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Do away with the dungeon - Develop your basement

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If you stroll down the stairs into your basement and find yourself looking at a big open space with concrete walls, concrete floors and pipes and wiring galore, you are not alone! Or it could be that your basement is developed but it feels dark and the current layout renders it useless to you. Maybe it is time to turn that dingy dungeon into a useful space you can enjoy! It sounds like a big, scary undertaking but with the right team for the job you will have doubled your living space in no time! Address issues first: If you have had leaks in the past there is no doubt that it will happen again. Address any issues that could cause damage to your investment before you get too carried away.

Laying it out: Questions you need to ask yourself are: Who is most likely to use the space? How will the space be used? Maybe the space is best suited for entertaining guests or for your children to do homework or for a hobby that needs its own space. Maybe there is enough room for all of these things! Decide on a list of few things that you really want to make a reality and work towards a layout with your designer. There will be things that need to be worked around, such as the furnace room, existing plumbing, windows and the layout of the stairs, so you will need to keep an open mind and be able to decide which items on your list are more important than the others.

Remembering Resale Value: You may not be planning to sell your home for another 5-10 years, but removing 2 of the 5 bedrooms to make space for your pool table may not be the best way to increase the value in your home. Choosing a layout that is unique and will suit your needs is important but remember, someday, the layout will need to appeal to potential buyers.

Keep it light: Basements have a way of making a space feel smaller and darker so work with it, not against it. Plan to make windows a focal point and incorporate plenty of lighting. Adding a few extra pot lights to the ceiling (with a dimmer switch, of course) will make all the difference in the world! Choose paint colors and finishes that will make the space feel larger. Plan to use less furniture as to not make the space feel cramped.

Make a short-term lifestyle adjustment: You’ve decided on a layout, all the finishes and the contractor is scheduled to begin shortly, but where do you put all your stuff? Where will we be doing laundry? These are all things you may need to consider. If you have a garage, it might be used for storage or you may need to look into a storage unit for a short time. You will want to scope out a laundry mat or arrange a laundry day at a friend or family member’s home.

Developing your lower level can make a huge improvement on your lifestyle and on the future resale value of your home.