Conquering the Basement Blues: Transforming Your Home’s Lower Level

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Let's face it—basements can be a bummer! But, with a little elbow grease, they certainly don't have to be. Whether your lower level needs finishing or you're looking to transform it into a guest space, home gym, home theater or otherwise, we connected with the experts at Renaissance Roofing, Exteriors, and Remodeling to discuss how renovations can make your basement a functional space in your home.

While you may be unsure of which route to choose for your basement, Amy Riebel, Designer for Renaissance Roofing, Exteriors, and Remodeling, says there are a number of design choices that rise to the top for their clients.

"The most popular options are a kitchen and wet bar for entertainment, a home movie theater, wine cellars, home gyms, adding additional baths, bedrooms and offices, and even ActivWall windows and doors for easy access to the outdoors," she said, noting some considerations to make right off the bat. "First, you want to consider the condition of your basement, along with the layout and design, so you can work with the space you have for your dream renovations."

Next, you should ensure your space is insulated and water-proofed.

"Since it's easy for moisture to build up in basements, you wouldn't want your new basement renovation to take a turn for the worst," Riebel explained. "Lastly, embrace the many possibilities of what your basement could be—think outside the box and try something new from your typical color schemes and designs."

One suggestion Riebel and the team always make is to bring water downstairs if plumbing is not already in place.

"We've worked with several clients who opted not to include a bathroom or wet bar in their renovation and regretted it afterwards," she said. "Make the basement an extension of your living space!"

As with all renovations, Riebel says the budget range can vary based on selections and features.

"On average, our basement renovation projects begin around $50k and can go up from there," Riebel said, explaining that it's always a good time to be thinking about a basement renovation, but advanced planning is needed. "Some clients plan six months in advance and have a plan in mind when they contact us. Others need more guidance and consulting. No matter where they are, we can help them to their goal! Typically, basement renovation projects can begin within four weeks of signing a contract with us and usually take three to four months to complete"

Renovations can be stressful, but working with the pros ensures you've got support along the way.

"The renovation process begins with clients clearing out their space, and we'd want to address any leaks or water issues prior to beginning the remodel," Riebel said. "Clients work with our designers on selections early in the process so all materials can be ordered and crews scheduled accordingly."

Ultimately, the possibilities with basement and lower level remodels are endless. The space is part of your home, so why not make it work for you and your family, while also adding value to your home?

"Basements can often be an afterthought, but we've seen a real shift since COVID in that thought process. People want to optimize and utilize every inch of their homes—as they should!" Riebel said. "Your home is never hopeless, with the right set of eyes. There are always ways to improve your space when you partner with an experienced and knowledgeable team."

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.

This article originally appeared in the Oct/Nov '23 issue of West Michigan Woman.

 Photo Courtesy of Renaissance Roofing, Exteriors & Remodeling. 


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