Your cellar doesn’t have to be unused space. In fact, with just a few changes you can turn it into a useful and comfortable space you can use for anything from storage to extra living space.
Cellars often go unfinished or cared for because they bring challenges like dim lighting, moisture or uneven floors. But, with some do-it-yourself projects and the right tools you can overcome these challenges and make the most of your cellar.
Check Your City’s Building Code
Before you start remodelling and making changes to your cellar, it is important that you check your city’s building code. Make sure your project meets all rules and regulations, especially if it involves changing your electrical or plumbing systems.
Treat for Mould and Check the Outside Foundation
Cellars are notorious for being damp and the perfect environment for mould. If your cellar has any water damage treat it for mould using the right equipment; one trick is to use an industrial fan to dry it well. Go outside and inspect your foundation. Make sure there aren’t any cracks and that the ground is sloping away from the foundation. Also check rain pipes to make sure they are free of debris so rainwater can easily flow away from the foundation.
(HSS Hire supplies a wide range of dehumidifiers and industrial dryers for hire that you can browse here: https://www.hss.com/c/1014446/Dryers.html.)
Install Wood Floors or Carpet
Many cellars have unfinished floors, which makes them hard to use. Start transforming your cellar by installing wood floors or carpet. You’ll need to use a dehumidifier to make sure the area is completely dry before you start this project. Then, where necessary, use sanders and floor edging sanders before you install the carpet. Installing a floor will help make the cellar feel like it flows with the rest of your home and is the first step to making it a usable space.
(If this is your first time, watch HSS Hire’s how-to video on sanding a wooden floor!)
Give the Walls a Fresh Coat of Paint
If the walls in your cellar aren’t finished, add drywall and then finish and paint them. If you do have walls, use spackle to repair cracks and fill in holes and then paint the walls. A fresh coat of paint does wonders to any space and can make your basement look like new. One tip is to stick with lighter colours to avoid making your basement look small and dim.
Define the Area to Make it Useful
Once you have updated the floor and walls in your cellar, you need to define the area. What will it be used for? Basements make excellent storage spaces, family rooms, entertainment rooms and home offices. When you know what you want to use the cellar for, you can more easily create a comfortable and useful space.
Add Necessary Furniture
The furniture you add to your cellar will depend on what you want to use it for. If you are creating a space for your family to spend time together, you’ll need to add sofas, chairs and maybe a coffee table. On the other hand, if you are creating an organised storage space you’ll need shelving and storage containers.
It may not be necessary to buy all new pieces for your new cellar. Look around your house and see if there are ways you can use furniture you already have or rearrange rooms so that you can move pieces to your cellar. This makes redoing it more affordable and makes it easier to carry your home’s current decor and style through to your cellar.
Make it Cozy with Design Elements and Decor
Now that you have the basics finished and have defined the space, you can get creative and start decorating the cellar. Things like artwork, mirrors, clocks, plants, vases, collections and other accessories give the space a personal touch and make it more cozy. These elements add to the room’s style and make it feel like part of the home.
Rethink the Lighting
Another thing cellars are known for is poor lighting. Decide if your cellar has adequate lighting and if it doesn’t, find ways to create more. Start with ceiling lights and recessed lights where necessary. Then, add lamps, hanging lights, sconces and floor lamps throughout the area to add more light and give the room dimension and interest. Get creative with the lighting and look for pieces that complement the style you are trying to achieve.
Clean it with Professional Equipment
To keep your cellar looking fresh and new, you will need to use professional equipment to clean it on a regular basis. At least twice a year, hire a carpet cleaner or a floor scrubber to deep clean your hardwood floors or carpet. The floors in your cellar will get a lot of wear and tear, so keeping them clean will help them maintain that new look.
Use professional cleaning supplies to keep the walls, baseboards and furniture clean and well maintained. As you do this, your cellar will stay looking clean and new for a long time.
(If you are interested in hiring a carpet cleaner, please click here: https://www.hss.com/c/9000071/Carpet-Cleaners.html. If you’d like to hire a floor scrubber, please visit this page: https://www.hss.com/c/1014427/Floor-Scrubbers.html.)
Make it a Comfortable Temperature
There’s no question that it can be hard to maintain a comfortable temperature in a cellar. You can overcome this problem by using portable air conditioners and heaters. Baseboard heating is another great way to keep your cellar cozy all winter. Proper insulation and ventilation can also help you keep your cellar cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
You may find that since your cellar is underground it doesn’t maintain the same temperature as the rest of your house. To compensate for the difference you can use space heaters or cooling fans to keep it the perfect temperature all year.
Doing necessary remodels and then adding furniture, accents, decorations and good lighting will help you make the most of your cellar. From there, you should use professional equipment to keep it clean and to maintain a comfortable temperature. With these tips your cellar will become an extension of your home and a comfortable place where everyone in your family likes to spend time.
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