that reigns in this space is conducive to fostering a place of leisure. Why not dedicate a portion of, or your full basement to create a space where you’re able to fully indulge in your favourite hobbies?
8- Waterproofing foundation and walls
To prevent your basement from becoming too wet or overly moist, which will cause mould and mildew growth, you should perform a waterproofing inspection. If you begin to notice cracks on the interior walls or on your foundation you’ll need to test to see if these cracks are active or passive and if they will let excess water in. If you have a French drain, it’s important to check this to see if it’s in good condition.
Here are some useful articles for further help on this project:
- Why you should waterproof your foundation
- How to repair cracked foundation walls
- 10 signs your foundation needs renovation
9- Verify air quality
Lack of ventilation available in a basement can have an impact on the quality of air. Beyond the issues of dust and odours, there are some serious effects that can have a huge impact on the health of the occupants. For example, the presence of radon gas is a problem that occurs in many homes throughout Canada.
This gas is very harmful and because it is heavier than air, it can accumulate in underground spaces such as the basement. Pale and colourless, radon enters homes by way of dirt, through cracks and less well-insulated areas.
Unfortunately, radon causes a variety of health problems including cancers as well as lung disease. For this reason, it’s crucial that you take the time to test the air quality of your basement, even more so if you plan on turning it into a living space. The following articles can be excellent resources.
10- Installing comfortable flooring
To truly transform your basement into a proper living area, the floor is one of the main elements to take into account. Given the different basement characteristics including subfloor, humidity level and comfort, materials like hardwood are not recommended. Our article 7 flooring materials that are alternatives to wood can assist you when it comes to choosing the right material.
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