The Most Common Basement Remodeling Challenges
Basements are hard to remodel – they are damp, sticky, warm, and a general nightmare to work in. Whether you want to create a new entertainment center in your basement or turn it into a bedroom for your teenager, you will undoubtedly be posed with a number of challenges. Most of these challenges are posed by the innate nature of the intended purpose of our basements. Our basements are supposed to be a little bit raw, because the basement is where we store our stuff, hold our washing machine and hide the guts of our house. Yet, where there is a will there is always a way. Here are some of the most common basement remodeling challenges.
One of the biggest problems is having too many columns, or pillars, to complete your intended design plan. You could simply knock these columns down, but unless you want your entire house to collapse, you should leave them be. The columns are structural and their purpose is to hold your house in place. The best solution for this is to incorporate the columns into your floor plan. Perhaps you can use the columns as a starting place for a wall or a divider.
Another big challenge is hiding all of that ductwork. Chances are that the ceiling of your basement is covered with ductwork from your heating and air conditioning system. In most cases this ductwork is too difficult to remove and then move to another part of the home – not to mention to the task of reinstalling it. You can always cover it with dry wall or create an interesting ceiling where the ductwork can be hidden behind it. Or if you want a more industrial look, you could paint the ductwork and leave it be. In any case, while you’re down there, you should make sure that your ductwork is clean and that it’s structure is in good shape. This will not only make it more pleasant to spend time in the basement, but it is always good to make sure that your HVAC system is not losing efficiency or polluting the air in your home with excess debris and detritus.
There is also the challenge of temperature control. Most basements are either incredibly warm and muggy in the summer, or freezing cold in the winter. The best solution for this is to install a small heating or air conditioning system that is both unburdensome and energy efficient. When you are looking for units, make sure to pay attention to the SEER ratings – SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and it will tell you how energy efficient the system is. In general, you want to find something with a high SEER rating.
Lastly, another big challenge is ceiling height. When you remodel your garage and provide a ceiling to cover all the ductwork and all the other unsightly gut of your house, oftentimes your ceiling becomes far too low to move comfortably. The solution to this problem is relatively simply, but does require many hours of labor. To increase the standing room of your new basement you must dig. If you drop the floor a couple of feet, you will make up for the space you lost in the ceiling. All you need to do is cover it with cement and add a few steps. Once you’ve finished, you’ll most definitely have a fun entertainment room or guest bedroom – you might even increase the property value of your home.