Base­ment res­cue 101

The Hamilton Spectator - - REAL ESTATE -

As real es­tate prices con­tinue to rise across On­tario, many home­own­ers are opt­ing to ren­o­vate their cur­rent homes rather than pur­chase new ones. Ac­cord­ing to de­sign ex­pert Kim­ber­ley Sel­don, if you're on the hunt for more square footage, res­cu­ing your lower level is a great way to cre­ate more room for the whole fam­ily to en­joy.

Turn­ing a base­ment into a stylish, prac­ti­cal space that meets the de­mands of mod­ern liv­ing doesn't have to be daunt­ing. When plan­ning for a base­ment re­design, it's im­por­tant to start with an elec­tri­cal plan and work with a team of ex­perts.

To get you started, Sel­don works with the Elec­tri­cal Safety Author­ity to of­fer a few ideas that'll help you achieve a re­vi­tal­ized base­ment that's both beau­ti­ful and safe.

Smart stor­age – When it comes to stor­age, the lower level of your home is typ­i­cally a wealth of unused nooks and cran­nies, which can be cre­atively reimag­ined. Per­haps there is space un­der the stairs to hide away those items you use just once or twice a year? Adding light­ing to a closet is al­ways a good idea. A Licensed Elec­tri­cal Con­trac­tor can pro­vide ad­vice on au­to­mated op­tions and even the best bulbs to use. Get cre­ative with your stor­age so­lu­tions, but just re­mem­ber that a breaker panel can't be lo­cated in a closet or bath­room.

Light it up – Base­ments of­ten lack nat­u­ral light, but a lay­ered light­ing plan that in­cludes task light­ing for a home office nook, dec­o­ra­tive light­ing on dis­play shelves, and pot lights for am­bi­ent light will en­hance the room's over­all level of bright­ness. Re­mem­ber that all pot lights aren't cre­ated equal. There are spe­cific op­tions for in­su­lated and unin­su­lated spa­ces to pre­vent over­heat­ing and a po­ten­tial fire. A Licensed Elec­tri­cal Con­trac­tor can pro­vide ad­vice and in­stall the right pot lights for your space. Warm and toasty – For the ul­ti­mate re­laxed am­biance, con­sider adding a gas fire­place sur­rounded by built-ins for added stor­age. You can even il­lu­mi­nate some of your favourite ob­jects if you have dis­play shelv­ing. Don't for­get that even when you're in­stalling a gas fire­place, there are still elec­tri­cal con­sid­er­a­tions. You'll need an out­let added in the right spot for power con­trols, such as the ig­ni­tion trans­former, ther­mo­stat and fan.

Find more de­sign and elec­tri­cal tips on­line at pow­ery­our­reno.ca. (NC)

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