Today, I’m introducing something new: The Renovation Bootcamp®: Remodeling Minute™ Podcast!
These short bursts of information are designed to be listened to on the run.
I get lots of e-mails from readers of my website who have design and renovation questions, but are bashful and don’t want to leave their name in the comment section below a post. So I came up with a way that I could answer their questions and possibly help lots more people at the same time in these podcasts!
Click the link to listen to the podcast Remodeling Minute Podcast: Basements
These segments will be shorter than the Renovation Bootcamp®: TV spots, so they’ll only take a couple of minutes of your time. Then if you want to know more, watch for the follow up podcasts that will continue the conversation in quick, bite-sized chunks.
But if you have a little more time and want some visuals to go with the post, keep on reading and you’ll get the expanded version as a regular post.
Today, I’m going to start a series on basements. Because besides, kitchens, this is the room in the home that most people want to know about. It’s often the last room in the house that has unused space that can be fixed up without adding a huge expense by building an addition.
Some people just hate the idea of having any kind of living space in a basement. It gives them claustrophobia to think that they’re below ground and in a damp, dark, oooky space.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
But the first thing you need to do is give it the ol’ sniff test. Try to detect “Eau de Mildew”, which is not the fragrance you want to dab behind your ears!
Basements aren’t necessarily too damp for living space, and some older homes were so well built, they put some of their modern, flimsy counterparts to shame and will outlast them by decades. When I’m called in to assess the potential for a home to be re-designed and renovated, it KILLS me to see a new home that’s only a dozen years old that already needs its windows replaced. In my mind, that is nothing short of CRIMINAL!! But I digress…
Some folks think a mildew smell is just a normal part of being in a basement. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! A musty, basement smell indicates a dampness problem. It doesn’t mean you won’t be able to create a living space down there, but you will have to find the source of the problem before you start putting anything you care about down there like furniture, carpets, and your kids and pets!
As strange as this may sound, if you’ve lived in the house for years, you might actually be so used to the smell, you don’t even detect it any more, so it’s important you bring someone else down there who doesn’t live in the house to give it the “whiff inspection” to see if they smell anything musty.
Some of the problem areas could be cracks in the foundation, allowing water to seep in, or maybe there are pipes that have had a slow leak for years, creating a damp area where mold has been allowed to flourish.
Mold and mildew can be significant health hazards, particularly if you’re suffering from respiratory ailments like asthma or bronchitis.
Look for a contractor who specializes in fixing wet basements before you pour your money down the drain on labour, finishes, furnishings and media equipment to make it the the space of your dreams.
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