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Adding a basement bedroom is a great way to take relatively unused space and turn it into something functional. Creating a bedroom in a basement space does take planning, since it is important to address several key issues before beginning the transformation. Among the points to consider are issues such as temperature and humidity control, entry and exit points from the space that are in compliance with local codes, and designing the layout so that the available space is used to best advantage.
Many people are surprised to learn that local building and egress codes may come into play when constructing a basement bedroom. Egress is simply another way of identifying entry and exit points to the interior space that are determined to be compatible with local codes. Before actually beginning to work on the bedroom, consult with local planning boards and have the bedroom egress checked. If there is a need to make some sort of structural changes, you can also find out what type of egress windows are needed to comply with the codes and take care of that issue before moving forward with the rest of the construction.
Humidity and temperature control are also important when creating a basement bedroom. Making sure the space is connected with any existing heating and cooling system is the best approach. At the same time, make sure the walls and floor of the space is properly sealed to avoid seepage and the possible development of mold or mildew. This is especially important if the plan is to install a hardwood floor or wall-to-wall carpeting within the space, since mold under the floor covering could proliferate for some time before its presence is noticed. Doing so will allow the space to be relatively free of contaminants that could have an adverse effect on the health of anyone occupying the space.
Be creative with the use of the space as you design the layout of the basement bedroom. You may choose to cover the walls with some sort of paneling, or go with the existing concrete or exposed brick within the space. Keep in mind that there is always the option of covering and painting most of the walls, but leaving the brick exposed as a focal point in the room, possibly providing the backdrop for the bed. For closet space, converting the area underneath a stairwell may be sufficient, or you can consider installing a built-in system along one wall that includes closet space, drawers for storage and even a desktop area that is ideal for a workspace or even a vanity. In order to maximize light and create an illusion of a larger area, consider including mirrors at strategic points throughout the bedroom.
In terms of color and the use of patterns or prints in the basement bedroom, go with a color scheme that is pleasing to your eye. You also want the colors to compensate for the relatively low amount of natural light that will enter the space. The end result can be a space that is cheery in the daytime when the small windows do allow some light into the space, and is still cozy and comfortable when lit with lamplight.
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