These areas give a wonderful Focal point to your basements main area. You will stun your neighbors as they walk down into your newly finished basement and see what quality design time you have invested in it.
The interior space of your basement is where we will spend a considerable portion of our time in the coming months — perhaps poising it for a bit of scrutiny in our traditional time of making fresh starts. Here we talk with experienced interior designers and architects about the basement trends and ideas that they expect to have an impact in 2012.
In addition to controlling moisture, you should also seal and insulate the rim joist cavity to prevent air leakage and increase energy efficiency. The rim joist cavity is located on top of the foundation wall and beneath the rough subflooring of the first floor; it is an area that is vulnerable to the passage of cold air from the outside and vice versa. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), silicone or acrylic latex caulk should be used to seal the gap between the sill plate and the top of the foundation wall, and along the bottom and top of the rim joist. Expanding spray foam should be used to seal all penetrations through the rim joist. Rigid foam, unfaced fiberglass batts, or closed-cell high-density spray foam insulation are appropriate materials to insulate the rim joist cavity. Air sealing/insulating the rim joist cavity and resolving any potential moisture-related problems prior to concealing the basement foundation with interior finishes will greatly improve the likelihood that your efforts and your expenses in finishing your basement aren’t wasted. In addition, you will ensure that the added living space is healthy, energy-efficient, and free of any mold or mildew.
Being banished to the basement doesn’t always have to be punishment! Nowadays, owners of homes with a basement consider the space to be prime square footage. Everything from hobby rooms, play rooms, media centers, music rooms, exercise areas, office space and, it’s original purpose, storage space, is finding new life in the space “down below.”
The definition of a basement is an area that is either fully or partially below ground level. This is not to be confused with the crawl space of a house, since another part of the definition is that a person should be able to stand upright in the area.
The amount of square footage in the basement is generally equivalent to that on the ground floor. In most homes, it’s like having another entire level of living space, which can add up to quite a bit! The options for utilizing that amount of space really are limited only by the imagination since the space usually will have electricity and plumbing.
The basement can be partitioned off into different rooms or it can be one huge open space. If this part of your home is “finished” then consider yourself lucky. If not, or if the space is on the remodeling To Do list, there are issues to consider before proceeding with the project. First, it’s important to identify “trouble” spots such as lowered ceilings, enclosed boiler rooms, and ductwork. Second, the space must not leak. Uncontrolled moisture will cause a number of dangerous and damaging problems including the growth of mold.
Once the identification and remediation of basement problem areas is finished, the next step is determining a layout for the space. The task can be overwhelming, and a good way to begin is by determining the activities that’ll likely take place in the space. Looking at pictures or at what others have done always helps jump-start the imagination.
Keep in mind that the basement will have little or no natural light so consider this when planning the layout. Slowly but surely this space will spring to life and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
Next time you think it’s no big deal, remember that over time, excessive exposure to UV rays can lead to the onset of eye conditions including retina damage and even cataracts. So do your eyes a favor – eat your carrots and be sure to carry your sunglasses with you at all times!
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