Home Decorating for the Basement

Home Decorating for the Basement

The basement is often a neglected point in many homes around the country. This space in many homes is more utilitarian than functional. The sad thing is that this space could be so much more for those who are interested in taking the time and paying the attention required to change the look from functional to fabulous. In many basements this will require a little more than minor home decorating skills while in other basements around the country all that is needed is a little color and a lot of style to make the basement the most in demand room in the house.

One common complaint that people have about basements is the fact that they are so dark and dreary. The reason for this is that most basements have little natural light that is allowed to flourish due to a serious lack of windows. However, this can also work to your benefit if you decide to use the basement as a media area. In fact, with the low ceiling and low light in the basement, this is probably the most perfect area in your home to turn into an excellent media room complete with surround sound and theater style seating. The only problem in this case will be getting the neighbors to quit begging to watch this week’s newest DVD release at your house rather than their own. To pull this off you will want darker colored walls, floors, and ceiling in this room, a large screen television, comfortable seating and plenty of tables upon which you can place your beverages and popcorn.

Another great idea for basements is an artist or music studio. Basements can easily be portioned off into smaller rooms and all kinds of lighting can be installed in order to accommodate the lighting needs of many artists (keep in mind that one size does not fit all and artists that need natural light in order to work will not find most basements accommodating). By creating a smaller room, particularly for musicians, you are allowing yourself the additional option of soundproofing or at the very least dampening the room in order to save not only your ears but also the ears of the neighbors and animals that live nearby. These rooms can be simply furnished and decorated with music notes, a music stand, a comfortable place to sit, and the equipment needed to create music for musicians or an easel, art supplies, wash basin, comfortable seating, and perhaps a futon for relaxation for artists.

If you are in need of a quiet place that is removed from the family in which to work (and who isn’t really) the basement offers an ideal workspace for that provided you could get the lighting you need. Most people will need a professional to install the lights in a basement but most people will definitely need additional lighting in the basement in order to find the space tolerable for work. However, once the lighting situation is taken care of, the basement does make an excellent office space for many people. Try adding filing cabinets and photos, perhaps a fountain in order to make the area more serene and conducive to the work that needs to be done. Of course you will want comfortable seating and adequate desk or work table space as well. Design this room as you would any home office and it should do just well regardless of your home decorating talent.

One thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to home decorating and the basement is that many basements have a tendency to seep in high humidity or after heavy rains. Dehumidifiers assist with this problem but you may need to decorate with this in mind if the water and moisture is problematic. You will want to avoid mold and mildew at all cost, as they will ruin any potential enjoyment of your basement. Cork and ceramic tile are excellent flooring choices in this case and moisture barriers are an excellent idea to install before ‘finishing’ a basement.

Basement Mold – The Most Common Place In The Home

Basement Mold – The Most Common Place In The Home

Basement mold is the most common mold that you will encounter in your home. This is because the basement is underground and is usually not developed as the rest of the house, and so is the perfect breeding ground for basement mold. It is often a storage area where there is little heat and it is also where moisture can build up from condensation on the pipes or even a leak. The mold can actually build up quite a bit in the basement if you do not keep a close watch on the conditions, such as excess moisture and damp conditions which are the prime breeding areas for basement mold.

Once mold spores settle in your basement, they will keep growing. Mold in basements can be found on wood, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, cement, sheet rock and insulation. There is no realistic way to get rid of all the basement mold that you have because mold spores are everywhere. Once you do find mold in the basement, though, you have to look at methods of basement mold removal.

You have to be careful when you are removing basement mold because once you disturb the mold spores you spread them around. Cleaning up one area could spread the mold to another part of the basement. You also have to be careful when you handle moldy materials to make sure you don’t breathe in the mold that is in your basement when you are going through the process of basement mold removal. When you set about this task, you should wear a paper facemask and gloves so that you don’t breathe in or come in direct contact with the mold.

Basement mold is one of the leading causes of allergies in homes as well as toxic mold syndrome. Not all molds are toxic, but you won’t know if the mold in basement is toxic or not until you get it tested. This is why basement mold removal is so important. Mold allergies often disguise themselves as sunus problems or flu-like symptoms and they can aggravate asthma.

When you realize that you have basement mold, the first thing you need to do is search for the cause of the mold. If you find leaks or excess moisture, you have to make the repairs to prevent the moisture from re-occurring and the mold from coming back. Then you have to take measures of basement mold removal. There are many excellent sprays and cleaners on the market that do an effective job of mold removal. You do have to make sure that you completely dry the area after you clean to prevent the basement mold from growing back.

Basement Remodeling Starts With Permanent Waterproofing

Basement remodeling can add lots of extra living space to your home but beware; basement water leakage could put a real damper on your hopes if not properly corrected. There are two conditions you must address for a dry basement, actual water leakage and condensation. Water leakage is a pretty obvious concern to homeowners but many are unaware of the problems that high humidity can cause to a finished basement.

Humidity Problems

Because a basement is below ground, it will be naturally cooler than the floors above ground. When warmer air from upstairs or outside enters the basement, it shrinks in volume as it cools. This shrinking or “condensing” of the air volume results in higher humidity.

Everything porous in your basement will absorb the extra moisture in the air and cause a foul odor. Dehumidifiers are appliances which mechanically remove the unwanted extra humidity from your basement. A good dehumidifier is a must if you plan on remodeling your basement. Even a basement that doesn’t leak will benefit from using a dehumidifier.

Water Leakage

Without doubt, water leakage into the basement must be permanently corrected before you start your remodeling project. Start by correcting obvious sources of the problem; broken or non-existent rain gutters, down spouts emptying next to the foundation, ground outside sloping toward the home, uncovered underground windows, etc.

After you exhaust all preventative measures outside, try to identify areas inside where you are experiencing the leakage. If a corner of the basement seems to be a particular problem, again, look outside at your rain gutter downspouts. If you see cracks in the walls leaking, some of these can be repaired with hydraulic cement or crack injection.

If water seems to be coming in from an isolated area, installing a sump pump below floor level can lower the water table and underground hydrostatic pressure in that area. If you are unsure or your problems seem to be widespread, it might be best to call in a building inspector, engineer or other professional to help you identify and solve your problem

There are a variety of services available to solve your leakage problems. These include; outside excavating, re-parging your walls, interior or exterior drainage systems, interior cove systems, grout or epoxy injection and others. Most of these options will require a professional.

 

Basement Remodeling Begins

I like studding the walls out with 2X4s. If you can spare the extra space, 2X6s are even better because they allow room for more insulation. Never, under any circumstances, nail furring strips onto the walls. Penetrating the foundation will compromise its barrier against water.

Use construction adhesive rather than nails or screws to adhere your bottom wall plate to the floor. It’s ok to nail the upper wall plates into the upper floor joists.
Don’t glue down your basement carpet. Carpet is something that is going to wear out and eventually need to be replaced.

Glued down carpeting creates a real problem later on when trying to remove it. Tell your carpet installer to use construction adhesive to install the carpet tack strips around the perimeter. Do not allow them to drive nails into the cement floor.
Summary

With some common sense construction techniques, a reliable waterproofing system and humidity control, you can enjoy a lot of extra living space by remodeling your basement.

Laminate Flooring While Remodeling the Home

There are just so many choices you have when remodeling your home that you can find it difficult to keep up with the decisions that have to be made. If you love the look and feel of wood, you should consider laminate flooring, which is cheaper than real wood flooring, and will withstand many problems in the home, while withstanding a lot of traffic in the home at the same time.

Laminate flooring is easy to install or you can have a contractor who has more time than you install the laminate flooring for your remodeling needs.

Laminate flooring can be matched to just about anything in your home. If you have a great wood trim through out your home, you can find laminate flooring that is going to match that color. The laminate flooring colors can be used to match the cupboards in your bathroom, in the kitchen or the end tables in your living room. Laminate flooring colors and shades of colors are going to vary from store to store, and from brand to brand.

Laminate flooring can be installed where you previously had carpeting before. If you are thinking about getting rid of carpeting in your home, you will find that by ripping out the carpeting, and putting down a new sub floor you are going to be ready to install a new laminate flooring in your home.

Often times a laminate flooring is going to be a light color, one that is going to make the rooms of your home, where you are installing laminate flooring, seem so much bigger. The laminate flooring installed in your home will be a great change, one that you will enjoy for years to come. Laminate flooring is often times going to last longer than vinyl sheet goods and even be warmer feeling than vct tile or ceramic tile in your home.

You can install laminate flooring over warm flooring if you want. Laminate flooring can be installed over radiant heating adding that much more warmth to your flooring. If you are remodeling your home, and you are worried about heat in the floor or the flooring feeling cold, consider installing radiant heating below the flooring, you are putting down. Radiant heating below laminate flooring is going to give your feet a treat, even in the coldest weather.

Laminate flooring can be purchased online or offline. You can see the many colors of this flooring online, in pictures, and then using the measurements of your room or rooms, you can order all the materials needed directly online. You don’t have to waste gas getting to the store, when materials can be delivered directly to your home.

Laminate flooring materials will be heavy and often times will be delivered by truck, so you don’t have to rent a truck or borrow a truck to get the needed materials to your home to do the job. Consider adding laminate flooring to your home remodeling list, when you are reviewing the many choices you have in remodeling the flooring in your home.