HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » The DU Lounge (Forum) » Help me redesign my basem...

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:27 AM

Help me redesign my basement area!

I have a lovely, prewar house with a basement once used for having a bar set up on one side, and a room with furnace, hot water heater and washer and dryer on the other. For years, the bar set up went unused. and all we stored was a file cabinet and files and files and files of paper (hubby is a pack rat). A few weeks ago the hot water heater burst, flooding the basement and knocking out electricity to our TV and computer. We also had to get a new washer and dryer. We got everything working again (once the water was pumped out). Reminder to CHECK the date of your hot water heater! Ours was 19 years old (we had no idea).

So what do we do with the unused bar space? Our restoration guy from the insurance company told us that once, back in the 40s when these houses were built, people had bars in their basement and entertained there. That sounds extremely unpleasant to me, but whatever.

My question is: what are the basements used for today? We'll probably sell our house within a few years and dark basements are definitely not cool. The restoration guy says most are repurposed now into space for teens to hang out.

The house is a treasure otherwise. I want the basement to look presentable and not just be a place for junk to pile up.

24 replies, 394 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Help me redesign my basement area! (Original post)
CTyankee Jun 6 OP
SheltieLover Jun 6 #1
Tanuki Jun 6 #2
CTyankee Jun 6 #5
Scottie Mom Jun 6 #3
Raven Jun 6 #4
CTyankee Jun 6 #8
SheltieLover Jun 6 #6
RazzleCat Jun 6 #7
CTyankee Jun 6 #11
snowybirdie Jun 6 #9
CottonBear Jun 6 #10
CTyankee Jun 6 #13
Croney Jun 6 #12
CTyankee Jun 6 #14
CottonBear Jun 6 #19
CTyankee Jun 6 #20
mopinko Jun 6 #15
CTyankee Jun 6 #16
mopinko Jun 6 #21
CTyankee Jun 6 #22
mopinko Jun 6 #23
MissB Jun 6 #17
CTyankee Jun 6 #18
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 6 #24

Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:32 AM

1. You might consider

Making the space into a bedroom suite or in-law apartment, if you have no use for the space & are looking to increase the home's value.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:34 AM

2. You might want to go on Pinterest and type in "basement remodel"

or something similar. You will probably find lots of great ideas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tanuki (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:37 AM

5. Great idea! My daughter has a pull down bed (behind shutters) that can accommodate me and others

who visit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:36 AM

3. Second living area.

I watch a lot of renovation TV and that seems to be the purpose today. Teens or whatever. IMO you most likely will not know the needs of new buyers, so keep it non-specific.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:36 AM

4. I had almost exactly the same situation. If you are planning to sell

the house in a few years, then, don't put your personal stamp on that basement. It could be a waste of money since the next owners may have their own ideas and tastes, which may not be yours. Clean the area up. Get rid of the bar, wood paneling (if you have it, I did), linoleum flooring (which probably contains asbestos, mine did). Make sure the basement is dry and clean and then let it be.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Raven (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:45 AM

8. We are having the old panelling removed and a newer panelling put in to warm the room up a bit.

There also will be new, attractive flooring (otherwise it's just concrete). The lighting will be softer also. I really like our restoration guy the insurance company sent. He sees LOTS of basements and has recommended getting nice space for teens. He says nowadays it's a good place for them to hang out. I immediately thought of kids with bongs zoning out but I have a rich imagination...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:42 AM

6. Consult a few realtors

They know your market. 👍

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:43 AM

7. two ideas

First suggestion, do noting. You commented that you do see yourselves using the space so why? Second you say you think you will sell in the near future, so again why?

Second suggestion, do very little. If you are not going to use it and your selling all I would do is make it feel larger and more well lit. So here we go, if necessary drywall the walls, paint a light neutral color. Two, manufactured wood, or bamboo flooring.

I just sold my home, and I also used to flip for a large company, people want to envision their stuff in a home they go to look at for purchase. Paint the walls light and neutral, floors, hardwood (or manufactured wood), if those can't be done (cost etc), go with beige plush carpet.

Lighting, avoid any sort of office look, if you have a low ceiling use can lights not in ceiling boxes. If your ceiling is not that low purchase simple light fixtures in brushed nickel as it is the most neutral and currently popular hardware metal.

Not knowing the dimensions or lay out of the area two more suggestion. Create an interior wall to separate the utility area from the living area, in the utility area add storage shelving. Last suggestion if you have the cash and proper lay out, add a half bath. Again a bathroom is an upgrade you can do that will alway (well almost) pay back more that the cost when you go to sell.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RazzleCat (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 09:02 AM

11. The bottom of the stairway divides the basement. Turn left and there's the washer/dryer/furnace.

Turn right and you are in the space I am talking about.

We have a half bath upstairs on the first floor. Full bath upstairs between the two bedrooms (a third bedroom we make our computer area and a day bed.

Thanks for the reminder about brushed nickel. When we had the bathrooms updated, I used brushed nickel and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it looked.

Thanks for this. Our market could be anyone who appreciates this style of house and the fact that it was pre-war (1941). Since we did not build houses (or cars) when the war started, ours is one of the last houses built in our area.

We live in a lovely section of New Haven called Westville. There are areas where the houses are super gorgeous prewar mansions and lowlier poorer areas. We are in the middle. Because of Yale, we have a richly diverse population, and one that knows and appreciates architecture styles. We aren't too far away from the Yale Bowl, which is another delight of architecture (no lights though). Ivy League games start are timed to change with time change in the fall.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:49 AM

9. We turned ours

into a bedroom for our three boys. Too broke to afford a bigger house with more actual bedrooms. Folks today want so much. Good luck.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 08:49 AM

10. Here are my thoughts on creating an updated, blank slate design:

Install high quality, waterproof vinyl plank flooring in a neutral color on the floor.

Paint the walls white. Of course, all primers and paints would need to be suitable for a basement (mildew and mold reseistant, etc.)

Replace the old electrical outlets with the new kind that have USB plugs in addition to the electric plugs. Consider adding a few more outlets if that is possible. Teens (and adults) need plenty of outlets for TVs, computers, phones, wireless chargers, and gaming systems.

Add modern light fixtures with dimmable LED lights. Consider the smart kind that can be controlled by a Google Home or Alexa device.

You didn’t mention doors or woodwork. Install new doors or bifold doors to the utility-laundry room. Paint the doors and woodwork trim white. Any new doors should be wide for ease of moving equipment and appliances in and out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CottonBear (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 09:09 AM

13. So true about the electrical system. When we first moved in I started the coffee maker and toaster a

at the same time and KERFLUYEE! I didn't know what happened (what's a fuse? was my response). I had never heard of a fusebox. We got an electrical upgrade done right away. Dimmer lighting is a wonderful idea and I think our restoration guy is thinking along those lines.

Same deal with the windows. The whole house needed new windows instead of the rope and pulley type. The rope was so old it would break and we'd have to prop up the window with large books.

Bathfitter was a wonderful choice for us. I would recommend them to anyone!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 09:03 AM

12. I wouldn't replace wood paneling with more of the same.

If you're really planning to sell in a few years, I'd keep it light and empty. You'll have to leave it broom-clean anyway.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Croney (Reply #12)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 09:12 AM

14. Well, I don't think we have any choice because bare walls have a dungeon effect.

But our restorer sees lots of houses and I go with his recommendation on selling these houses on today's market in our area.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 10:19 AM

19. You can prime and paint the paneling white. NT

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CottonBear (Reply #19)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 10:21 AM

20. Yup. Good thought. That will help.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 09:12 AM

15. a nice extra bathroom always adds value.

thing about bathrooms is that smart design and a little extra for materials makes for the kind of thing that makes buyers say yes.

i've designed a few unusual bathrooms. would be happy to share ideas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 09:24 AM

16. We have a 1 1/2 bath house. Half bath on ground floor right off the kitchen. We updated that along

with the kitchen update several years ago. The bane of my existence has been the toilet in the l/2 bath. It is too big for such a tiny space and it is always stalling on the fill. I have to open the tank and adjust the flapper and that's just crazy. We've consulted with our friend who is a retired plumber and we did what he said but it still has times the flapper won't go down properly.

I think we're just gonna have to give up on that toilet and have it replaced with a smaller one once we do whatever else we have to do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Reply #16)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 11:01 AM

21. i needed a small toilet and got cheap elger.

it's my fave toilet of the 3.

how many bedrooms is it?
i've designed bathrooms that are more than bathrooms.
like w floor drains and full tile so the whole room is a shower. you can clean it w a hose.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #21)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 11:04 AM

22. It wouldn't work in my house but sounds delightful.

I will google he elger toilet. Maybe a good idea down the line...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Reply #22)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 11:09 AM

23. if you tap in for a toilet, you can also do a floor drain.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 09:36 AM

17. If you're going to be selling in a few years

Then just do the walls, flooring and lighting like you are already doing.

When we thought about selling our house last year we met with the realtor. She worked with a staging company and up to $2500 of her percentage fee would go to staging the house.

So if you use a realtor that stages, they’d stage it for you. Why go to the effort? Create a clean blank slate and leave it!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MissB (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 09:46 AM

18. It's basically what we want to do. Much of the updates to this house has been done (I went on a ten

year plan several years back). I'm trying now to get to "clean, blank state". I agree that realtors always want to do a "staging." That's why I am talking to our restoration guy: he's the link between the us and the realtor. He knows what is going on in the real estate business because so much of that is the link to sales or no sales.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Jun 6, 2021, 12:36 PM

24. Keep in mind that for a bedroom to be a legal bedroom, it

must have a window large enough for someone to exit from. Doesn't mean people can't sleep in the basement, but without an adequate window, it's not a legal basement.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread