For a long time, the majority of people completely ignored their basements, unaware of just how useful they could be. The basement was overlooked so much that many new homes were simply built without them, a decision that is now often seen as a mistake – with the possibilities for a basement conversion as varied as an extra bedroom, a home gym or even a spa.
Today, homeowners who are lucky enough to possess a basement are beginning to appreciate this part of their home much more. The basement is no longer restricted to being a storage space for items you don’t have space for in the rest of the house.
One especially interesting idea for the basement is a games room, a space where you could keep everything from a snooker table to a darts board to a PlayStation or Xbox. An alternative entertainment themed idea would be a home cinema, and there are plenty more unusual options.
However, more ordinary rooms such as a living room are also a possibility. Growing families often find the space in their home becomes a little limited. A basement living room can leave more room for the kids in the house, while giving the parents a space of their own too. Alternatively, the basement could be turned into a space for the kids to play, leaving the parents to enjoy the rest of the house in peace.
You could also convert the basement into a bedroom, a particularly good idea if you have more children than bedrooms, or if you frequently have guests staying at your home. Another idea mentioned earlier is to create a home gym; many people find that for various reasons a gym membership is not a good choice for them, and a basement provides a calm and secluded space to work towards your fitness goals.
The first thing to consider if you are planning to use your basement as an extra room is that you will need to make sure it stays dry. While it may seem like a daunting task to transform your dank and dingy basement into the room you envision, you will find it is not so difficult to achieve.
You will certainly want to prevent any chance of your basement flooding – this is of course a serious problem. One of the most effective ways to counteract this is by installing a drainage pump in the basement. This should be placed in the lowest part of the basement, and in combination with the rest of the waterproofing system, will ensure that the room stays dry, removing any groundwater that makes it through the flooring or walls.
The waterproofing of the walls is one of the most important elements, and the methods used to waterproof them include coating the walls with basement tanking compounds that prevent the moisture entering, or affixing a cavity drainage membrane to the walls which will direct the water towards a drainage system.
Along with the waterproofing, you may also need to plaster, soundproof and insulate the walls. Your new room will also require heating and lighting, and the existing electric wiring will most likely need to be rewired. However, before long the work will be completed, and you will be left with an amazing new room to enjoy.