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Dear PoP – More Basement Reno Suggestions

Photo by twitter user @ruSERIOUSINGme

@ruSERIOUSINGme writes, “Car dies halfway out garage? Rebuild garage around car.” Awesome.

And in other renovation questions – another reader has some serious basement reno questions:

“Dear PoP,

Currently, our basement is completely unfinished – exposed pipes everywhere, crumbling asbestos tile on the floor, etc. It is probably 600 sq. ft. and we are using it for storage as well as for laundry (our washer and dryer are down there). It does, however, have the potential for a basement apartment (small 1 bd., 1 bath), which we are hoping to do. We are good on the 7 ft. ceiliing height and have two egresses – both a separate front and back entrance from the outside. The questions I have for your readers are:

1. Once we make this an apartment, we will lose access to the washer/dryer downstairs. We’ll presumably leave them for the tenants. Where do people usually install laundry on the first or second floors of their rowhouse? I can’t think of any place in our house that would seem realistic. When we demolish the stairs to the basement (right now we also have access down from our kitchen), it will create a small pantry-size room that could work. I was hoping to make this into a 1/2 bath, though, since we currently only have a full bath on the second floor. Any other ideas?

2. What do readers think of flooring options for the basement? We’ve been told that tile is best for mositure/possible flooding reasons, but I’m not a huge fan of tile at all. We really want to go with concrete floors. Do readers think that that would go over well with possible tenants or seem too “cold” and industrial-feeling?

3. Does anyone have good contractor recommendations? Like I said, this is a big job as the basement is not currently finished at all. I’d love to hear what others have done and who they liked. Also, I know costs vary tremendously based on finishing touches (countertop choice, appliances, etc.), but any idea how much this would cost us? We have one estimate that came in at $46,000.”

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