Basement renovations require foresight and planning

In many ways, the basement is the best part of the house. According to Nicole Goldman, a project manager with Goldman Arts Inc., most rooms in houses have a specific role: a kitchen is for preparing food and eating; a living room is for relaxing or entertaining, a bedroom is for sleeping, and so on.

But basements are like a wide-open canvas where you can make it into whatever you want: an entertainment masterpiece? A separate income-generating apartment? An in-law suite? Anything is possible with basements.

But if you’re looking for cheap basement finishing, brainstorming is the first step, followed by planning.

basement renovationsWhat kind of space do you want to create in your basement, and what will you use it for in the future? Goldman says that while a play area for an infant child may be the goal now, that infant child will one day become a teenager who may want his or her own space. So when you’re planning for a basement renovation, it helps to think ahead.

Once you’ve determined what you want to use the basement for, both now and in the future, it’s time to start getting into specifics.

When it comes to basement remodeling, make sure that the space is safe and ready to renovate before spending money. With basements, a major issue is often water damage and mold, so have your basement checked for water leakage before taking any further steps. It will save you time and money later on.

Most basement renovations present another challenge, but it’s also a great opportunity for improvement. They generally have a lack of natural light. That shouldn’t scare you away from finishing a basement, but it’s an area that needs to be considered. The good news: there is no shortage of ideas and possibilities to bring light in.

One option is to create multiple sources of lights, from pot lights to lamps, to brighten up a room, with special focus on areas such as workspaces or play rooms, which may require more light. If you’re looking to be a bit more creative, you can always lower a window and bring in more natural light, or even create false windows which brings in some additional light and also helps create an feeling that the outdoors is just on the other side of the glass.

One of the key ingredients to a comfortable space, no matter where it is in the house, is a high ceiling. High ceilings create a feeling of airiness and comfort, while low ceilings can create the opposite effect. Even more important, it’s often the law, especially if you want to rent out your basement.

If you’re looking for a Toronto basement renovation, look into municipal codes and permits, which have specific requirements for the minimum height needed. It may be an expense you weren’t looking for, but in the end, your basement will be brighter, better and it could even add value to your home.

Basements are an excellent way to add space, enjoyment and even value to your home, and if you’re planning a Toronto basement renovation, start with the basics and go from there. Before long, you’ll have an excellent new space for whatever you choose to use it for.

Things to consider when thinking about a bathroom renovation

It’s no secret that houses take work to maintain. Even the smallest homes require upkeep. But there are few renovations that are as likely to add value to your home as much as re-doing a bathroom. According to an article by architect Paul DeGroot, it’s important to first understand your goals when considering a bathroom renovation. He says bathroom renos usually have one of three goals in mind: an expansion to make the room larger, a makeover to change the look and feel of the bathroom, or an addition to gain the extra space that an expansion won’t provide.

If you’re looking at your bathroom, it might be easy to find a hundred things you’d like to fix: the floor, the light fixtures, the mirror, the window, the fan, just to name a few. But to start on the right track with your renovation, it’s best to start with the basics: the toilet, the sink, and the bath tub.bathroom renovations

The toilet: When deciding on a toilet, consider how much space you have to work with, how much time you are willing to spend cleaning, and your budget. Toilets can be found for as little as $200, but one-piece toilets, which are easier to clean and can be smaller in size, are more expensive. So for this fixture, think about what is most important to you: cost, size, or ease of cleaning.

The sink: There’s a lot of variety in this department, but as with a toilet, your considerations should be space, how easy it is to clean, and cost. If you have a small bathroom and you aren’t planning on an expansion or addition to make it larger, then there are two main options, DeGroot says: a pedestal sink, or, if there is even less space, a sink mounted to the wall. There’s little (or no) floor area to clean, too. If you need more storage, then maybe a sink with countertops below might be your best bet.

The bath tub: Here is where you can get some additional luxury if you’re looking for it. There are many tubs available on the market with spa-like features, include whirlpool functions and water jets. If you have in mind something simpler, try a standard 60-inch (five foot) long tub, which is also typically 14 inches tall. But if you want something where you can get more of the full-body experience, there are always taller options available.

Once you’ve decided on the ‘big three,’ it’s time to start looking at the other parts of your bathroom which you’re planning to update. In many bathrooms, the floors are old, cracked, mouldy or just generally out of date, and it’s in need of updating.

There are many possibilities for flooring, but ceramic is still the best option. But before you place new tiles on the bathroom floor, make sure the subflooring underneath is solid. After all, the quality of the finishes is only as good as the foundation.

Bathrooms can help create a feeling of comfort in your home, and cheap bathroom renovations can be one of the best way to add value to your home. But  before you begin, make a plan, set a budget, and start with the most important areas first.