It’s no longer “just a basement.”
Story by Carol McGarvey
Featured in March/April 2022
First, may we start with some definitions?
A basement is completely or partially below the ground floor of a home and generally is used as a utility space. It’s where a home’s mechanicals are located-furnace and air-conditioner, water heater, fuse box, and often the laundry center, especially in older homes. Undedicated space is for storage. In many areas, the basement is the go-to shelter for safety from tornadoes.
The lower level can turn that same space into a home office, a family room, a movie theater room, a craft room, a man cave, an exercise area, a guest room with a full bath, a kitchenette, and even a so-called “safe room.”
In new construction and remodeling circles, “lower level” indicates that the area has become part of the living space. Generally, the basement stuff is still there. It’s just that the unfinished space previously used for storage now takes on an important and specific role.
To make the basement inhabitable, the homeowner can do basic repairs and renovations, such as foundation, retaining walls, ceiling, etc., by hiring a concrete contractor in Spring Hill, FL, or one providing services in their neighborhood. A few upgrades here and there, along with proper ventilation, could be enough to convert the lower level of the house into a livable space.
During the pandemic, many people worked remotely from home. Often office space was delegated to part of the lower level. Whilst this can pose problems for internet connectivity (wifi usually struggles to reach below ground), many internet plans, like these optimum internet plans, are now able to extend across the whole house with no issues. This allows basements to be used for a wider range of activities and provides a reliable connection for those important work video calls. However, this environment might not always be the ideal space for people to work. This is due to the fact that disturbances such as kids, pets, and even appliances may interfere with their quality of work. In such cases, these individuals might have to look for an austin office space or a shared workplace in their locality so that they could do their jobs in a much more professional and calmer setting.
That said, when purchasing a home, don’t ignore that space of lower level. Perhaps you or the next owner will want the ability to build out the space as your family or financial situation changes. The lower level of the house can be remodeled according to your needs with the help of a contractor (similar to a general contractor in Albuquerque, NM). It’s also a good idea to ask your home builder about the possibility of adding additional height to the lower-level walls.
Even if you’re not sure you would use it, definitely consider a kitchenette arrangement. No one wants to carry dirty dishes up and down the stairs every time you have friends over. The kitchen setup doesn’t have to be huge to be useful.
Depending on the area’s support system, try to plan for an open space for a seating and conversation area or for a Foosball or pool table. Think the matter through thoroughly and decide what would work for your situation.
If you have interest and room under the stairs or entrance to your home, you might consider a wine room. Not your style? Then how about just a wine cooler refrigerator.
If you are adding a bedroom for kids or for visiting grandparents or others, you must install an egress window for easy access to the outside in case of a fire or for any other emergencies.
Designers suggest that you’ll want to make the stairway entrance to the lower level welcoming and attractive, too, by choosing just-right lighting and by painting the area a light and friendly color. This first look will encourage visiting the space below and staying for a while. From this vantage point, visitors can see the area is full of fun.
Keep this fact in mind. In central Iowa, most houses have a basement or lower level. Starting in southern Iowa and heading down south, so many homes are built on a slab with no protected place to seek shelter or to celebrate the good life.
Come on down. •