Home Improvement

Extending The Basement To Gain Living Space: Remodeling Ideas


Is your house bursting at the seams? Then maybe a cellar extension is the solution. The basement is often used for parties, the in-house sauna or for storing fine wines. But you can also convert the basement into high-quality living space by Basement remodeling if it is dry and has enough window areas. Here you can find out what you can do with your basement and what you must pay attention to.

Arguments in favor of cellar

expansion is often neglected. Everything that is not needed up in the house and apartment is collected here. But basements can be much more than junk rooms given the right conditions, they can be converted into full-fledged living space. This has the following advantages:

  • You have more space that you can use, for example, as a place of retreat, as an additional play area for the children or to accommodate guests.
  • A Basement remodeling increases the property value.
  • The insulated cellar reduces the overall heating costs of the house. It is best to plan the Basement remodeling DC in cooperation with a certified specialist planner (energy consultant) and adapt it to the current energy saving guidelines.

Contraindications for a planned cellar expansion:

  • Musty smell
  • Mould
  • Salt efflorescence

In these cases, the first thing to do is to take measures to drain it.

Minimum requirements for the Basement remodeling

Anyone who wants to convert the basement into an apartment should find out in the respective state building regulations which minimum requirements apply in their own federal state for living spaces in the basement.

In Berlin, basement apartments must have a clearance height of 2.50 meters; in Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein, and Hesse it is 2.40 meters, in all other federal states only 2.30 meters. There are also different requirements for window sizes: In Hesse, Bavaria and Berlin, the window areas must be at least 12.5 percent of the floor space of the respective room, in the other federal states it is only 10 percent. Important: There are fees for the approval of the renovation work.

The guidelines do not apply if you use the rooms yourself. Basement rooms can then be converted into study or children’s rooms without the need for a permit.

Necessary structural measures:

  • Install heaters (you should not do without them, as they protect against condensation in combination with the insulation)
  • Lay power lines
  • Lay water pipes

Insulate walls and ceilings

Basically, the following applies: floor and walls must be insulated. Ideally, when you were building the house, you should have planned everything so that the subsequent expansion of the basement would not be a major problem. Should a new entrance be built in? Would you like to exchange windows or even enlarge them? Such details must be considered at an early stage when planning the insulation.

External insulation is recommended for basements. If this is not possible, the inside can also be insulated – for example with calcium silicate panels. In apartment buildings and apartment buildings, additional noise protection on the ceiling is important in order to absorb the impact noise from the ground floor.

Sensible insulation measures

  • In the case of free-standing old buildings, sealing from the outside makes sense: expose walls from the outside and insulate with bitumen emulsion
  • A drainage that drains water into the sewer system
  • Subsequent installation of a horizontal barrier: It prevents moisture from rising into the walls from below

Installing windows

There are various ways of supplying the basement with the necessary daylight, even if the installation of windows on the side walls or the enlargement of existing window areas is not possible:

  • Skylights
  • Light shafts
  • Light trenches

High-lying basement windows, for example designed as a ribbon window, are always a good idea: There is also space for larger furniture underneath them – so even the space of small rooms can be used well.

Covering pipes, gaining storage space

Even rooms with cables and expansive pipes can be used by covering these components. It is best to create built-in cupboards of equal size in which you can stow all sorts of things. Because: No matter how chic you expand your basement, you will still need it as a storage area.

A built-in cupboard provides many cubic meters of storage space in this basement room. In addition to the daylight falling through the door, an LED light strip illuminates the room.

Converting a basement into a bathroom

Anyone planning to move a shower or toilet in the basement needs a lifting system that pumps off the water. Because basement rooms are below the so-called backflow level, which is usually at the level of the street level. This means that if the public sewer system is full, for example after heavy rain, the water that is created below this level cannot drain off naturally.

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