If you listen to my Saturday morning remodeling show on AM 1130 WISN radio, you may have heard me talk about the lower level, or basement, being my favorite part of the home. Well, one of my favorites. Here’s why.
On Father’s Day weekend, when I spent time watching the U.S. Open golf tournament, it was hot outside. Now we do have air conditioning in the house, plus, Callen’s installation of all new Infinity from Marvin fiberglass replacement windows means our house stays very cool in summer, and warm in winter. But, as I walked down the steps to our lower level, I noticed it gradually got cooler, and drier.
We run a dehumidifier all the time in summer, and the air conditioner runs in our lower level as well. As I watched golf in my home theater, it was so comfortable, it was hard to leave to grill dinner in the 92 degree heat!
Summer is a time we think about outdoor activities and backyard entertaining, but the lower level is a space that can be enjoyed year round. I play in a band and we have some of our music gear stored in a studio in our basement, a ping pong table, an exercise room, and a home theater. It’s not a huge space, but if you plan it properly with a Callen designer, you can enjoy the space year round.
An unfinished basement is a blank slate that designers love to work with. You gain extra space without doing an addition, so you save money by not putting in new footings and foundation. If you are a family with kids, nothing beats having that space for kids (plus the grownups get to enjoy it as well!). A finished basement also adds tremendous resale value to your home.
You need to make sure your basement is dry before you remodel. Remember to also leave space for storage. Usually this is done in the same room as where the mechanicals (furnace, water softener, water heater, etc.) are placed.
A renovated lower level doesn’t have to be a “man cave” or a traditional “rec room.” You can create a space that includes a second kitchen, another bathroom, or a guest bedroom. It can be whatever you want. Usually higher ceilings and a decor that matches the rest of the house blends in the best, but everyone has different wants and needs.
Take advantage of this unused space and enhance your home’s livability.
Paul Kronforst of News/Talk 1130 WISN