16 Dec 2022

Guide To A Beautiful Basement Renovation

In Canada, winters East of the Rockies can be long and relentless, so people move to the West Coast for some relief. When people get to the Greater Vancouver Area, they’re often surprised by how dark, wet, and gloomy the winter can be. Even though Central and Eastern Canada can be bitterly cold, some winters in Vancouver can be so wet that outdoor activities are out of the question. That’s why Vancouverites love a well-designed cozy retreat in the basement just like any other Canadian.

Have you ever walked into a basement and been transported to a different place? It’s not unusual to choose a different aesthetic for a space that has lower ceilings and less light due to smaller windows. However, these features can work to your advantage when creating media rooms, music studios, or office spaces. This article will help you decide your priorities and give you a good idea of the vast options we offer when renovating your dream basement.

What Are Some Basement Options?

  • Recreation – Common uses are a large area for kids to safely play and be loud, a games room with a pool table or ping pong table, or many homeowners have created a personal spa with a steam room, sauna, and jet tub.
  • Rental/Inlaw suite – We design and construct beautiful and functional suites in line with municipal and provincial requirements. We also create custom environments for aging inlaws with lower countertops, wide corridors for walkers, and safety rails in bathrooms.
  • Entertaining – Embrace the dark basement with a media room or video gaming room with full projection, comfortable seating, and surround sound. How about a recreation of your favorite pub where you can host games. If you’re not a sports fan, create your own speakeasy or music venue.
  • Workouts – Who needs to leave for a workout when you can have a pro gym at home? The foundation is perfect for supporting weight sets. With the proper fans, ventilation, and padded flooring, you can get your sweat on any way you like in a private judgment-free space.
  • Work – Get ready to be productive. Extra soundproofing, specially wired for optimum bandwidth, and plenty of space for extra screens. A separate environment for video chats or production. And of course, a small bathroom and mini kitchen to keep you going without interruption.
  • Creativity – Ask any musician, basements make excellent sound studios. Beyond musicians, basements make excellent areas for painting, photography, sculpting, woodworking, and crafting. Customize these spaces to your passion and let the creativity fly!

Basement Elements to Consider

Air circulation and humidity control are key factors in basement design. If a basement is properly sealed, then it is the perfect environment for mold growth. It is essential to take into consideration ventilation, dehumidifiers, and easily replaceable filtration, particularly for allergy-prone households.

The utility room is often located in the basement making access for plumbers and electricians easier when installing a bathroom and laundry room down there.  Depending on size, these can be separate areas or combined. When installing new drainage lines for toilets and showers in some older homes, plumbing might require some digging into the foundation to run them to the existing sewage line and still have even flooring.

Basements can be excellent storage areas for random items. However, some choose to store wine, preserves, cigars, fermentation, and other temperature-sensitive items. These specialized environments may require specialized lighting, separate ventilation, or digital humidity control.

Access to the basement can be a hazardous situation since the original structure might have been narrow with low-hanging elements that required crouching. Redesigning or relocating stairs for better access or fire safety compliance can have an impact on the design of the main level and may require some remodeling of other areas of the house.

The basement still needs to support the house, so moving foundational supports is generally cost prohibitive meaning they need to be worked around. Awkward as these obstructions might seem, a good Vancouver designer can offer alternatives that bring the support elements into the design. Lowering the floor is costly and not always possible due to several factors (existing lines, ground composition, etc.).  However, our engineering partners can determine the viability of this type of renovation and offer ways to move the supports and open up the floor plan.

Renovating A Basement Into A Legal Rental

There are a lot of considerations that homeowners need to take into account when creating an equity renovation basement that is compliant and permittable. Keep in mind that your renter is not simply a guest living in your house. They have their own autonomy, noises, expectations, and rights that are protected by law.

A non-compliant and unpermitted rental property can result in expensive consequences (fines, lawsuits, etc.) that far outweigh the benefits of extra income. We will work closely with you to ensure your investment is protected and both you and your potential renter are secure and comfortable.


Vancouver Basement Renovation

The basement is a large portion of your floor space that is a shame to leave as a dank place where you throw your holiday decorations and unused items. At the very least there is a benefit to proper sealing, creating drainage and flood protection, and ensuring excellent access to utility and electrical systems. If this is only as far as you want to go, we’re there for you. However, you would be surprised what we can do to drastically expand your living space and the value of your home.

We are a collaboration of highly skilled Vancouver craftsmen who are results driven. Our goal is to produce a lasting environment that you can be proud of, enjoy for a lifetime, and provides a “wow factor” at the time of sale that drives multiple offers and potentially reduces the time the house spends on the market. With a great basement renovation, potential buyers will be confident that the foundation, plumbing, electrical, and utilities have been inspected and addressed. Reach out and we’ll have a nice no-obligation conversation about your needs and goals. We’ll visit, inspect the space, talk through how we might be able to make your vision a reality, and then provide a quote.