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Create a Multi-use Basement that Features Storage, Laundry, and Living Areas

Create a Multi-use Basement that Features Storage, Laundry, and Living Areas

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March 18, 2010

If you're like most people, your basement does double or even triple duty. It might be a laundry room as well as a workshop, and there's probably an area used for storage, too.

So, what if you want a basement renovation that carves out an area for some living space? Will you have to move all the other types of areas to another part of the house?

Not at all. The secret is to utilize space-economizing methods to create a multi-use basement that serves many needs.

Analyze Your Needs for the Basement

The first step in this type of basement conversion is to analyze the current uses in the area and look for ways to make them more efficient so they can take up less space. Consider:

  • Investing in a stackable washer and dryer and a hinged table that you can fold up when you're not doing laundry. Remodeling contractors can help you determine where and how to incorporate this, and make sure your laundry area is plumbed correctly.
  • Including movable floor-to-ceiling shelves for all those storage boxes and bins. Organize and consolidate the contents so you have fewer containers to store.
  • Using shelves or work tables mounted on rolling bases to organize tools, crafting supplies, or household equipment. You can roll it out of the way when it's not in use.

Creating a Multi-Use Basement

After your areas are well-separated, use curtains, folding partitions, or interior walls to delineate them. This helps make sure things like lint, dust, and wood chips don't find their way into your living space. Try to put push these "work areas" to one side of your basement so the area closest to the stairs or exterior door contains the new living area.

The basement renovation area can be walled off from the rest of the basement and even have a different flooring from the rest of the basement. You can add heat, recessed lighting, and new ceiling coverings to improve the warmth and appeal of the new space.

Consider using a remodeling contractor to finish off the new living area. Experienced contractors can design the project in a way that lets you eventually expand the room, if you choose. They know which types of flooring work best on basement concrete, and can help you get proper permits for the renovation, as well. A home with increased square footage of living space has an increased market value.

Be sure to select a basement remodeling contractor with references. Check them out with the Better Business Bureau and your state contractors' board. A good contractor can give you all you were hoping for, and more, in a basement remodel.


About the author: Jim Sloan is a freelance writer in Reno, Nevada.
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