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So you have been discussing how to creatively use or re-purpose existing space in your home. It could be the attic or the garage or the basement, but if you need more space, there may be space within your home that you can use. One common space is the basement. Basement finishing is a great way to get more space.

Basements are common in Milford, MA, but many of them are unfinished. However, basements have some advantages over above-ground real estate (cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, quieter), and they can be transformed into wonderful spaces for living.

Remodeling the basement requires a master plan just like any other portion of your home. You will want to consider what functions will be included, how people will circulate, and how you will address code issues regarding egress (exiting), light and air.

In older homes, furnaces and water heaters are often in the center of the basement, which hinders circulation. Rather than trying to work around these utilities, it may be advisable to move them to a more remote location in the basement. This is often the time when a homeowner replaces and upgrades the existing furnace to a model that is much more energy-efficient.

The next principle to consider is natural light. If your basement will become your new home theater or TV room, then you may not care if there is not much natural light. However, if you want a brighter, more comfortable living space, you'll want to bring more light into your basement by adding or enlarging windows. If bedrooms are involved, code requires certain minimum areas of egress, as well as minimum sizes for the exterior window wells. In some cases, large window wells can be created and terraced away from the window to give the room even more light and a feeling of connection with the outside.

If you want a bathroom in your basement, the easiest place to install one is adjacent to the sewer stack (a large black pipe), which is usually located under an existing bathroom on the main floor. If this location does not work for your basement floor plan, however, drains and sewer connections can be relocated by trenching into the basement's concrete floor.

For more information on basement finishing, contact Manzola Carpentry in Milford.

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