How to Remodel Your Basement One Room at a Time

How to Remodel Your Basement One Room at a Time

When you need more space but you like your current home, remodeling the basement is a great option. This solution avoids the need to expand up or out, which may not be an option. As you make your plans to remodel the basement into a living space, keep these four important tips in mind.

Waterproofing the Walls and Floors

Basements are at an increased risk for dampness because of their contact with the soil. Waterproofing the perimeter walls and flooring are important steps in the basement remodeling process. This can be accomplished through installing a perimeter drain system, reinforcing the walls and coating them with a waterproof sealant. On the exterior side of the basement, strengthening piers and additional waterproofing materials can be applied.

Installing a Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump before finishing your basement is also important to the remodeling process. The sump pump removes water collected in a pit by the perimeter drain system. Sump pumps are essential in areas with high water tables. The pump works to prevent a flood of water from seeping into your remodeled space.

Using an Air Compressor

Using an air compressor makes the remodeling process more efficient. An air compressor can be used to power key tools, which is helpful in a poorly-ventilated basement. Some companies, like Kruman Equipment Company, know how helpful these machines can be for remodeling projects. The compressor can operate drills and other hand tools so that no emissions are created. Compressors are also ideal for lifting heavy items and for clearing dust and dirt out of tight spaces.

Putting Up Interior Walls and Ceiling Tiles

Once the space is waterproofed, interior walls and ceiling tiles can be placed. The interior walls are usually framed with wood and finished with sheet rock or drywall. Ceiling tiles make for easier access to plumbing and air ducts to the rest of the house. You can arrange the interior walls to allow for a utility space, recreation room, workshop, laundry room or a “man cave” to suit your lifestyle or other plans for the space.

Remodeling your basement allows you to increase your living space without making any changes to the size of your house. It is an efficient and environmentally-friendly project that does not add to your carbon footprint, heating or air conditioning costs. The remodeling process for basements is complicated because of the potential for water intrusion, but the effort can be worthwhile because of your increased enjoyment of your home. The right tools and some helpful professionals will ensure a successful project.

How to Combat the Annoying Basement Smells and Odor?

How to Combat the Annoying Basement Smells and Odor?

Basements are great places for home improvement projects.  They can act as a storage space, entertainment area, impromptu room, or serve some other purpose. However, basements are also damp locations that are one of the biggest domestic odor producers. Unpleasant smells are usually the result of mildew and mold growth, so you should aim your efforts at these. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve the conditions and maximize the comfort in your basement.

Root around

Basement remodeling is one of the most exciting upgrades, and it is best handled by professionals. Bruzzese Home Improvements can carry out basement renovation for you and allow you to expand the living area. This gives you a well-designed and clean space. However, the problems could occur later, as the installations deteriorate. Also, not everyone can afford quality services, and many people go DIY when assembling a basement space.

basement remodel

Hence, some uninvited guests come to spoil the party: the incommodious smell and odor. Basements that smell like sewers are one of the most widespread issues homeowners deal with. Some of them decide to utilize perfumed candles or incense, but this brings only the temporary relief. Moreover, these products can give rise to various health issues. If you want to address the root of the problem, you have to take another approach.

The culprit

It is advisable to first check the plumbing system and search for leaks and cracks. Even the tiniest fissures and crevices can cause severe damage over time and damp the walls. Repairing and sealing them should allow you to keep the basement dry, and a waterproof paint coat or sealant usually does the trick. Bear in mind, though, that the orientation of the terrain around the house could also cause rainwater puddles.

Also, if you have a water trap under the floor drain, there is a possibility that water evaporated and sewer gas came up through the drain. To combat this menace, you can pour the cooking oil down the drain. Furthermore, another source of the problem could be the ventilation system. The remedy for this situation is regular maintenance. So, sweep the vents and ducts annually and enjoy air which is odorless and pure.

How to Combat the Annoying Basement Smells and Odor?

War on clutter

The foul smells could also originate from the piled-up dirt or malodorous objects. Basements are often used as storages, and spaces that accommodate hoarding habits. Hence, it helps to de-clutter the space and get rid of items you do not really need, those that are only collecting dust and nasty smells. And it goes without saying that objects beyond repair have no place in your environment. Clothes that have been stored for a long time, upholstered furniture, and floor coverings should be washed and dried if you want to keep them.

Remember that it pays off to have tools ready in the store. Find the best air purifier for mold, which should be able to remove the very source of mildew and mold. Or, you can take advantage of homemade solutions, like undiluted vinegar or a mixture of water and bleach. Apply them to the trouble spots and just do a bit of scrubbing. Another DIY option is to use baking soda every few months to soak in the odor. So, choose your weapons and do not stop until the vile stench is dispelled from your home for good.

Home, savory home

It is of the utmost importance to identify the source of the smell and treat it accordingly. Odors and other nuisances thrive in a certain kind of interior climate, predominantly in spaces that have problems with moisture and dust accumulation. So, wash and dry furniture and clothes thoroughly, and do away with the clutter. Conduct maintenance on a regular basis, and check the plumbing installations. Learn how to eradicate the smells and odors and continue using the space without any discomfort.

This article was written by Zoe Clark. Zoe is an environmentalist, home decorator and DIY enthusiast. When not obsessing about designing perfect homes, she is spending time with her family.

Unfinished Business: How to Care for a Crumbling Basement


Considering their importance and utility, basements rarely get their fair share of TLC from homeowners. Older basements in particular are often ticking time bombs that can impact the health of the rest of the home if they’re not looked after properly. To ensure your own basement remains sound, it’s worth your while to adhere to these prudent practices.

Reduce Humidity & Standing Water
Ultimately, moisture is what kills a foundation the fastest. It’s important to keep a basement as dry as possible for its longevity. Install an automated sump pump or two if you experience standing water or flooding every spring. While you’re at it, set up a dehumidifier to keep the air as dry as possible.

Landscape for Long-Term Success
Whether your foundation is a stone-walled number or a poured concrete model, there are in-ground ways to keep water away from the basement. Digging out a perimeter trench, filling it with loose rock, and adding a few drainage pipes away from the building works wonders in making sure it stays dry and safe. Be sure to have an expert contractor do this kind of work.

Keep the Pests from Doing Damage
Varmints are especially problematic if you own an older home with a stone foundation since it’s easier for them to get in and cause damage. Come up with a strategy to prevent them from getting in and wreaking havoc by using traps and sonic deterrence. Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management Services might have other options that can help deter animals and bugs from getting inside in the first place that work better for your home or location. Contact a quality pest control company to advise you of the right solution.

Reinforce Every Element Possiblebasement-old masonry
Keeping your foundation and basement walls in tip-top shape is a major priority regardless of the age of your home. Have concrete foundation cracks filled and strengthened when they appear, and make sure stone foundation mortar work is patched up regularly. Finally, use jack stands and beams to support floors and take stress off of basement walls.

Carefully Seal Up Each Surface
Your basement walls should be an impervious barrier between the ground and your home’s interior. If your basement walls consist of mortar, “parge” them by applying an even layer of mortar. If they’re concrete, thoroughly dry out the basement area with a dehumidifier and desiccant agents before applying a layer of waterproof sealer to the inside walls.

If you live in any area where humidity and high precipitation are normal, keeping an eye on basement walls is a must. Even after you’ve performed each of the preventative steps detailed above, it’s important to monitor the situation and enact fixes as needed to head off problems before they snowball into catastrophes. 


4 Steps to a Clutter and Pest Free Basement

A cluttered and disorganized basement can be a particularly frustrating prospect for any homeowner and there are a number of problem pests that are all too willing to take advantage of these unkempt conditions. Nevertheless, it is all too easy for rubbish to pile up and attract unwanted guests, but by using these four steps you can make your cluttered property clean and tidy once more…

Understand the Benefits of a Clutter-Free Space

ratThe first step to salvation is understanding why your home’s condition is a problem. As we mentioned, one of the major issues found in many cluttered properties is pests which can turn a once happy home into an unhealthy place to live. Pests like rodents, cockroaches and insects carry disease and can cause respiratory problems and other health complaints if infested areas are left untreated. Decluttering and disinfecting these affected areas can dramatically reduce pest problems.

In addition to pests, there are other health effects of living in a cluttered home. Cluttered basements tend to put you and other family members at risk of falls, whilst the excessive clutter and heightened levels of dust and dust mites can exacerbate respiratory problems, especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Decluttering your home will also reduce stress levels, creating a clear space for you to enjoy with friends and family members for years to come.

Focus on the End-Result

Letting go of years of clutter can be a particularly traumatic experience, especially if you are a compulsive hoarder. However, focusing on the end-result and what you can achieve in your new, decluttered basement will ensure you start off your clear out with extra vigor and full commitment. Remember that your home needs to be functional as well as risk and pest free for you to truly enjoy it. For many people, it helps to put pen to paper before starting the decluttering mission; this will enable you to acknowledge the challenge your basement or any other room within your home presents.

Decluttering just in time for Christmas is also highly recommended and will make light work of finding those decorations and other festive treats that become hidden under the remnants of last year.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Asking for help from a professional is always recommended if you are dealing with a particularly large mountain of mess within your home. Salvage experts can be a real help, whilst enlisting a qualified pest controller to handle any pest problems you may have head on is essential to getting your home back to a clutter and pest free condition.

A Few More Tips for Conquering the Clutter

When it comes to controlling your cluttered home, always start slow to ensure you handle every room as effectively as the next. Sticking to the mantra of throwing items out that you haven’t used in the last year is also advisable when curbing your hoarding obsession. Reserve a small box for items that you are really unsure about whether to throw out or not; revisit this in six months and if you still haven’t used this, let it go without any regrets at all!

This post was written by Brittany Thorley from Cheshire Demolition UK, one of the nation’s leading salvage and reclamation companies. They assist hundreds of homes every year in their decluttering mission!

Do you need help with your basement?  If you live in the lower Westchester, NY region, we can help you get more organized by renovating your basement and adding walls to create new storage areas.  Be sure to give us a call at 914-576-2572 to schedule your free in home estimate. – Gary B.

Mold growth in your home

Take control and mitigate mold growth in your home

moldDamp, dark areas of the home, such as an unfinished basement, can often be trouble spots for homeowners hoping to increase their living space. Left unfinished, these areas of the home can potentially suffer significant damage, be prone to flooding or develop mold. When it comes to home improvement, homeowners are wise to consider the affects of moisture and mold buildup and how they can be combated.

Mold growth, usually a result of excess moisture, also can be detrimental to one’s health. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that mold can survive in almost any conditions, and can cause visual, respiratory and even skin problems. Mold growth can also contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Homeowners looking to turn an unfinished basement into a liveable space or take control of mold finished basementgrowth can help protect their home from unexpected expenses later on, and also add value to their home. There are several techniques to control moisture penetrating their home. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests homeowners consider techniques that manage water outside the foundation walls, ensure that the home is properly ventilated with exhaust fans in at least each bathroom and the kitchen, and size the home’s air conditioning unit correctly. Homeowners are also recommended to use construction techniques that can help control water, air movement, vapor diffusion as well as condensation.

More often than not, mold is found in homes that do not have adequate insulation. As moisture builds up within walls, the interior of the walls can start to slowly rot. This rot can emit a foul smell and eventually reduce the stability and quality of the home. Homeowners who want to address moisture and mold growth should consider a complete solution that halts future opportunities for mold growth and prevents potential costly repairs in the future.

Using a modern insulation material such as spray foam insulation is one solution that can assist. As a vapor-permeable material, spray foam insulation allows moisture to travel through it, enabling it to dry completely. Additionally, spray foam insulation is not considered a food source for mold, thereby quashing the probability of further mold growth. Properly insulated wall cavities and crawl spaces control moisture, minimize air leakage, save on energy bills as well as improve occupant comfort.

Getting to the root of mold issues is critical for any homeowner looking to add investment value to their home. A material like spray foam insulation can be applied within seconds to the walls, ceiling and floors of a basement to plug any cracks or gaps to deliver immediate results.

Basement renovations

Most of us have basements in our homes that are completely under utilized.  Your basement tends to become the place where you put stuff that you don’t know what to do with.  Our basements are usually disorganized and, frankly, kind of a mess.

I recommend you start by sorting through all the stuff down there and start purging!  If you haven’t used it or missed it, you probably don’t need it.  Have a yard sale, give it away to your favorite charity or just put it out by the road (I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “One man’s junk is another mans treasure!”) and it will most likely be gone the next day.

Organize:  Section off an area of your basement where you need to store essentials (Holiday decorations, gardening supplies, tools, etc.).

Now we have an area to work with.  What I love most about remodeling basements is that we can provide an area where you and your family can gather and have fun together!  Here are two idea’s for your new basement:

Basement converted to a gym, White Plains, NY

Remember those New Year’s Resolutions to get fit and healthy in 2012?  Well, we can help you with that!  Why go to the gym when we can bring the gym to you?

Basement converted to a hockey rink, White Plains, NY

Imagine how much fun you and your family can have in your newly remodeled basement that we’ve converted to a hockey rink!  (Yes, these are actual remodeling jobs that we’ve done)

These are just some idea’s to get you started.  We’d love to meet with you and discuss how we can transform your basement into vision!

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