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In the basement design build world you get what you get. In other words, you don't often get a blank sheet to work with. You are given a space and by using our extensive experience, our creativity and our shear force of will; we are generally able to not only do the impossible, but we can often surprise even ourselves.
This basement suffered from head room issues, occasional water leakage and quite a few other fun things we commonly find in old house basement. What to do, what to do?
Occasionally we meet people that say that we "could not finish their basement". And sometimes that is true. There are challenges faced with some projects that can't be overcome. However, at Just Basements we think differently and we accept challenges regularly. We find ways to create great spaces when no one else thinks it is even possible. Every basement renovation has it's own set of circumstances and issues...but this one was interesting to say the least.
Let's Get to Designing
Our customers needed a play space and room for the kids that would take the pressure off of upstairs, but could evolve with the family. The main floor of their home had been renovated to a modern feel and they wanted to carry that aesthetic down to their basement. The initial major hurdles to creating the space was the low headroom coupled with difficult traffic patterns. We decided to shit the ductwork all to one side of the basement and open up the stairs to free up "hallway space" as well as a feeling of openness.Next we had to overcome the minor leak issue and potential for damage to finishes....simple don't use any finishes that could be damaged.
With the duct work moved to less active areas and the decision to go with a open style loft ceiling we did as much as we could for the headroom restrictions of this century home. Through our design and planning process we discovered that the leakage was very occasional and with some attention outside, might be reduced even further. Our first though was to paint the basement slab, but we were concerned with paint peeling later on. We decided to forgo standard wood framing and drywall at the exterior walls to avoid moisture issues....hmmm, we see a pretty cool style developing.
Urban Loft Downstairs?
Sometimes the style drives the design, but in this old basement the design drove the style elements. With exposed stone walls, open joist ceilings, stained and polished floors (a solution to our paint issue), we just kept going with the urban look by cladding our walls in stained wood, light and bright to help with the "cellar effect". The main stairs of the home were custom build so we replicated those with open risers and failings which opened up the space and allowed a stairwell window to spill more light into the basement. Our designers added some contemporary, modern look built-ins to finish off the loft look.
Finish Up Design!
At Just Basements we know how important planning is to a quality renovation process. It's important to know where walls are going to be build, however it's also important to know what goes on the walls and in what colour. Our talented design team worked with our customers to create that urban look through the paint colours, industrial shelving, light fixtures and other finishes. All part of good design, all part of good planning.
Let's Start Building
With design confirmed and in hand; our customers confidently move from the design phase into construction. All that planning pays off and we are able to build what all of our team members, including our customers, have worked so hard for. It's not an easy process to renovate your home, but it can change the way you live. We use our own craftsman and skilled trades to create where nothing existed. It' pretty amazing actually.
Wait For It......
The excitement of design is followed by the grind of the renovation. It can be dusty and noisy, but with our 3D technology you are able to visualize your new basement long before it is finished. Our customers were anxious to get down and use their basement...why wouldn't they it is going to be stunning.
It takes a lot of effort on everyone's part to create a great basement. In this case we had a receptive customer, brilliant designers and a skilled renovation team. We can't finish every basement, but we think this one turned out okay. A winner of a coveted GOHBA Design Award but more importantly a great place for a family retreat.
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