Basement Refinishing 101Basement Refinishing 101

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Basement Refinishing 101

When it comes to expanding your home living space, one of the most effective ways to do it is to finish the basement. You can turn a full basement into an entire floor of extra living space. You may even be able to create bedrooms, install a kitchen, and add a bathroom. I created this site to share my experiences with basement renovations and construction. My hope is that sharing what I have learned will help others to see that it's easier than you think to finish the basement and create the space you have always envisioned in your home.

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Four Renovations To Add More Natural Light To Your House

Older homes were not designed to have tons of natural light, so you might have to get creative with some redesigns in order to increase the daylight in your home. With some simple (and not-so-simple) additions, you can enjoy the all the benefits that natural light provides to a living space.


If you love color, and your home is full of bright red, deep green, or even dark gray feature walls, you might want to reconsider going for a lighter color palette. Whites, creams, and light grays reflect the light that comes through your windows, highlighting natural light, instead of dulling it down. If you're addicted to color, use your furniture or artwork to provide the interest.

Also, it's a good idea to paint your ceiling pure white in order to create the illusion that your ceilings are higher, and the ceiling will reflect the light into the room to make the most of the light you already have. 

Change Windows And Doors

In order to let light in, you've got to choose the right portals for the job. If you have solid doors for your entrances, consider choosing doors with windows. Replace double doors with french doors, which will give the illusion of tall windows and let more light inside the home, while allowing more visibility to the outside. 

If your windows are small, you can replace them with larger ones by cutting a larger opening. If your windows are old and you are going to replace them anyway, it does not cost much more simply to order larger sizes and make the adjustments in the wall to have them fit.

Install A Skylight

You can easily increase the amount of light in your home (and reduce the amount of electricity you need to light your home during the day) by installing a skylight. Large skylights provide plenty of light, but require some expertise and expense to install. Tubular skylights are smaller, but can still provide light due to a reflecting design.

However, improperly installed skylights can damage your roof and house, as improperly sealed edges can let in moisture that will lead to water damage. In order to make sure your skylight is designed and installed properly, it's best to hire a roofing contractor to perform the work. Check out sites like to find a contractor near you.

Go For Open Concept

One of the reasons why open floor plans are so popular is because they allow windows in each room to operate at maximum potential. If you have a window in the kitchen, and another in the living room, both windows work to light both spaces, instead of each lighting each room separately. If you have an older house where walls define every room, you might consider contacting a contractor about the possibility of simply removing a few walls on your main floor.

Some walls are load-bearing, which means they preserve the structural integrity of the house. When you wish to remove a load bearing wall, a large support beam or a set of pillar should be installed in its place. This usually requires the knowledge of a contractor and a structural engineer. 

Once the walls are gone, light from your windows will flow freely from room to room, making it seem much more open. If removing a wall is too expensive, consider cutting a "pass-through" in a wall that allows you to see through the wall without removing it entirely. 

If replacing windows is not in your budget, make the most of the ones you already have. Don't block your windows with heavy drapes or light-killing blinds. Keep furniture in the center of the room, so that it does not hinder the light from fully entering the room. Finally, keep your windows clean, as dirt and fingerprints can dim the light than comes through them.