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Ideas to Remodel a Basement

by HomeRepairExpert.com
The basement, an often overlooked space given over to storage, laundry or the quintessential kids' playroom, can become a stylish, fun and practical part of your home. According to CNN.com, basement renovation ranks among the top 25 most popular home renovation projects in the country. It's also a fairly practical remodeling project--according to the renovation calculator on the CNN web site, a basement remodel will recover 78.80 percent of the cost spent on it when the home is sold. There are so many ways to make use of the wasted or outdated space below the stairs, and the first step in any basement remodeling project is deciding how you'll use the space.

The basement, an often overlooked space given over to storage, laundry or the quintessential kids' playroom, can become a stylish, fun and practical part of your home. According to CNN.com, basement renovation ranks among the top 25 most popular home renovation projects in the country. It's also a fairly practical remodeling project--according to the renovation calculator on the CNN web site, a basement remodel will recover 78.80 percent of the cost spent on it when the home is sold. There are so many ways to make use of the wasted or outdated space below the stairs, and the first step in any basement remodeling project is deciding how you'll use the space.

A Home Theater

The family basement offers many qualities that make it an ideal site for a home theater. Because most basements are below ground level with limited windows, it's very easy to control the lighting--a major plus when designing an in-home theater. If you're considering a home theater in your basement, Peter Jeswald, author of "Basement Ideas That Work: Creative Design Solutions for Your Home," offers a few suggestions for choosing and designing the space. According to Jeswald, room dimension is very important in designing a theater space. He suggests a length to width ratio of one and one half to one--a room that is 12 feet long and 8 feet wide would be ideal for both sound and viewing distance. In addition, he says, the ceiling should be about 1.4 times the width or 1.9 times the height of the room for best acoustics.

The Man Cave

The phrase "man cave" may conjure up visions of beat-up overstuffed recliners, spilled beer cans and rowdy guys, but that's not how the hosts of the DIY Network's "Man Caves" see it. Cohost Jason Cameron explained to Today Show contributor Laura Coffey, "It's about the guy...his wants and his desires and what he's into." Turning the basement into a man cave doesn't have to be expensive. It just needs to be keyed to the interests of the man who will inhabit it. A wine fancier, for example, might turn part of the basement into a temperature-controlled wine cellar. A sports enthusiast might build a room where he and his friends can comfortably watch the game together. Think about the most important elements of your dream retreat, and then work out ways to bring them into the basement.

Basement Office

With more and more people choosing to work from home, home offices have become very popular additions to the house. A basement offers one of the most important qualities for a home office--it's away from the rest of the house, so family has far less temptation to interrupt while you're working. In addition, turning a basement into a home office can be relatively easy--you won't need to put in new floor supports, and chances are good that the basement will require little in the way of rewiring to support your office equipment. Insulation and a dehumidifier are a must, especially if you'll have computer equipment and electronics in your office, but most of the renovation work will be purely about the decor. Finally, you may benefit from tax breaks for a home business if you use the space exclusively for business purposes, including the possibility of writing off part or all of the renovation costs as a business expense.