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Basement remodels are a somewhat tricky proposition. You need to be sure that you have adequate ceiling height and that the space is large enough for what you envision. Other issues such as lighting, heating, cooling, and design are also pressing. Basements are also known to have significant water issues and those must be addressed before any remodeling project can begin. After all, you wouldn’t want your summer remodeling job to turn into a soaked mess after the first rain in October, would you? This post will discuss various aspects of a basement remodel, including:
Keeping a basement warm in winter can be like fighting an uphill battle. However, if you properly insulate and winterize the space, then you should find relative comfort. If the space does not have duct work for your heating/cooling system, you might consider heated floors. Since no basement has extra-high ceilings, heated floors will take up less space and avoid anyone having to crouch under ducts.
Low ceiling height is nearly universal in the world of basements. If a particularly tall person plans to use the space, or if you simply want more room overhead, it is possible to lower your floor. However, this is not an easy task. The existing concrete most likely will have to be removed by hand, creating a lot of man-hours and taking a lot of time generally. The foundation will have to be extended downwards to meet the new depth of the floor, but this is all possible. After all, if Chicago was able to lift its skyscrapers up out of the marshy soil, you can add an extra foot of headroom to your basement.
Water issues are rife in basements. However, we can re-mediate those issues by sealing the foundation and working with dehumidifiers. If you seal the basement walls with RadonSeal, you will knock out much, if not all, of your humidity problem. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about mold, mildew, or other issues downstairs. You may also want to find a place for a dehumidifier. If you use a dehumidifier, you may want to have it drain into the bathroom or perhaps with the washing machine water, if you do laundry down there. Note that running a dehumidifier will be a burden on the electricity bill all summer long. Luckily, Portland has typically dry summers, but there are exceptions, as 2013 showed.