As useful as a basement
can be, it can be a harbor for uninvited bacteria, spiders, water bugs, and fungi. Dank, dark, and filled with humidity, it is no wonder homeowners take every step to encapsulate their basements
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A fully finished basement can easily be transitioned into a livable space for newlyweds, guests, and teenagers.
Safety Practices Become Even More Essential
Since basements are a home’s foundation, they are generally right around the same square footage as the first floor. This is an entire extra level of potential living space, so why not utilize it?
Basement encapsulation has improved significantly, and thanks to that, a little ingenuity and safety are all it takes for a living space transformation. Right from the start, the basement’s naturally dank and humid environment can create problems, so that’ll need to be dealt with first.
Damp conditions aren’t just unpleasant but can be physically harmful, especially for anyone with respiratory systems, allergies, or asthma. It’s could be like standing inside a mold spore.
- A dehumidifier is essential for humidity-prone basements. There are standalone models as well as ones that tie in with the HVAC ductwork. Built-in models require hardwiring and both models require external drainage systems. Even with proper dehumidification in place, it’s still a good idea to be careful with items and materials susceptible to moisture damage. Photos, documents, papers, softer woods, and metals can all be badly damaged in this environment
- Combined with dehumidification, a resistant waterproof primer could prove valuable for damp basements. There are many brands available, and we highly advise against investing in an offshoot brand. One or two coats on exterior walls will do wonders to reduce moisture.
- As one of the most essential natural substances, water can be extremely harmful to basements. Standing water will not only become stagnant, but it is a harbor for pests, mold, and mildew. Standing water is typically an indication of a major problem. If the water is accumulating quickly, it could be leaking plumbing pipes or excessive condensation that needs to be rectified immediately. It could also be a leaky foundation.
- Extremely sensitive materials or personal items should never be stored directly on the floor. Even with sump pumps, drainage systems, and dehumidifiers operating around the clock, the ground level is prone to dampness.
- Appliances, furniture, and bookshelves can be placed on risers to provide a bit of extra height.
Install Wall Shelving And Storage Cabinets
Speaking of keeping valuables elevated off the floor, there is no better way to do it than with wall shelves. A power drill, concrete screws, wood slats, and shelving brackets are what you need to build a few wall shelves.
Wall shelves are ideal for family heirlooms, home decorative items, dishes, canned goods, footwear, and electronic devices. Install hooks for tools, ladders, electrical cables, and seasonal attire.
Cabinets can be utilized for storing books, magazines, photo albums, gas containers, cleaning supplies, bottled water, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, and other items.
Regardless of the precautions one takes, it’ll be nearly impossible to rid an unfinished basement of dank odors. Air fresheners and dehumidifiers only offer so much relief. While one won’t be able to store everything in airtight containers, they are the ideal solution for the items they will hold.
Rubbermaid containers can even be used to store clothing, shoes, arts & crafts items, dishware, bed linen, holiday decorations, electronic components, sports equipment, toys, and textbooks. There is no end to the possibilities with sealable plastic containers.
Going back to organizing, seasonal items are popular items for basements, attics, and garages. Christmas lights, Halloween decorations, banners, party supplies, whatever it is that one has to store, can be stored in the basement
Storage does, however, need to be approached strategically, and airtight containers are again an ideal solution. Storing and clearly identifying such items will make retrieving them next year all that much more efficient. Got grandkids that are occasionally over for arts and crafts projects?
Give them a dedicated bin and a spot on the shelf; this will keep them occupied for hours at a time.
Non-Perishable Food Items
After footing the costs of today’s construction materials, one will need some financial relief. There is no better area to cut costs while also getting a little healthier in the process. And that’s where non-perishable food items come in.
Canning corn, green beans, or other vegetables might seem like a time-honored, old-fashioned practice for many. It can inspire dining at home, cut back on trips to the grocery store, and eliminate the extremely inflated costs of fast food. And that’s not to even mention the taste or health benefits more natural preservation offers.
Inventory all non-perishable foods and organize them systemically to ensure quick and easy access at all times.
Utilizing Every Square-Inch Of Storage Space
Most basements have one thing in common. They are accessible from inside the home. Oftentimes, there is exterior access as well. Either way, most are familiar with that dreaded, wooden staircase that leads down to the lower level.
Although it’s a favorite setting for many popular horror flicks, this essential pathway consumes an immense amount of space. That space can be used to one’s advantage. The underbelly of the staircase can be turned into a viable closet, with shelves, cabinets, hooks, hangers, and other storage essentials.
One doesn’t necessarily need to barricade the area with drywall or wood. Hanging a colorful sheet can be enough of a barrier to separate this section of the basement from the rest. A rail, traction runners, and sting lighting for the stairs themselves are always much-needed safety enhancements.
A Fully Functioning Laundry Room
Basements are the setting for so many washers and dryers. Despite the musty environment, a washer and dryer in the basement can free up so much space upstairs it isn’t even funny. Having the appliances in the basement will also make life much easier when you turn their designated space into a fully functioning laundry room.
Wall shelves for detergent, countertops for folding clothes, baskets for transporting, hooks for drying delicate clothes, ironing boards, irons, starch, electrical outlets, and maybe a functioning sink with hot and cold water outlets are all great ideas. Installing a retractable or stationary clothesline for natural drying is a greener practice that will help cut electrical consumption.
Orderly And Accessible Indoor Tool Storage
The only way to justify today’s exorbitant materials costs is by offsetting them with a DIY approach. The approach doesn’t honestly require much more than the basic household tools. These tools will need to be readily accessible.
Most of the work will take place in the basement, so it only makes sense to designate a little corner or nook for these tools and materials.
A Viable Living Space
No other room in the home can serve as an additional fully functional living space than the basement
. The naturally cooler environment is much more inviting than those offered by the attic. That along with the extra square footage provides room for all the essentials.
It’s just a mere matter of ensuring all the essentials are available. 110 and 220-volt electrical outlets, running water, and proper drainage will be more than enough for basics. A few months’ rent checks and the tenant will have more than covered the cost of the upgrades.