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Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 04:50 pm

Your basement need not be damp and drab



Homeowners hoping to spread their wings around the house are increasingly heading downstairs to create more living space.

Whether it’s for a home office, a home theater room, a playroom for the kids, or even a laundry room, more and more homeowners are turning their dark, damp and dreary basement into a brighter, more functional space.

Though what to do with your basement is up to you, there are certain things every homeowner should consider before converting their basement.

  • Be wary when painting basement walls. Painting the basement walls will be high on your priority list, but you can’t just use ordinary house paint down there. Standard house paint might not look bad initially, but if your basement ever develops a moisture problem, standard house paint won’t be able to prevent water damage. When painting the walls, use a waterproofing paint which is both decorative and waterproof and capable of stopping water from entering the pores of the wall’s masonry, preventing water damage as a result.

    When applying waterproofing paint, keep in mind such paint is thicker than house paint, so it will take longer to apply, though its application is just as simple as that of standard house paint. Most waterproofing paints can be applied with a stiff bristle brush or roller, and you simply work the product into the surface of the masonry, filling the texture with the coating. For the best results, apply the first coat with a nylon or polyester bristle brush, while the second coat can be applied with a brush or masonry roller. Two coats are usually sufficient to stop seepage. However, if seepage is still present after several days, an additional coat may be necessary.

  • Take your measurements. Larger items, such as pool tables and refrigerators, can likely fit into the basement. But homeowners who have used their basement largely for storage should take some measurements before beginning their basement project or buying any big-ticket items. There’s no guarantee that a 70-inch projection screen television or those leather armchairs can fit through the basement doorway. Though homeowners will eventually find something they like that will fit, the doorway measurements might dictate that decision more than homeowners know.

  • Brighten things up. Though it might be best to have a darker or less flashy basement if the goal is to create a home theater experience, homeowners opting for a different kind of basement should look to brighten things up. Basements can be somewhat drab, but they don’t have to be. Waterproofing paints can be tinted to create a colorful, decorative and moisture-free area that’s perfect for homeowners who want to add some life to their basement while simultaneously protecting it from the elements. When it comes to remodeling a basement, homeowners are only limited by their own imaginations. 
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