Wise investors gaze into the future and assess bumps and bends in the road. Your home improvement investment should be no different, and understanding the top four Northern Virginia basement remodeling challenges allows you to prepare for reality and navigate the renovation process well.
Get ready to tackle this home reno and come out with a fabulous, comfortable and valuable basement living space.
Challenge # 1 – Lighting
The proper lighting ensures your below grade living space is welcoming and functional. But the structural design of a basement often limits the location of your preferred light fixtures and may dictate the size and type of fixture.
Recessed lighting provides good coverage without eating up valuable space at the ceiling. Wall sconces reflect light up a smooth wall and into the room, and many fixtures appear almost flush to the wall, making them ideal for hallways and stairways.
New and larger windows help to enhance natural light in this area. Talk to your Virginia basement renovation contractor about the possibility of adding windows or enlarging the existing window frames.
Choose bulbs and fixtures that deliver excellent coverage with minimal fuss. This is not the place for a showpiece or chandelier. Focus on durable, low profile lighting fitted with long lasting bulbs. Add a floor lamp or table lamp for visual interest and pizzazz, if you feel the space needs it.
Challenge # 2 – Air Quality
Moisture and mold cause serious problems in the basement and lower the air quality in your entire home, which in turn affects the health of your family. Take care of any moisture issues before the Northern Virginia basement remodeling project starts.
Have your home assessed for mold and inspect the property both inside and out for moisture problems. Repairs and waterproofing solutions may push the cost of your home improvement project higher, but you do not want to deal with water damage in your brand new basement living space. Be proactive and take care of moisture problems beforehand.
Ventilation is another important issue in your basement remodel. Talk to a heating and cooling expert about how to ensure adequate air flow throughout each season. Both your heating and cooling systems should include the basement, although some people opt for alternative heating solutions such as a gas fireplace or wood stove to keep the basement cozy in winter. Consider all of the possibilities and assess how each one affects the overall air quality in your space.
Challenge # 3 – Energy Efficiency
Adding living space in the basement will increase your electrical and utility bills, mainly due to the additional lighting, outlets, and area. But you can ensure these costs are limited and create a more energy efficient home by taking some things into consideration during the planning stages.
Insulate the basement against heat loss. Ask your contractor about the different types of insulation available, and consider the structural elements of your space when deciding which to use. Blow-in products make sense for attic spaces, but may be a messy solution for the basement. Some pre-manufactured basement panels include insulation that reaches the required R-value for residential living spaces. Find out about all of your options and choose the type that provides optimum efficiency and reliability. It will provide a better payback than the option with the lowest initial price tag.
Challenge # 4 – Security
Your basement renovation design may add another entrance point into your home. Installing expensive entertainment systems and computer equipment in the basement also presents a temptation for burglars. Ensure your home remains secure by investing in good quality window treatments to keep your valuables out of casual viewing.
Install commercial grade locks on any patio doors or entrance doors and consider putting wood blocks in the windows for added security. Treat your basement as a part of your home and take the necessary precautions to maintain security.
Prepare to deal with many challenges while planning your Northern Virginia basement remodeling project. Cover all the details and depend on the expert advice of your Virginia contractor to ensure your new living space turns out well.