Ready for change

After many years of just piling everything down there, it is time. You have finally decided to develop your basement and so need some ideas for a basement development project. It is time to make that cold hole a place your family will enjoy. The opportunities are many but hold unto those horses.

We must answer one question before you start throwing up walls, running out and ordering carpet.
What are you planning to use your basement for?

 

Typical uses for a basement

There are four uses for your basements, but only three that add value.

• A place to throw things
• Extra space for your family
• Entertaining friends
• Extra income.

I have seen many basements cluttered with everything from hockey gear to dead fish and endless boxes scattered on the cold concrete. But this first use does not add value to your family.

Well-Designed basement storage is priceless, providing a place to store you less used items but scattered in the “basement” is not. The other 3 are well worth doing, but let’s focus on your FAMILY.

Extra space for your family

If you are going to develop your basement for your family, how are you going to use it?

Space for kids

Okay, that’s a start. What do you want your kids doing in this space? How will they use the area?
• Run around?
• Play hockey?
• Sleep?
• Play Lego?
• Study?
• Have a snack?
• Play X-box or watch movies?
• Shower? (Yes sometimes your kids’ stink).

These answers help in deciding how to develop your basement. What rooms to build and what material to use in construction.

Play room, rec room or family room

It really doesn’t matter what you call it, but this is the main room in your basement. All the other places serve this central part of your basement. Often this is the main room welcoming you into the basement from the stairs.

This is where most of the action happens, where you play hockey or watch a movie, exercise or nap. Because of its importance to your family, we want to put some thought into it. Will you be using this room for Toys or TV?

Toys

There are two categories for basement toys, grown up or children.

Children’s Toys

If your kids are still young, this space is best developed for their activities. A place that they can scatter their toys as their imaginations run wild. You will want enough room that they can run around, wrestle, cook in their kitchen, build a pillow fort or lay out all their barbies.

Your basement is excellent in providing the needed space for large play, but you will want to have some space to tidy everything up. Either built-ins for the toys or space along a wall for a few toy boxes to store everything in when the next floor hockey game breaks out.

But the biggest thing is you want an open space to allow your kids to have the freedom to play.

Grown up toys

These may not be just for the parents but are geared to more advanced play. This can be the classic pool  table, foose ball, arcade basketball, dartboard, card table, table tennis or a combination of large adult geared games for teenage kids.

The big thing here is these are often more furniture pieces, to be set up and played in the same location many times. Needing space dedicates for you to be able to manoeuvre around them and have sufficient room to play.

We all have experience trying to take that pool shot with our cue banging against the wall.

TV viewing, with of course, the required couches

Maybe your family really enjoys sitting around your TV, Enjoying a movie, watching a game or playing on your console. All of these work better with a well laid out room.

A wall large enough for the appropriate TV to be hung on, with the couches, arranged for everyone to see the screen while allowing people to cross the room without blocking your view.

Off course with a great view, you need to include fantastic sound. Sometimes this can be achieved with, out of the box speakers. Sometimes it is better to have wired in speakers. Whichever you choose, it should immerse you in what is happening on the screen. Providing you with the full experience.

Main room size

Whichever it is, either Toys or TV, the main room in your basement needs to be large enough to allow you to enjoy.  We have all seen those fantastic pictures of massive basements sprawling over 1000s of feet but the reality is most of our homes basements will only develop out around 600 square feet.

Typically your main basement room will be about ⅔ of this space having about 300-400’ for either your TOYS or TV. If properly laid out this is sufficient room to enjoy the area. The important thing is to keep the space as open as possible, wisely integrating tel-post, not placing walls near the stairs and integrate walkways into rooms as much as possible

Bedroom

This seems to be a necessity when you develop your basement, adding a bedroom.

Either the kids are tired of sharing a room, or you want a spare room when people visit. This extra room can also be used as a study, music room, office or anything where a little separation would be helpful.

Two things separate this room from any other room in the basement is a closet and Egress window.

Egress window

Being the most essential item for a bedroom. It’s nice to have a window in any basement room, the natural light just adds to the feel of the space, but for a bedroom, you must have an Egress Window.

As the name suggests, this window is for leaving the room. In the event of a fire, anyone sleeping in there needs a quick way to escape. The city of Calgary also requires new egress window wells to have a minimum projection of 30”. With existing Window Wells a projection of 22” is deemed acceptable.

With basement windows being installed in an 8” concrete wall which is being insulated using a 2×4 or 2x6 in some of the newer energy efficient built homes.  You have a deep window sill of around 12” which makes a nice ledge for plants, ornaments or trophies. This ledge can be finished using drywall returns, plywood or painted MDF.

During Calgary’s cold winters, windows have the potential for condensation to develop which can easily damage a drywall return making it not ideal. Being a transition point in your basement, with the cold or hot outdoors and warm inside, your basement plywood has a tendency to expand or contract at a different rate than your casing.  Over time, you will develop unsightly cracks on your mitre joints.

For this reason, paint MDF seems to be the best solution to dressing up your deep window sills. It is both sealed by the paint to prevent moisture issues and being pressed glued wood dust has limited expansion and contraction.

Some time PVC will be used to complete the window sill, which paints well, is impregnatable to moisture except it is considerably more expansive then MDF.

Closet

If you’re going to be sleeping there, you will need a place for clothes. First, you must determine how many clothes you need to hang to determine the closet size. Since this is a guest or child’s bedroom often a 4’ wide by 2’ deep closet will work well for a limited amount of clothes without taking to much space away from the room.

Shelving

Will be required in your closet. Wire shelving is the most economical while providing a naturally clean look. Along with a free slide rod allowing you to move your hangers freely in your closet.

The more traditional build is a wood shelf with cleats on the wall with a metal closet rod. People often enjoy the wood shelf for its appearance of being solid, unlike wire shelving.

Doors

There are many options for your closet. Bi-folds are great in that they protrude less into your room than a swing door. Allowing you to have furniture closer to the closet, which is very helpful in a smaller bedroom.

A single or double swing door has a great look and allows you to open the closet for access entirely.  But, because of there large swing space required, they work better in a larger bedroom.

Also prominent are sliding mirror closet doors. The advantage is a large full-length mirror in the bedroom. Which is lovely to add the feeling of space in the room along with a convenient mirror while dressing. Being a sliding door, they leave the most freedom in front of the closet for walking and furniture placement.

Unfortunately, since they slide inside off the door opening, you never have full access to all your clothes with one or more panel in the opening.

Dreaming Reality

Now run down to your basement with a roll of masking tape and start marking out walls on the cold concrete floor. This cold place is about to become a wonderful place for your family. Have fun, play around a little, dream a lot and if you need some experience to dream with you.

E3 Construction is here to help. In the words of that old Home Depot slogan, You can do this, we can Help.

Ready for change

After many years of just piling everything down there, it is time. You have finally decided to develop your basement. It is time to make that cold hole a place your family will enjoy. The opportunities are many but hold unto those horses.

We must answer one question before you start throwing up walls, running out and ordering carpet.
What are you planning to use your basement for?

 

Typical uses for a basement

There are four uses for your basements, but only three that add value.

• A place to throw things
• Extra space for your family
• Entertaining friends
• Extra income.

I have seen many basements cluttered with everything from hockey gear to dead fish and endless boxes scattered on the cold concrete. But this first use does not add value to your family.

Well-Designed basement storage is priceless, providing a place to store you less used items but scattered in the “basement” is not. The other 3 are well worth doing, but let’s focus on your FAMILY.

Extra space for your family

If you are going to develop your basement for your family, how are you going to use it?

Space for kids

Okay, that’s a start. What do you want your kids doing in this space? How will they use the area?
• Run around?
• Play hockey?
• Sleep?
• Play Lego?
• Study?
• Have a snack?
• Play X-box or watch movies?
• Shower? (Yes sometimes your kids’ stink).

These answers help in deciding how to develop your basement. What rooms to build and what material to use in construction.

Play room, rec room or family room

It really doesn’t matter what you call it, but this is the main room in your basement. All the other places serve this central part of your basement. Often this is the main room welcoming you into the basement from the stairs.

This is where most of the action happens, where you play hockey or watch a movie, exercise or nap. Because of its importance to your family, we want to put some thought into it. Will you be using this room for Toys or TV?

Toys

There are two categories for basement toys, grown up or children.

Children’s Toys

If your kids are still young, this space is best developed for their activities. A place that they can scatter their toys as their imaginations run wild. You will want enough room that they can run around, wrestle, cook in their kitchen, build a pillow fort or lay out all their barbies.

Your basement is excellent in providing the needed space for large play, but you will want to have some space to tidy everything up. Either built-ins for the toys or space along a wall for a few toy boxes to store everything in when the next floor hockey game breaks out.

But the biggest thing is you want an open space to allow your kids to have the freedom to play.

Grown up toys

These may not be just for the parents but are geared to more advanced play. This can be the classic pool  table, foose ball, arcade basketball, dartboard, card table, table tennis or a combination of large adult geared games for teenage kids.

The big thing here is these are often more furniture pieces, to be set up and played in the same location many times. Needing space dedicates for you to be able to manoeuvre around them and have sufficient room to play.

We all have experience trying to take that pool shot with our cue banging against the wall.

TV viewing, with of course, the required couches

Maybe your family really enjoys sitting around your TV, Enjoying a movie, watching a game or playing on your console. All of these work better with a well laid out room.

A wall large enough for the appropriate TV to be hung on, with the couches, arranged for everyone to see the screen while allowing people to cross the room without blocking your view.

Off course with a great view, you need to include fantastic sound. Sometimes this can be achieved with, out of the box speakers. Sometimes it is better to have wired in speakers. Whichever you choose, it should immerse you in what is happening on the screen. Providing you with the full experience.

Main room size

Whichever it is, either Toys or TV, the main room in your basement needs to be large enough to allow you to enjoy.  We have all seen those fantastic pictures of massive basements sprawling over 1000s of feet but the reality is most of our homes basements will only develop out around 600 square feet.

Typically your main basement room will be about ⅔ of this space having about 300-400’ for either your TOYS or TV. If properly laid out this is sufficient room to enjoy the area. The important thing is to keep the space as open as possible, wisely integrating tel-post, not placing walls near the stairs and integrate walkways into rooms as much as possible

Bedroom

This seems to be a necessity when you develop your basement, adding a bedroom.

Either the kids are tired of sharing a room, or you want a spare room when people visit. This extra room can also be used as a study, music room, office or anything where a little separation would be helpful.

Two things separate this room from any other room in the basement is a closet and Egress window.

Egress window

Being the most essential item for a bedroom. It’s nice to have a window in any basement room, the natural light just adds to the feel of the space, but for a bedroom, you must have an Egress Window.

As the name suggests, this window is for leaving the room. In the event of a fire, anyone sleeping in there needs a quick way to escape. The city of Calgary also requires new egress window wells to have a minimum projection of 30”. With existing Window Wells a projection of 22” is deemed acceptable.

With basement windows being installed in an 8” concrete wall which is being insulated using a 2×4 or 2x6 in some of the newer energy efficient built homes.  You have a deep window sill of around 12” which makes a nice ledge for plants, ornaments or trophies. This ledge can be finished using drywall returns, plywood or painted MDF.

During Calgary’s cold winters, windows have the potential for condensation to develop which can easily damage a drywall return making it not ideal. Being a transition point in your basement, with the cold or hot outdoors and warm inside, your basement plywood has a tendency to expand or contract at a different rate than your casing.  Over time, you will develop unsightly cracks on your mitre joints.

For this reason, paint MDF seems to be the best solution to dressing up your deep window sills. It is both sealed by the paint to prevent moisture issues and being pressed glued wood dust has limited expansion and contraction.

Some time PVC will be used to complete the window sill, which paints well, is impregnatable to moisture except it is considerably more expansive then MDF.

Closet

If you’re going to be sleeping there, you will need a place for clothes. First, you must determine how many clothes you need to hang to determine the closet size. Since this is a guest or child’s bedroom often a 4’ wide by 2’ deep closet will work well for a limited amount of clothes without taking to much space away from the room.

Shelving

Will be required in your closet. Wire shelving is the most economical while providing a naturally clean look. Along with a free slide rod allowing you to move your hangers freely in your closet.

The more traditional build is a wood shelf with cleats on the wall with a metal closet rod. People often enjoy the wood shelf for its appearance of being solid, unlike wire shelving.

Doors

There are many options for your closet. Bi-folds are great in that they protrude less into your room than a swing door. Allowing you to have furniture closer to the closet, which is very helpful in a smaller bedroom.

A single or double swing door has a great look and allows you to open the closet for access entirely.  But, because of there large swing space required, they work better in a larger bedroom.

Also prominent are sliding mirror closet doors. The advantage is a large full-length mirror in the bedroom. Which is lovely to add the feeling of space in the room along with a convenient mirror while dressing. Being a sliding door, they leave the most freedom in front of the closet for walking and furniture placement.

Unfortunately, since they slide inside off the door opening, you never have full access to all your clothes with one or more panel in the opening.

Dreaming Reality

Now run down to your basement with a roll of masking tape and start marking out walls on the cold concrete floor. This cold place is about to become a wonderful place for your family. Have fun, play around a little, dream a lot and if you need some experience to dream with you.

E3 Construction is here to help. In the words of that old Home Depot slogan, You can do this, we can Help.

Ready for change

After many years of just piling everything down there, it is time. You have finally decided to develop your basement. It is time to make that cold hole a place your family will enjoy. The opportunities are many but hold unto those horses.

We must answer one question before you start throwing up walls, running out and ordering carpet.
What are you planning to use your basement for?

 

Typical uses for a basement

There are four uses for your basements, but only three that add value.

• A place to throw things
• Extra space for your family
• Entertaining friends
• Extra income.

I have seen many basements cluttered with everything from hockey gear to dead fish and endless boxes scattered on the cold concrete. But this first use does not add value to your family.

Well-Designed basement storage is priceless, providing a place to store you less used items but scattered in the “basement” is not. The other 3 are well worth doing, but let’s focus on your FAMILY.

Extra space for your family

If you are going to develop your basement for your family, how are you going to use it?

Space for kids

Okay, that’s a start. What do you want your kids doing in this space? How will they use the area?
• Run around?
• Play hockey?
• Sleep?
• Play Lego?
• Study?
• Have a snack?
• Play X-box or watch movies?
• Shower? (Yes sometimes your kids’ stink).

These answers help in deciding how to develop your basement. What rooms to build and what material to use in construction.

Play room, rec room or family room

It really doesn’t matter what you call it, but this is the main room in your basement. All the other places serve this central part of your basement. Often this is the main room welcoming you into the basement from the stairs.

This is where most of the action happens, where you play hockey or watch a movie, exercise or nap. Because of its importance to your family, we want to put some thought into it. Will you be using this room for Toys or TV?

Toys

There are two categories for basement toys, grown up or children.

Children’s Toys

If your kids are still young, this space is best developed for their activities. A place that they can scatter their toys as their imaginations run wild. You will want enough room that they can run around, wrestle, cook in their kitchen, build a pillow fort or lay out all their barbies.

Your basement is excellent in providing the needed space for large play, but you will want to have some space to tidy everything up. Either built-ins for the toys or space along a wall for a few toy boxes to store everything in when the next floor hockey game breaks out.

But the biggest thing is you want an open space to allow your kids to have the freedom to play.

Grown up toys

These may not be just for the parents but are geared to more advanced play. This can be the classic pool  table, foose ball, arcade basketball, dartboard, card table, table tennis or a combination of large adult geared games for teenage kids.

The big thing here is these are often more furniture pieces, to be set up and played in the same location many times. Needing space dedicates for you to be able to manoeuvre around them and have sufficient room to play.

We all have experience trying to take that pool shot with our cue banging against the wall.

TV viewing, with of course, the required couches

Maybe your family really enjoys sitting around your TV, Enjoying a movie, watching a game or playing on your console. All of these work better with a well laid out room.

A wall large enough for the appropriate TV to be hung on, with the couches, arranged for everyone to see the screen while allowing people to cross the room without blocking your view.

Off course with a great view, you need to include fantastic sound. Sometimes this can be achieved with, out of the box speakers. Sometimes it is better to have wired in speakers. Whichever you choose, it should immerse you in what is happening on the screen. Providing you with the full experience.

Main room size

Whichever it is, either Toys or TV, the main room in your basement needs to be large enough to allow you to enjoy.  We have all seen those fantastic pictures of massive basements sprawling over 1000s of feet but the reality is most of our homes basements will only develop out around 600 square feet.

Typically your main basement room will be about ⅔ of this space having about 300-400’ for either your TOYS or TV. If properly laid out this is sufficient room to enjoy the area. The important thing is to keep the space as open as possible, wisely integrating tel-post, not placing walls near the stairs and integrate walkways into rooms as much as possible

Bedroom

This seems to be a necessity when you develop your basement, adding a bedroom.

Either the kids are tired of sharing a room, or you want a spare room when people visit. This extra room can also be used as a study, music room, office or anything where a little separation would be helpful.

Two things separate this room from any other room in the basement is a closet and Egress window.

Egress window

Being the most essential item for a bedroom. It’s nice to have a window in any basement room, the natural light just adds to the feel of the space, but for a bedroom, you must have an Egress Window.

As the name suggests, this window is for leaving the room. In the event of a fire, anyone sleeping in there needs a quick way to escape. The city of Calgary also requires new egress window wells to have a minimum projection of 30”. With existing Window Wells a projection of 22” is deemed acceptable.

With basement windows being installed in an 8” concrete wall which is being insulated using a 2×4 or 2x6 in some of the newer energy efficient built homes.  You have a deep window sill of around 12” which makes a nice ledge for plants, ornaments or trophies. This ledge can be finished using drywall returns, plywood or painted MDF.

During Calgary’s cold winters, windows have the potential for condensation to develop which can easily damage a drywall return making it not ideal. Being a transition point in your basement, with the cold or hot outdoors and warm inside, your basement plywood has a tendency to expand or contract at a different rate than your casing.  Over time, you will develop unsightly cracks on your mitre joints.

For this reason, paint MDF seems to be the best solution to dressing up your deep window sills. It is both sealed by the paint to prevent moisture issues and being pressed glued wood dust has limited expansion and contraction.

Some time PVC will be used to complete the window sill, which paints well, is impregnatable to moisture except it is considerably more expansive then MDF.

Closet

If you’re going to be sleeping there, you will need a place for clothes. First, you must determine how many clothes you need to hang to determine the closet size. Since this is a guest or child’s bedroom often a 4’ wide by 2’ deep closet will work well for a limited amount of clothes without taking to much space away from the room.

Shelving

Will be required in your closet. Wire shelving is the most economical while providing a naturally clean look. Along with a free slide rod allowing you to move your hangers freely in your closet.

The more traditional build is a wood shelf with cleats on the wall with a metal closet rod. People often enjoy the wood shelf for its appearance of being solid, unlike wire shelving.

Doors

There are many options for your closet. Bi-folds are great in that they protrude less into your room than a swing door. Allowing you to have furniture closer to the closet, which is very helpful in a smaller bedroom.

A single or double swing door has a great look and allows you to open the closet for access entirely.  But, because of there large swing space required, they work better in a larger bedroom.

Also prominent are sliding mirror closet doors. The advantage is a large full-length mirror in the bedroom. Which is lovely to add the feeling of space in the room along with a convenient mirror while dressing. Being a sliding door, they leave the most freedom in front of the closet for walking and furniture placement.

Unfortunately, since they slide inside off the door opening, you never have full access to all your clothes with one or more panel in the opening.

Dreaming Reality

Now run down to your basement with a roll of masking tape and start marking out walls on the cold concrete floor. This cold place is about to become a wonderful place for your family. Have fun, play around a little, dream a lot and if you need some experience to dream with you.

E3 Construction is here to help. In the words of that old Home Depot slogan, You can do this, we can Help.