Finishing Your Basement

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Many of the homes here in and around Springfield were built to include unfinished basement. Ostensibly, the main purpose of this type of basement is to house the central heat and air unit and sometimes, to give additional access to much of the plumbing. Because of this, aesthetics weren’t really taken into consideration.

In an uncertain housing market, a large percentage of homeowners are looking for innovative ways to invest, improve, and update their own home to make it more livable and enjoyable while at the same time enhancing the overall appeal and value.

Following that philosophy, one of the most popular current trends in the Western Massachusetts area is to tackle an unfinished basement as a home renovation project. This is exactly the sort of home improvement project that can be ideal for most people, because it offers to different kinds of advantages.

For those homeowners with their eye on the bottom-line, a basement renovation is an excellent way to increase the resale value and potential of the home. It is very cost effective, because in effect it expands the livable and usable space of the home, without a great deal of the expense of the new construction required in a main level room addition.

More importantly, though, a completely renovated and remodeled basement can improve the quality of life of the residents. The value can come through in that improvement, whether or not the home is ever put up for resale. Some people refer to this value as “life equity”.

As an added vantage, a basement renovation and remodeling is a project that can be done in stages, unlike many other home-improvements.  For many people, this allows them to stay within a budget without having to cut corners or sacrifice those personal or custom modifications that they really want. It’s the sort of project that can be spread out over time, in many cases.

Regardless of your ultimate plan for your basement renovation project, the first step is always to “finish” the basement. This means installing the same quality flooring, walls, ceiling, and sometimes, electrical outlets and plumbing that you would find on the main levels of the house.

 Finishing The Walls of Your Basement

Nearly all of the homes here in Western Massachusetts that were constructed with basements were built in such a way that the walls of the basement are formed by the foundation of the home. This means that those walls are typically made of cinder block or concrete, and that is not a look that engenders happy, homey feelings. Completely opposite, it instead gives a dull, drab, and institutional feel to the lower level.

To transform those walls and change the ambiance of your basement, you have many options. You can have your contractor covered the walls with sheet rock or paneling, or you can have them paint or texture the walls. Often, basements do not have exterior windows or doors, and if you do not want to go to the expense of having them installed, you can have the walls done in a lighter color to give an airy and open feel.

 Finishing the Floor of Your Basement

Because it was not originally intended to be an area where anyone would spend much time, very little attention was paid to your basement floor during the original construction. More than likely, that floor is nothing more than plain poured concrete. Again, this is not an aesthetic look that shouts “Welcome!”

Luckily, a concrete floor will accept almost any type of floor covering. Depending upon your plan for the basement, you can install carpet, vinyl flooring, or even entire. Some people decide to simply seal, paint and polish their basement floor for simplicity and low maintenance.

The only type of floor covering that would perhaps be a bad idea is actual hardwood plank flooring, because the expansion and contraction differential between the cool conductive concrete surface and the wooden planks could result in gaps and buckles. If that sort of look is preferred, manufactured faux wood tiles are a much better solution.

 Finish Your Basement Ceiling

Nothing says “basement” more than exposed and open floor joists, ducts, and plumbing. Many people opt for a simple drop ceiling to conceal this unsightly conglomeration. For an urban, “warehouse” – style look, some homeowners simply paint over everything to give it a shabby chic appearance.

Most basements are not equipped with an overabundance of lighting, so this can often be an area of particular concern to all more. For ease of installation and flexibility, track lighting is can often be an ideal choice.

It is very prudent to have a general idea of what you would like to do with the finished space, even now. This is because depending on your ultimate goal, you most probably will need additional electrical outlets installed, and you may even need plumbing, for example, for a minibar or extra bathroom. Having those items installed now will save you from tearing out in the current additions later.

By now, you should be able to tell that renovating your basement is a tall task, but it need not be overwhelming. Because of the many different types of mini projects that may have to be included in the larger project, a basement renovation is a task best left to professionals, to avoid costly or damaging mistakes.

Your best bet is to call a local and reputable Springfield area company that specializes in basement repairs, renovations, and remodels. After an initial consultation and inspection, your renovation professional will be able to give you specific options correctly tailored to your home, as well as an accurate cost projection. Do not make the mistake of thinking this is a task that you can handle all by yourself, and you also not make the mistake of dealing with any company or contractor that will give you a “ballpark” figure. You can’t plan your budget on someone else’s guess.

The good news is that when you’re basement renovation project is correctly completed, you will have gained an entirely fresh level of your home that was built to the vision you had in your head. And that is something that is worth waiting for.

Give us a call to day to discuss your basement project

(413) 314-2000
Springfield, MA

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