Storage Ideas For Your Basement

basement storage ideasWhen designing your basement layout, storage tends to be the last thing that gets thrown into the mix. You can devise a solution to have a dedicated wall of storage closets to hold out of season clothing and sports equipment. You can also stuff the closets with shelving to hold dinner wear, food supplies, computer equipment, books, collectables etc. There are thousands of different items we keep in our basements.

You can buy a shelving system for your closet or have one custom designed by a closet company. If you make them adjustable they can adapt to your changing needs allowing you to reconfigure them. Recessed shelves built into the walls add a custom look and does not take up living space.

You can also create a dedicated storage room in your basement saving valuable wall space. Put in a bank of shelving units and create a library of items you can easily get to. Make it a pantry, a wardrobe, a communications hub, a utility zone or all of the above. Keep your living spaces separate from the storage spaces. The back of the door can be a useful spot for storing items like a shoe organizer for example.

Under the basement stairs is usually the best spot for a closet, shelving system or both. Shelving is tucked under the stairs for that built in look, or the shelving can be inside the closet hidden from view which allows wall space for furniture or a TV. Draws and cabinets can also be built into the area under the stairs.

A good use of space is to install a wall of shelving behind a set of double doors. This is a great way to conserve space, hide clutter and keep the basement looking like a finished basement.

Storage bins are a great way to keep items and clutter under control. stack them up to the ceiling and line them up along the wall. They are inexpensive and seal your items from dust and moisture and when it comes time to move them you have handles to place them anywhere. Put labels on the bins so you can search quickly visually instead of physically taking everything apart to find what you need or you can get the clear plastic bins to see whats inside.

A great idea is to create a wardrobe. Line the walls with cedar, install lighting and custom shelves and drawers. Add a mirror and some seating and maybe pipe in some music and a TV. Add a shoe rack, hanging rods at different heights for robes and pants, cabinets, hamper and maybe a spot to do your make-up.

Ask any Long Island Basement Contractor to build your basement with the required storage you need. They should be able to accommodate you with out any hassle.

 

Basement Mudrooms

Basement Mudroom with wood cabinetryBasement mudrooms are a cross between utility rooms and walk-in closests. It’s a good space to keep jackets, boots, sporting equipment, keys, unbrellas or whatever you need when you go outdoors. You do not need much space to create a well planned mudroom.

A mudroom in a basement sounds peculiar but some basements have entry doors in them. Whether its an outside entrance with stairs or it could be a walk in basement. The terrain of the yard slopes down to allow space for an exterior door with a walk-in basement.

Floor

The floor in the mudroom should be slip-resistant and able to stand abuse. When the weather is wet and muddy you will appreciate a mudroom to keep dirty shoes off your clean floors. Ceramic, rubber and porcelain are good choices for mudroom floors. Use a dark colored grout to hide stains. Floor mats are a good idea. One outside and one inside.

Walls

Walls could be covered with vinyl wallpaper, tile, wainscoting, paneling or something that cleans easily.

Seating

Create a bench box with a hinged top. It will serve as storage for off season items and seating for removing and putting on your footwear. Built in seating can be well placed into the design and flow with the usage. Permanent seating is great because it will always be there and nobody will move it.

Functions

Your mudroom can have multiple functions and uses. Sorting mail, keeping your keys in order, staging for the groceries, information center and storage. Storage items like shelving, cabinets, hooks, baskets and bins. Maybe have each member of the family assigned there own storage spot to keep confusion down. Another spot for a bulletin board to keep pertinent information easily accessible and seen for example a calendar marked with upcoming important events, the garbage collection schedule, reminders etc.

Adding A Laundry Room To Your Basement

Basement Laundry RoomRecently, homeowners are asking for more living, working and storage space including a laundry room. The space in your basement can be available to build the perfect laundry room you need. There are many creative ways to redesign a basement to suit your family’s needs. Cleaning the family laundry is one of those needs that take a lot of time and work every day. You can help alleviate some of the grunt work by creating an efficient, well-equipped laundry room.

Flooring

Laundry rooms have caught up with the rest of the house in decor and personality. Laminate, ceramic and vinyl faux-wood flooring is an excellent way to get the look of hardwood without the worry of moisture damage. You have a wide range of colors and textures to choose from. The “floating floor” is by far the easiest to install and remove later when the time comes to replace it.

Color

Color is a great way to make a big impact on a budget, so use your paints and wallpapers to create that look and theme you are after. Try for a custom painted design on one wall with a mirror on the opposite wall. If you are lucky enough to have a window the natural light will be a great addition and brighten your colors. Bold colors will brighten your small space.

Counters

Counter space can be the key to spending less time in your Long Island laundry room. You will be able to fold laundry and treat stains quicker. Formica laminate counter tops are the best for laundry rooms. They are smooth, durable, easy to clean and are available in many colors, textures and patterns. If its in your budget you can use granite, natural stone or stainless steel counter tops.

Lighting

Lighting can play a big part in helping you get the laundry done quicker, more efficiently and with less hassle. Being able to easily see what you are doing will increase productivity and well being. Natural light is the best source of light, ceiling lights, hi-hats, back splash lights are other options to choose from. Task lighting will brighten work areas, accent lights will focus on specific areas and help you see what you are doing when treating stains or sewing on a button.

Time Saver

A great time and energy saver would be to add a laundry chute. In some homes this can easily be done. More often Ranch style homes are easily done but if you don’t live in a Ranch it will just take a bit more configuring to get it done. Usually the laundry chute is located in the bathroom where the person removes their clothing, places it in the laundry chute then the clothing works it’s way down to the laundry room. This saves half the time and work in bringing the clothes down stairs.

Good Ideas

Front-loading washers save energy and water. They spin clothes faster than top-loading models, which makes them more efficient at removing water. As a result, it takes less time to dry your clothes.

Install kitchen style wall cabinets to hide tools, cleaning products, and storage containers.

A fold down ironing board is hidden in the wall until you are ready to use it. this is a great convenience and space saver.

Miniature rolling laundry carts are easily stored away in a corner, between the washer and dryer or directly under the laundry chute.

Stackable washers and dryers are a great way to conserve precious floor space. It allows for a more efficient use of your space.

Shelving is the easiest way to gain more use of your laundry room.

Laundry equipment can be neatly incorporated into a basement room that is designed for more than one use and activity. Use cabinetry to hide front loading washer and dryer, ironing equipment, hampers, hanging racks and detergents when they are not being used. You can have your laundry amenities, TV, Radio, mini kitchen and exercise equipment all in one space. You can watch the news, work out, heat up a snack, brew a fresh cup of Joe and fold the laundry all at the same time. You will never want to leave your basement paradise.

 

Basement Wet Bars

basement wet barBasement wet bars are meant for homeowners looking for an enticing and functional space for entertaining family and friends, but do not want the inconvenience of running up and down the stairs every time you need to make a new batch of frozen margaritas or martinis.

The latest generation of wet bars has a lot to offer. For instance your wet bar can be equipped with a sink, dish washer, kegerator, ice maker, refrigerator, wine cooler, glassware and pretty displays for your liquor collection. Don’t forget to throw in a nice flat screen TV.

You can have your bar custom designed to suit any decor, or you can buy it pre made and have it installed like ordering furniture. The two main varieties are bars made of wood or stainless. Wood will give you a more traditional flavor as with stainless you get a more sleek modern look. There are countless varieties of finishes and designs between these two, it will be virtually impossible for you not to find something you like.

Most wet bars are designed in either a rectangular or an L shape but there are manufacturers that make elliptical and circular shaped wet bars to meet with your specific design requirements and decor.

If you plan on entertaining frequently and larger gatherings with food and drinks a good rule of thumb is to have a bar against a wall. This tends to utilize the space best providing generous storage for liquors and glassware, as well as a spot for the blender and good work space. You could even fit a microwave and a small kitcheonette that lets you heat hors d’oeuvres.

Don’t forget to include comfortable stylish bar stools with back support and good entertainment like a flat-screen, stereo, games etc.

Lighting can bring it all together. Accent lights behind the bar, under cabinets, behind the liquor shelves, in the soffits, behind crown moulding will make it that perfect bar. Your friends and family will cherish the space for years to come. Also it will raise the value of your home as an additional incentive.

Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets are available in a multitude of colors, finishes and species such as cherry mahogany, oak, birch, maple and teak to name a few. When designing your cabinet layout include open shelving and glass doors to show off your fancy glassware and vintage wine or champagne. Use the solid wood doors to hide your basic bar items.

Under counter refrigerators, freezer draws, ice makers, and wine coolers fabricated with finishing panels that are the same as the cabinets will give your wet bar a seamless professional look.

A few bar themes include: casual, rustic, elegant, modern or antique. Once you decide on a theme your choices of colors and styles will be controlled by the theme. Try to keep the theme consistent throughout the whole bar space. This will make your wet bar a cohesive experience rather than something you threw together at the last minute.

Whether your basement wet bar is small and tucked in to a corner or takes up half of your basement you have a lot of choices and directions to go with this.

Wine Storage And Wine Cellars

wine cellar long islandWine cellars and martini bars have become well added luxuries to a home, especially when planning to finish your basement. If you are a lover of wine, the basement would make a perfect location for a wine cellar because it is usually cooler and darker than the existing home. The humidity is also higher which is good for a wine cellar because humidity prevents corks from drying out.

A wine bar is an excellent spot to relax and entertain friends. There are lots of ways to make your wine bar inviting, appealing and functional. If your basement and budget are big enough you might want to consider having both of them installed.

The the serious wine collector or those thinking of starting a wine investment business. Great wine must be stored properly to maintain its taste and value as an investment.

Oenophile – noun – A lover or connoisseur of wines.

 Fine wine can be an investment, an indulgence or both. A proper wine cellar will organize wines so you can pull the perfect bottle quickly and easily for that special occasion or wonderful meal, and it will also protect your investment. Well kept wine increases in value. If you are serious about collecting and trading wine, consult a wine expert during the design process to find out how different types of wine must be stored.

Even if wine is just a hobby you will want to create a place where you can organize bottles under the best conditions. The two main variables are keeping it dark and cool. Dark meaning keep direct sunlight off of the wine. Ideal temperature should be between 55 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity level should be between 55 and 75 percent.

Close off the wine cellar with an exterior grade door because they are weather tight as compared to an interior door. This will help you maintain the proper conditions more easily. The concrete walls and floors should be sealed with a vapor barrier and/or foam insulation before installing drywall and flooring. Porcelain tile is a good choice for the flooring.

You will also need a cooling unit and possibly a drain. The size of the cooling unit depends on how consistent the natural temperature keeps to the recommended wine-storage temperature and whether it is a consistent temperature throughout the year.

Built In Wine Storage

Even if you have a couple of cases or a room full of wine , there is a storage solution for your collection. Manufacturers offer wine-rack kits in redwood, country pine and other species of wood. They also offer tasting tables that incorporate storage. Wine storage kits come in a variety of configurations, some complete with crown and base mouldings to achieve a customized look.

Wine cabinets are a good choice for oenophiles who want self-contained wine storage that blends with existing furniture and decor. A space saving solution is a refrigerated cabinet that offers racking space and wine refrigeration in one.

Custom wine storage racks can be designed to fit the exact specs of your basement. They can be built to support the heavier magnum sized bottles and look great as well.

Good Ideas For Your Wine Cellar

Software is available to help you manage your wine inventory. There are also online services that will do the job for you.

Some experts recommend avoiding ultraviolet light entirely in a wine cellar. IC-rated recessed canister lights will be ideal for this requirement.

Keep your wine cellar free of debris and insects. Also provide some type of ventilation to control musty or mildew odors for they can affect the taste of the wine.

For smaller basements that do not have the space for built-in wall cabinets and bar use a bar table with bar-height chairs or stools.

Hope this information was helpful. Now go organize your first wine tasting party.

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Top 8 Fantastic Basement Ceiling Ideas

Top 8 Useful Basement Ceiling Ideas

When finishing your Long Island basement you will come across the decision to choose which kind of ceiling you think will look best and be most functional. Some people choose function over design some people choose design over function. Which one will you choose? There is also a cost variable in this equation.

Basic Acoustic Drop Ceiling

Basement-ceiling-idea-basicThese types of drop ceilings are the most basic and affordable. They allow for ease of installation and easy access to existing utilities such as pipes and wires.

2 x 4 or 2 x 2 are the two sizes you can choose from.

 

Acoustic Drop Panels

basement-ceiling-idea-panelsThis is a drop ceiling but instead of the basic ceiling tile they are upgraded to ceiling panels. These ceiling panels give the impression of real wood.

They are installed just like a drop ceiling but are a bit different than the ordinary ceiling tile.

They are a bit more expensive than the basic.

 

Acoustic Plastic Panels

basement-ceiling-idea-plastic-panelsThese plastic panels are designed to replicate the antique tin ceilings but not to be too expensive. Although they are still going to be a higher investment as compared to drywall, drop panels and basic drop ceilings.

There are different design styles and colors to choose from.

Are you confused yet? Let’s continue.

 

 

Antique Reproduction In Tin

basement-ceiling-idea-Antique Reproduction in TinThese panels are made of real tin (metal) which give off the best appearance for those looking to achieve an authentic old world feel.

These are on the pricey side but if you have the budget for it you should look into getting these installed.

 

 

Drywall Sheetrock Ceilings

basement ceiling ideas sheetrockWhen drywalling or sheetrocking a basement ceiling you should consider the issue of not having access to the utilities.

Although sheetrock looks nicer than panels for the reason it looks like any other room in the house.

Most likely sheetrock basement ceilings will end up with soffits and corners to hide utilities. See picture.

Wood Beams

Basement ceiling idea - wood beamsAdding wood beams to your basement ceiling will bring a different texture and give your ceiling more interest.

 

 

 

Wood Planking

basement-ceiling-idea-plankingWood planking will set your basement off the charts. The visual appeal and rich design of planking will give your basement that one of a kind attention.

The planks here are simulated tongue and groove made of plastic so it won’t be a moisture issue.

 

Fancy Design

basement ceiling idea FancyOk the highest cost ceiling is one that will be custom designed and fabricated on or off site. These types of ceilings are for the most serious of basement finishing.

Expect these types of ceilings to be the most expensive.

Add A Half Bath To Your Basement

Add Value To Your Home With A Half Bath In Your Basement

Whether you have a finished basement or not adding a half bath to your basement willhalf-bath-long-island-basement make your life a lot easier and add great value to your property. Is your main drain below slab or above? You may have to locate your new half bath within the proximity of your main drain. This will allow for cost savings and ease of installation.

The Sink

A half bath can include many aspects and designs that you will discover in a full bath. Small spaces such as that of a half bath can be a challenge to design. The smaller footprint gives us little room to move so we have to choose your layout and design amenities carefully. For example a pedestal sink is a great choice for a half bath because it is elegant and takes less space than a vanity. A corner sink or wall mounted sink are different variations of a pedestal sink but serve the same function. Elegance with a smaller footprint.

The Door

A round toilet takes up less space than conventional oval shaped toilets. This brings us to the door. Usually the door swings into the bath so using a round toilet can get you an extra inch or two to clear the swinging door. If you have the resources available look into having a pocket door installed. This will allow you to free up some extra needed space.

Design

Design your half bath with architectural details using moldings and wall treatments. This will enhance the look and add even more value to your home. You should go all out fancy here because it is such a small space you wont need much materials to finish it off. The small amount of extras will pay off for you and the home value.

Crown moldings, chair rail, picture molding, wainscoting, a fancy door, built in shelves are some or all of the design elements you can use to make this half bath a gem.

Flooring

The floor is another design feature you should go high end with. Marble, granite, porcelain, travertine are great materials to consider. Visit your local tile store and they will have so many colors, shapes and textures to choose from it will make your head spin.

Extras

If you have extra space a free standing table can be used creatively to display candles, hand towels, photos, a clock or whatever your theme is. Maybe you can find a matching medicine cabinet or mirror to complete the half bath.

Storage space is a commodity when it comes to half baths so think about using creative techniques for storage. Shelves can be built in to the wall cavity or into a corner. Tiered hanging baskets can be used to store small items like soap, hand towels, cosmetics, phone etc. Hooks behind the door or elsewhere are good spots for robes and towels.

One last thing, you should always consider installing an exhaust fan. This will mitigate moisture build up and keep your half bath air quality fresh and clean.

Cost Of A Finished Basement Bathroom Long Island NY

How much will a Basement Bathroom Cost on Long Island NY?

Having a bathroom is one of the best ways to get full usage from your finished basement. Imagine having to go upstairs every time you need to go? A bathroom in your basement adds tremendous value to your home so you should not consider it a cost but an investment. When considering the price you will pay for a basement bathroom there are two main concerns when trying to figure it out.

  1. Is the main drain under the floor?
  2. Is the main drain above the floor?

If its under the floor it might run you a bit less money than having a drain above the floor. Having the drain above the floor requires a mechanical means to bring waste water up to the drain. This requires extra money to cover the equipment and labor to install that equipment. When the drain is under the floor it is a matter of tapping into the existing line and letting gravity take the waste water out.

The price of a bathroom alone could be difficult to get an exact number especially if it is done with the rest of your finished basement. But for this purpose lets say you have an existing finished basement without a bathroom and you need to add a bathroom. The amount of a normal sized full bathroom can run any where between 4500 to 7500 for a 5ft x 8ft bathroom.

You can adjust your pricing when choosing finishes. For example you can tile the floor only, you can get non designer off the shelf fixtures and keep it all simple to keep the investment down. Or you can go all out with the best marble all around, fancy lighting, add a full window, make the bathroom bigger. There are countless types of materials and finishes to choose from.

Below are some finished basement bathroom ideas

basement bathroom cost long islandlong island bathroom idealong-island-basement-bathroom-costbasement-bathroom-cost-long-island

Dehumidifiers For Your Basement

Basement Dehumidifier Basics

If you are planning to finish your basement there is one piece of equipment you should purchase to protect your investment.whole house dehumidifier That purchase should be a dehumidifier.  Even if you have a raw basement a dehumidifier is still a good idea. Moisture in your basement can lead to costly problems, renovation issues and can also become a health hazard.

Whether you live on Long Island or not excess moisture in your basement will lead to mold growth. Mold spores are every where. They serve a good purpose outdoors like breaking down fallen leaves and fallen trees but indoors the mold can cause poor air quality and could cause sickness to vulnerable individuals.

If you can smell or see mold in your basement you most likely have moisture or water infiltration. Mold needs moisture and where there is moisture or water there will be mold. Mold spores are every where they get brought into your home from pets, open windows, HVAC systems and when your house was built the mold spores were all over the building materials and your home was exposed to the elements before it was closed up. Mold spores are just part of the environment.

How Do You Control Mold?

The best way to control mold is to control moisture. If you have a leaky pipe or poor drainage outside your basement you should fix those issues immediately. Moisture on the other hand is quite tricky because it is difficult to notice if there is too much. Your basement is surrounded by damp wet dirt the possibility of excess moisture is almost guaranteed. The best way to control moisture is to set up a dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers are made to control moisture and there are a few different kinds you can choose to fit your own requirements. There are small capacity to large capacity dehumidifiers. That would depend on the size of your basement. There are options on dehumidifiers like auto turn off and on, humidity settings, auto water extraction and timer. Also some dehumidifiers may be easier to use with an easy to handle water bucket, wheels or casters to move it around, easy to read and use buttons, washable air filter.

Some contractors will build a space for your dehumidifier and have it auto drain into a slop sink, an ejector pump or a drain specifically designed and installed for the dehumidifier. This is the best way to incorporate a dehumidifier into your finished basement project because you get to plan where it goes and after its all done the dehumidifier looks like it was meant to be there. Usually they are installed in an inconspicuous spot. Like in a wall with a HVAC register over them. You wont need to bother with it except to clean the air filter. You can get one with auto off and on, set the humidity and walk away.

Another option is to get a dehumidifier with a pump. These will take the collected water and pump it to a remote location via a supplied hose. This is a good option because it allows the auto feature to run without you having to keep dumping the bucket. The hose also allows you to locate the dehumidifier within the vicinity of a drain or you can drill a hole through the side of the house and let the pump extract through to the outside.

The last way is to use the bucket and manually dump the water. If you have a sink in the basement already this wont be much of a hassle but if you have to lunk the water all the way up stairs to dump it it can get a bit bothersome.

With those three basic types of dehumidifiers you can design a strategy that best suits your goal to control moisture in your basement. Which will keep mold in basements out.

Kinds of Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers are rated by how much moisture they can remove from the air in a 24 hour period. Now the more moisture they remove the bigger more expensive and more money it will be to invest.

  • Small Pint – These typically remove between 20 to 40 pints of moisture from the air per day. They are made for small spaces like a single or two room basement or a crawl space. Here is a list of small dehumidifiers.
  • Half Pint – These typically remove between 40 to 60 pints of moisture from the air per day. They are made for slightly larger spaces. Maybe a three room basement or bigger crawlspace. Here is a list of mid-size dehumidifiers.
  • Full Pint – These typically remove between 60 to 80 pints of moisture from the air per day. They are made for larger basements. Here is a list of large dehumidifiers.
  • Whole House – If your whole house is experiencing excess moisture then don’t hesitate and invest in a whole house dehumidifier. Mold is just waiting for enough moisture to build up so it can proliferate. Here are a couple whole house dehumidifiers.

The bottom line is moisture and mold go hand in hand. Mold needs moisture and building materials to grow and proliferate. You can’t get rid of your building materials but you can get rid of moisture. Get a dehumidifier and stop mold before it gets a chance to thrive.

For more information about mold go here.

10 Ways To Save Money On Your Finished Basement

10 Money Saving Tips For Your Finished Basement

Whether you live on Long Island or not here are a few money saving tips to keep in mind when planning your finished basement project.

Design

You can design your basement with all the amenities or not. Depending on your budget if you have a kitchen and/or bathroom going in your basement you should position them close to the main plumbing drain of your home. Some homes the main drain is  halfway up the wall. This gives you some more flexibility as to where you can position your rooms like kitchen and bath. Other homes the drain is under the concrete slab. The further away you are the more labor involved in breaking the floor up to run drains for the new kitchen and bath. Keep them close to avoid extra labor.

Cabinets

There are so many different brands, styles and price points to cabinets. Choose one you like that’s more10x10 Tuscany Shaker Espresso Kitchen affordable. One of the least expensive are the cabinets that are pre-packaged for you to build yourself. You can get them at Home Depot, Lowes, IKEA, or Amazon. For example you can get a 10×10 Tuscany Shaker Espresso Kitchen at Amazon for about two grand. You have to put it together but it might be worth the savings to you.

Plumbing

Save money by getting affordable but reliable plumbing fixtures. For example you can get a Glacier Bay 2-piece 1.28 GPF High Efficiency Round Toilet in White at Home Depot for about 100 bucks. You can get a Peerless 4″ single handle faucet for about 30 bucks. That’s just two examples of the cost savings in plumbing alone.

Doors

You can spend a lot more money on solid real wood doors but keep it simple. Go with the pre-hung hollow core six panel type doors. Usually your home center has them on the shelf already. If you have to order doors you will more than likely pay more money for them.

Mouldings

Mouldings can get expensive if you are looking for a rich inviting look with extra wide door moulding and base moulding. Generally speaking the wider the moulding the more it will cost. To save money choose the pre-primed 2 1/2″ for the doors and windows and the 3 1/2″ for the base. You can shave off a few more clams if you go for the composite type material. If you have a big basement and a lot of footage the savings will add up.

Flooring

Ceramic or porcelain tile are great for basements and should be your top consideration when choosing your floor. You might want to consider linoleum as your second choice. These options are best defense against moisture and water. Floating floors are inexpensive when compared to tile but if a pipe breaks you will have to replace it because water will get in between the wood planks and promote mold growth. Carpeting is warm and inviting but make sure you don’t have any moisture or water problems.

Ceiling

Your investment for a basic 2’x4′ drop ceiling will be the same as if you were using 1/2″ wall board. As long as there’s not to many utilities in the way and the wall board can be installed with out much interference. If there are a lot of wires and pipes and ducts in the way it might save you some money if you went with a drop ceiling.

Egress

If you are looking for more natural light in to your basement an egress window will require a smaller investment compared to an exterior entrance with stairs. There are a few kits that are shipped with the walls, window and top clear cover. Talk to your contractor about which kit you like the most.

Hardware

Door knobs can range from five hundred each to twelve dollars each. The twelve dollar knobs will work just as well and reliably as the five hundred dollar knobs. Choose according to your budget and taste.

Rooms

If you don’t need a kitchen, bathroom or weight room yet you can ask your contractor to build your basement as one big room. You can always add to it later. This flexibility will allow you to get your basement and not worry about breaking the bank.