March 14, 2010

Basement Conversions – Example Case Studies: How to Create a Living Space for Teenagers in Your Basement

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Growing families are always trying to find ways to make the absolute best use of the space they have in their home. It’s possible to add another bedroom to a home without having to make any actual additions. In fact, why not turn that unused basement into a swanky setup for the growing teenager?

Around the time they enter college, teenagers begin to yearn for separation from the family. The room right next to mum and dads’ is no longer “cool.” If there is nothing in the basement but some old tools and the water heater, that may be the perfect spot to give a teenager his or her own little pad. There are some easy steps that can be taken to convert a basement into another bedroom.

Starting with a clean slate is much more than just a metaphor when it comes to home construction projects like this one. The first step is to clear every single thing out of your basement, including that water heater. Have it reinstalled somewhere upstairs, such as a spare closet or the attic. Water heaters can make a lot of noise, in addition to ruining the “cool” factor of the room. Before taking the next steps, there should be an absolutely empty room.

Take some heavy-duty chemical cleaner, now, and make sure the floor is squeaky clean. This is important if you are planning to put down new flooring. Paneled wood flooring is relatively inexpensive, easy to install yourself and trendy. There are many do-it-yourself types of flooring to choose from. So, just make sure the floor is clean and ready for whichever you choose.

The basement will need waterproofing using either an external method, tanking slurry or tanking membrane. Details of how to use these products can be found in specific articles on this blog. Just search for the type of basement tanking that you’re going to use.

Given that basements are generally poorly insulated and ventilated, it’s important to make the right adjustments. Dry wall should be installed on all walls, as well as insulation. Then, have the heating and air conditioning company adjust your system so that the basement receives the same temperature control as the rest of the home. All of these things will convert the basement from a dark, damp space into just another room of the house.

Along those lines, lighting is crucially important due to the general lack of windows in basements. In fact, if there happens to be a window at the top of the basement near ground-level, it’s probably a good idea to remove it and wall it up. This way, the potential for flooding the newly renovated room is greatly reduced. As far as the lighting goes, track lighting that spans the room is a great idea. If not, a ceiling fan light and some lamps may due the trick as well. But keep in mind that the room’s natural darkness requires more lighting than regular rooms.

Once these steps are taken, it’s time to furnish the room. A truly “cool” teenage pad will have a sofa and a TV for video games and movies. With the additional space – most basements are bigger than regular bedrooms – set up a corner with a desk for schoolwork. Unless you are going to have a closet built, storage units are vital. Many furniture stores specialise in quality, but not too expensive, modern storage pieces. Equipping the room is as simple as that.

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