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Basement Renovation Mistakes to Avoid — Part I: Flawed by Design

A basement renovation can add a great deal of value and functionality to your home when done properly. Home owners should avoid common mistakes that make a basement less usable or less appealing to others in order to make your home more desirable during resale. Here are the types of design oversights to avoid.


Gloomy Lighting


Always consider how light will travel in your basement. Aside from bi-level designs with half-size windows that let in natural light, you will have to supply artificial lighting for any basement rooms you build.


Make sure that there are both overhead and ambient lights to fill out the spaces while providing nice, warm accents. As long as you can see clearly, the space will be more likely to be used.


Cramped or Odd Floor Plans


Have a professional look over your designs or help design your basement’s floor plan for you. You want to make sure that the spaces will be large enough to move around in and that everything will be conveniently placed for your use.


Avoid overly complicated or overly compartmentalized designs. Try to emulate common elements seen in main floor layouts, such as an open area leading off to smaller rooms.


Discontinuous Design


An unfinished basement allows the opportunity for fine-tuned creative expression; try not to go too overboard. You will want a cohesive style that ties in elements found upstairs.


In other words, entering the basement should not feel like you just walked into an entirely different house. Feel free to make the style fresh and unique, but rein in the temptation to go overly thematic.



Tailored to One User


Avoid creating rooms that are too specific. While adding a creative studio or home gym, you probably should not build permanent structures into the rooms that are hard to remove. A gym that uses free-standing equipment is fine, but one with a chest dip bar bolted to the floor cannot be easily repurposed.


Likewise, a studio that can be used for painting or making music would be great since this space can be reused as an office or something similar. A full-fledged dark room would be a hard sell for a buyer without an interest in traditional photography.


Create rooms with a universal appeal, like bedrooms and home offices. Alternatively, make sure that more specific spaces like a media room can be easily retooled to suit a buyer’s needs if necessary.


With these criteria in mind, your basement renovation design will add the maximum amount of resale value and appeal to your home. Part II of this post will discuss construction practices that deter moisture.


For more advice on renovations that will make your Red Deer real estate property attractive to buyers, take a look at our selling page.

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Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
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