Renovation Solutions: Basements can be remodeled, no matter how scary

Published: Friday, Nov. 15 2013 3:58 p.m. MST

Finally, if your basement was built with a low ceiling, technology exists today to lower the basement floor to give you 8 feet of headroom (or more). This involves removing the existing slab, adding to the foundation of the house and pouring a new concrete floor. As you can imagine, this is not inexpensive, but it can result in doubling your existing square footage and creating modern, airy rooms in the process.

Lowering a basement floor is usually done in conjunction with a total basement remodel, so existing walls, plumbing, etc. are removed before the excavation begins. Additional expenses you'll need to consider include replacement of existing staircases to meet the new lower floor (and current code requirements), construction of new interior walls, lowering plumbing lines and dealing with how they intersect with the existing sewer line and enlarging the windows of any bedrooms to meet egress codes.

With all of today's renovation options, even the scariest basements can be transformed into highly desirable living spaces. Don’t overlook this potential gold mine"of space that may be sitting right below your feet just waiting to be discovered.

Ann Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the Principal Architects and co-founders of a residential architectural firm focused on life-changing remodeling designs at Send comments or questions to

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