So you have decided that your current living space is not quite meeting your needs. You have looked the house over and have determined that the best way to maximize your space is by remodeling your lower level—specifically, the basement. For many homeowners, the easiest way to increase the living space is not building up or out, but building low. However, before you immediately get out your sketchpad and begin dreaming, there are several things the pros recommend that you keep in mind. Here are their suggestions for lower level remodeling.

· If your basement is a cold space, then don’t try to save money by not installing carpet. Rather, install a good quality carpet so that the space is more comfortable and inviting.

· Remodeling a lower level is usually cheaper than remodeling other areas of your home. In fact, other areas used for a home remodel will typically run $150 per square foot, while a basement remodel will be between $40 and $75 -especially if the walls and structure are already in place.

· If you are planning on creating an open and inviting space, consider having an open stairwell. This will also allow more natural light to come into the basement.

· Consider installing an air purification system, to help improve airflow and quality.

· Don’t use a drop ceiling as this makes the space look cheaper, as well as more closed in.

· Take the time to consider as many of the future uses of the space as possible, then design the floorplan accordingly.

· Think about the world around you, not to mention your budget, and shop at re-use store for flooring, doors, counters and other elements.

· Consider long-term costs, not just short term gains; this will typically save you money now and time later.

· Look for ways to increase efficiency and not just the amount of space.

· Talk to a contractor or building inspector to see what type of remodeling elements they would recommend. This can save you both time and money.

· Sweat equity is a great way to save money, as well as provide some great hands on experience. Consider talking to friends who have more experience than you and enlist their help. From painting, installing flooring, or hanging sheetrock, there are many ways you can save on the cost of a lower level remodeling project.

· Once the lower level remodel has begun, don’t make multiple changes. This will slow the project down and often cost you much more money than anticipated.

· Always plan ahead. Have a contingency fund. You never know what type of surprises you will run into with a lower level home remodel and you don’t want to have to stop the work, before it is actually finished.

Lower level remodels are a great way to increase the amount of useable space in your home. They should be well planned, so you can enjoy them to their fullest. Talk to the pros at Maple Grove’s Home Remodelers to learn how you can make the most of your space.