Popular Trends for Basements

Over the years basements have acquired a well-deserved reputation as dank, moldy and chilly spaces in your home that leak your energy dollars into the outside air and exist primarily to store items that won’t fit elsewhere. Today, homeowners are discovering the benefits of remodeling basements to increase living space and at the same time control moisture and lower energy costs. There are five very good reasons to consider a basement remodel this year.

Remove Moisture

Most homeowners first consider the benefits of extra living space when deciding to remodel a basement. Removing moisture can be even more important than adding an extra bedroom or creating a home entertainment system, however.

Moisture typically enters a basement through a leak or through humidity that finds its way into the large open space. Leaks can occur when water enters your home due to a crack in the foundation or through a window or door that isn’t sealed properly. It’s also possible that the leak could be inside your home. A water pipe from a shower, sink or washing machine might have developed a leak, allowing moisture to collect behind the walls of the basement.

Moisture from a leak collects behind the basement walls and is drawn into the living space through osmosis, while high indoor humidity simply adds moisture to the air. Many basements also have little or no ventilation, adding to the moisture content of the air. No matter where the moisture comes from, high humidity provides an excellent breeding ground for mold, which contributes to the damp smell and impacts any family members who have breathing problems.

Ridding a basement of excess moisture can seem more difficult than it really is. Diamond Hill Builders, a basement remodeling contractor located on the seacoast of New Hampshire, is experienced in removing moisture from a damp basement. We’ll work to create the ventilation necessary to control the moisture, using techniques and equipment designed to take it out of the air as effectively and efficiently as possible. Remove Moisture, and you’ll find your basement can become a much more livable space.

Improve Energy Efficiency

When a basement feels cold, you’re much less likely to spend time in it, even if it’s an inviting space otherwise. When a basement remodeling company such as Diamond Hill Builders works to improve your basement’s energy efficiency, the basement doesn’t just become a comfortable place to relax and enjoy time with the family. You’ll also save money on your energy costs.

A basement that isn’t built using energy efficient techniques allows moisture in, making it feel cold as well as damp. If you want to spend substantial time there, you’ll need to turn the heat so high that you can almost see your money flying out of the room. An energy efficient basement has walls, floors and ceiling areas that have been well insulated, offering comfort at a lower cost. Materials that help Improve Energy Efficiency can also play a role in helping to keep moisture out of the area.

Expand Living Space

Your family may be growing at such a rate that you’ve run out of bedroom space for everyone, or your teen may have decided he badly needs his own private room. You might have elderly parents who require some help with their daily or weekly needs, but aren’t yet ready to move into an assisted living facility. At these times, a basement bedroom or suite can fill t these times, a basement bedroom or suite can fill your family’s needs perfectly. You can even remodel the basement to include a kitchen if necessary.

Extra space can be a big benefit when your large family or network of friends wants to visit for a few days or a couple of weeks. Rather than having to tell them that you simply don’t have room and they’ll need to find a hotel room, you can offer your basement bedroom and bathroom as a hospitable, no-cost option.

Create Entertainment Centers

Perhaps you may have always wanted a home entertainment center, but haven’t had the room. A remodeled basement can be the perfect place to create your entertainment dream. A large-screen television, surround sound and plush, tiered seats give you, your family and friends the perfect setting to watch the latest video release or the big game while controlling the sound. Even a simple wide-screen television and comfortable chairs can meet your family’s needs.

You may appreciate having your own home gym, especially when it’s cold and snowy outside. You might also want a dedicated craft room or a playroom for your children. A basement office might meet your work needs. A remodeled basement offers the necessary space.

Use Space Creatively

Your remodeled basement doesn’t have the limitations on it that the main levels of your house have. You’re generally working with one large room, so you can feel free to design it in any way you like. An open seating plan for entertainment can flow into a play area for your children, allowing you enjoy watching television while they play close by, something that you might not be able to accomplish upstairs unless you knock out a wall or two. You also have the freedom to decorate in a way that might not be possible on your main floor. The possibilities can be limitless.

Increase Your Home’s Value

Remodeling a basement is one of the most cost-effective ways to make changes to your home and increase its resale value at the same time. A basement remodel typically returns about 70 percent of the cost, according to remodeling experts. Basement remodeling is much quicker and more efficient than adding on a room to your house and more cost-effective than remodeling a kitchen or even a bathroom.

If you need to Expand Living Space or simply want to make a change in your home to reflect your lifestyle, consider a Basement Remodel. It’s one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

18 OCTOBER 2019

5 Home Seller Strategies for Staging Your Home Perfectly

There’s a reason why people love looking at photos of homes for sale — it’s rare that we get to see a place look it’s very best, and scrolling through gorgeous room after room helps serious buyers see themselves settling down in those very rooms.

But as any seller (or photographer) can attest, getting a home ready for its close-up (also known as “staging”) is not easy and is definitely not always fun. It involves a ton of cleaning, some furniture removal (or placement), a plethora of attention to detail, and usually a lot of light. This is why professional stagers charge hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars for their services.

If hiring a stager isn’t in your budget or you’re simply more of a do-it-yourself type, consider taking advantage of these relatively quick and easy methods for helping your soon-to-be-sold home appear shiny and new.

1. Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean

Even if you follow every other tip on the list to an exacting standard, if your home isn’t clean, you won’t be reaping all of the benefits that staging could generate for you. There are two big steps to cleaning for staging:

  • Decluttering your home
  • Deep cleaning everything … everything

First is the clutter. This might be a good time to join the neighborhood garage sale or arrange for your sister-in-law whose kids are a few years younger to come pick up all the hand-me-downs you’ve been promising. It always makes sense to start with things that you don’t want to pack up and move to a new location.

Don’t forget about the furniture — too much furniture in a room makes it look cramped and small, so remove what you don’t need.

Resist the temptation to box everything up and stash it in one room, the garage, a basement or attic — unless it’s not your room. Buyers are going to want to open doors, cabinets, and drawers, and peer into closets and utility rooms, so if you want your home to look its best, you need to keep those areas neat, too.

Some sellers rent storage facilities during the process, and that’s always a possibility, too. If you have family or good friends in the area who can take some of the larger items for you, then you might be able to get a smaller storage unit. (Make sure to pay your loved ones back with a gift or thoughtful gesture when the home is sold!)

When the surfaces are clear and your surroundings are feeling more vacation-home than lived-in, it’s time to deep clean those surfaces. Scrub the inside from ceiling to floors; wash your windows; consider power-washing the outside to brighten it up. Plant new flowers, keep your sidewalks and walkways clear and weed-free and set some inviting chairs with fluffy cushions on your (freshly polished, cobweb-free) front porch.

Once the decluttering is done, it’ll be much easier to get everything looking shiny and new — and easier to hire help, too — so make sure to tackle this step first.

2. Light up

If you haven’t changed a light bulb in a while, then you might be surprised by how much brighter they’ve gotten — or what a difference a bright bulb can make in a room that you thought was naturally dreary and dim.Changing out your bulbs can be a quick way to give your entire home a quick lift, brightening up every room and helping potential buyers see exactly how well-maintained those original wood floors are, and examine the crown molding close up.

Experts suggest that you obtain 100 watts of lighting for every 50 square feet in your home, and consider using three different types of lighting (not just overhead lighting) to get there. Overhead or ambient lighting is important, of course, but accent lighting (on walls and tables) and task lighting (reading or under-cabinet lights) will help showcase your space in all its glory.

3. Rearrange with an eye for balance

Most of us don’t live in perfectly symmetrical surroundings, but if there’s a way to achieve it with your furniture, then it’s worth it to try — at least for the photos. Try to balance any shelves, counters, and mantelpieces in the same way, with an eye for highlighting the accessories that will help make your home look like a retreat from a messy world.

You can do the same thing with area rugs and artwork. Arrange your floor and wall coverings to draw the eye down the halls and through the house, which will give touring buyers a pleasant sense of welcome and discovery.

4. Organize and energize

There are always going to be parts of your house that are made to hold “stuff” — but you can make that stuff look presentable with a little bit of organization.

Some decluttering and color-blocking on your bookshelves can make the display draw the eye instead of distracting from the rest of the room, for example. Kids’ and pets’ toys are another opportunity to organize and beautify with a decorative box or basket, or a fun shelving unit that holds everything with style.
Straighten your shoes on the closet floors and neaten up the hanging areas, then open up the doors when you leave for a buyer’s tour. They’ll enjoy the welcoming feeling of the open doors (and you know they were going to open them up, anyway).

5. Polish up the appliances

If you can afford it, new appliances in the kitchen can go a long (long!) way toward helping a buyer fall in love with the heart of the house. New appliances tend to help generate high returns for sellers, so depending on the condition and upgrades in the rest of your home, you might want to consider it — you might be able to find some good deals on floor models or end-of-season sales, too.

If not, help your appliances look their best by using stainless steel polish, glass polish, or whatever else you might need to help regenerate the shine on your stove.

You don’t need to take all these tips when staging your home — but don’t ignore them all when you’re selling, either. Taking the time to pay a little bit of attention to staging before a buyer even sees the place can reap big rewards at the closing table.