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3 Tips For Turning Your Basement Into A Living Area

by April Carlson

It's common for people to want to turn their basement into a functional space, such as a den, spare bedroom, or entertainment area. Before you begin the process of transforming your basement, several fundamental issues need to be addressed.

1. Deal With Moisture

Moisture concerns are common in basement areas. They tend to be damp and are can be prone to high humidity and mold growth. Start with having your basement and crawlspace evaluated for any structural issues. Weaknesses in the structural components can allow moisture in or make your basement a flood risk, under the right weather conditions. 

Generally, you will need to have your crawlspace sealed and any excess moisture removed. Additionally, you should consider having a dehumidifier in your basement. Not only will this reduce the chances of moisture problems, but it will also make the space easier to cool during the warmer months.

2. Consider Comfort

To make the area a true living space, you will need to incorporate heating and cooling to maintain your comfort. You will likely find heating will be more of a hurdle than cooling. When you heat the rest of your home, the heat rises, preventing the basement from receiving as much heat as the rest of the home. The most logical heating strategy for your basement will be using radiant flooring. One of the benefits of radiant flooring, especially in the basement, is the heat is generated from the ground up.

This can help prevent the floor from becoming uncomfortably cold. Additionally, it is a safer alternative than using space heaters, which pose a significant fire risk. To keep the basement cool, you may want to invest in zoning, if you have central air conditioning. You can turn the basement into a separate zone and control the temperature independently of the other areas.

3. Let There Be Light

Lighting can be an issue in basements, especially if your basement does not have windows. If possible, try having a window installed to allow natural light into the living space. For lighting the area, it is better to use overhead lighting as much as possible. With overhead lighting fixtures, you are better able to illuminate the space with fewer harsh shadows or dim areas. The goal is to create an environment with even lighting.

You might also want to improve the lighting situation with the light bulbs you choose. Having certain overhead lights with dedicated daylight bulbs can give you the look and feel of natural light. Later in the day, you may want to switch to a separate set of overhead lights with bulbs that have a diminished blue spectrum to help you wind down and sleep.

Turning the basement into a living area can present several unique challenges. By addressing the major issues first, you can create a space you will enjoy. For more information, contact a company like Winston Brown Remodeling.