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Green Home Improvements .info is written by Charles Faust. Charles has been in the home improvement industry since the early 1990's and has owned his own company for a little over 10 years. This blog was created to show Charles' efforts in making his lifestyle more "Green" and how his product selections for his clients are becoming "Greener".

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Archive for the ‘Green Living Spaces’ Category

A larger Green Home, Think Down

Written by green1 on May 4th, 2008 | Filed under: General Information, Green Living Spaces

Green Basement Ideas

When most people look to expand their living area they seldom think of using their basement. For some reason people think of basements as dark dungeons and fail to see the real potential that they offer. Generally a basement has the same square footage as your home, so you could almost double your square footage if you have a one level home.

Benefits of turning basements into living areas include:

1. Does not change the footprint of your home (you still have your yard).

2. Basements are cheap to heat since the ground does half of the work.

3. Basements are cheap to cool since the ground does half of the work.

4. The per square foot of a basement remodel is much less than the cost of an addition.

5. You can add rooms as your budget permits.

Basement Egress Window

picture from Bilco.com

Some common faulty thoughts about basements:

Faulty Thought #1. The windows are too small, they are unsafe since we could not fit out of them in case of a fire.

Solution: A few companies make basement egress windows that bring in a ton of natural light and provide an egress in the case of an emergency. These egress windows will make your basement windows around 3′x4′.

Faulty Thought #2. Our basement gets wet or has a damp smell.

Solution: Don’t be lazy, your home does not have proper drainage. Check to make sure that your gutter downspouts drain away from your home. Is the outside grade (slope of your property) draining toward your home–fix it! In some cases a basement drain system might be needed but most basement moisture issues can be solved with a few easy repairs.

Faulty Thought #3. Our basement is so dark, why would we want to have rooms down there?

Solution: Basements are generally dark because they have dark gray walls and not a bunch of light. Once you install walls and paint them a light color your basement will lighten up. Most basements are designed with only a few overhead lights, once you build rooms you can install as many lights as you want.

Faulty Thought #4. The toilets and sinks will not be able to drain up, our drains are not in our basement floor.

Solution: Use buckets or rent a porta-john (kidding). If you look around on the internet several companies make toilets that will pump up your waste into your drain pipes. There are options to attach these to your shower and sink drains so a basement bathroom will not be a challenge.

I could go on for pages of how a basement remodel can benefit you, your family and the environment. Just the savings on your heating and cooling bills can help to make it a green project.