Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

I'm sure there are many people, like myself, who are starting to realize that there is a lot of wasted space in the basement. Useful space that can be utilized and incorporated into our everyday lives. A place for the kids to play or even a place to create your own home theatre with a big screen.

Basements don't need to be a drab, dingy, damp environment that gives the kids the creeps and becomes a dumping ground for the "I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-it" junk. And then there's the obnoxious smell coming from dad's hockey equipment adding a flavour of its own.

Why not renovate the space and start using it to its fullest capacity? Clean up the area you want to reclaim so there is nothing in the way.

Story continues below advertisement

Do a cursory check of the walls and floor. Are there any signs of water damage or other problems? This is a good time to have it looked after -- not after the new walls are up.

If everything is okay, it's time to start building the walls, and to call in the electrician to relocate or add the wiring for the new room. Tip: This is the time additional speaker wires and surround-sound wiring should be added and, what the heck, put in a phone jack to make it easier to order up a movie via satellite.

Insulate the walls and cover them with six-mil a vapour barrier to keep out the dampness and moisture. Next, the ½-inch drywall is put in place and the room is starting to come together. Tip: Everything I build on television takes me 22 minutes; add the commercials and it's a half-hour show. Believe me, it takes a lot longer than that. You may want to set aside a few weekends, weeks, months and for some, years to finish this project.

The one dilemma we all share is: Should we drywall the ceiling? If we put in "those tiles," will it make the room look like a basement? Can we put recessed lights into the ceiling? Will the ceiling be too low, and if we do drywall, what if a pipe bursts or we need to get access to the area above the ceiling or need to add more stuff?

Years ago, I would have said drywall it but now, with all the new suspended ceiling products out there, not only is it a snap to do, the results look great. The process of putting in a drop ceiling has been simplified because products are easier to use, and the tile selections have come a long way from what your mom and dad were offered years ago. The two-by-two tiles, against the two-by-four tiles, make for a better finished look. Aside from the styles of these tiles, density and quality have improved to the point where you can even install an aluminum-backed acoustic tile to deaden sound and reduce echoing in your home theatre -- not to mention lessen noise pollution travelling to other parts of the house. Tip: This may be the part of the reno you'll want to tackle yourself when it comes to finishing off the basement.

This is just a brief overview of what it takes to do a basement renovation, and it will take some time to get details like paint, paper and mouldings looking just right. What the heck, you may even be considering hiring a professional to do the whole job for you.

The best part is whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor, you'll end up with more usable space in your home and a place where you can make all the noise you want.

Story continues below advertisement

John Sillaots is the host of In the Workshop on HGTV Canada. For more ideas, check out http://www.intheworkshop.com or http://www.hgtv.ca

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies