FEATURES: Indoor Air Quality, Materials Efficiency, Water Conservation
A dark, wet, and unhealthy basement has turned into beautiful place of wellness, full of eco-friendly and healthy materials.
This remodel project is special to us because it reminds us how important our home environment is for our health and well-being. This basement was never used before due to the horrible smell of must and toxins in the air. Luckily, the project reached its completion right before the 2020 pandemic occurred, giving the family over 1,000 SF of never before used space in their home.
What the basement turned into is incredible, but most importantly safe and non-toxic. An at-home gym and yoga studio were added, play area, family room, guest bedroom, and full-size bath. The size was increased by reshaping the walls and ceilings to open up the room, while new egress windows were added to bring natural light into the bedroom and bathroom. New windows were also added to the family room allowing lots of fresh light into the space.
We focused on mitigating moisture from the basement to create a healthy space for the whole family to live and play. The flooring was an important choice as well, being that it was for the basement it needed to be healthy, easy to maintain, and dry.
Some aspects of universal design were introduced bringing the bathroom a flush entry shower, access without having to use the stairs, and reducing trip hazards. The bathroom’s tile grout also meets GreenGuard certification and is low maintenance, admitting healthy indoor air and stability in the life of the product.
Their toddler daughter inspired mom and dad to update this finished basement. The family sought to create a customized modern space to act as a play and family area, and to build in a full bathroom, while eliminating moisture for best air quality. Natural light was desired for improved wellness and healthy well-being.
Additional desired uses for this basement were to:
1. Serve as a private spacious area for guests, and
2. Provide an ample, beautiful space for the family’s yoga enthusiast to have and maintain a practice away from the main living area.
Mystery moisture: wetness appeared in several areas of the carpeted flooring, which contributed to mustiness and odor.
An existing window well became an unintended fish tank during heavy rains.
The existing framing layout, though finished, was not visually calming or logical. Pipes were exposed and not ideal for this client’s aesthetic taste.
When the new bathroom was finished, condensation appeared on the walls as a result of air temperature and humidity. Forced air was in the rest of the home, including the basement bedroom. The family kept the bedroom door closed, so air circulation was reduced and moisture didn’t dry or evaporate.
Designed a full bath with a flush-entry shower by reworking the unused walk-in closet, ensuring safe access for people of all ages. Also installed a new heating and venting system.
Discovered that downspout and exterior grading issues were part of this home’s moisture collection. Appropriate drainage was installed to capture the water and move it away from the house.
A vapor barrier was painted onto the slab to maintain a dry space with good air quality, while preventing mold and mustiness.
Odd angles and extraneous framing were smoothed, and some additional work covered the exposed pipes, which eliminated the choppiness of the room and created a visually-calming appearance.
Egress windows were fitted into the bedroom and yoga spaces. Large windows were added on the west-facing side (where there were none before) to bring in far more natural light, making the space more inviting and livable.
This project was completed a few months before the first quarantine of 2020 so the timing could not have been better for this family.
This daylight basement remodel presents universal design features, more modern utility, flexible productivity, plus it acts as a getaway space for exercise, relaxation, and overall wellness.