An empty remodeled basement with a modern white fireplace

What to Know Before Remodeling Your Basement

Basement Remodeling Tips

Want to take on a new project and remodel your basement yourself? The possibilities are endless for your new space and you can take that lower-level from cold and damp to warm and inviting!

Before you get started on turning your basement into the ideal space for you and your family, there are a few things you should know.

Know Electrical Code Requirements

Remodeling anything in your basement takes a lot of hard work. Before you add in anything electrical, make sure your home can pass an electrical inspection. Familiarize yourself with your state and local electrical codes.

Virginia goes by the 2014 National Electric Code (NEC), which sets the standard for safely installing electrical wiring in homes and businesses. An expert electrician can come to your humble abode and inspect the wiring for you to make sure it’s up to code.

Add Lighting and Make a Floor Plan

Once you (or an electrician) has made sure that your basement has met electrical code requirements, you can move on to drawing up a floor plan and picking out lighting.

You can start by deciding where you want to add the lighting and what kind you’d like to use. There are different ways to illuminate your basement by adding electrical outlets, lights in your ceiling, and more.

Your basement should have at least one light source that’s controlled by a wall switch. If your basement doesn’t already have one, add in a light switch near the entrance, as well as a light in the area to go with it.

Next, bring life to your basement by adding light fixtures that help eliminate shadows and dark areas. If your basement isn’t completely underground, consider natural lighting by installing windows to brighten your space.

Light for a Cozy Feel

Make your space warm and inviting by adding lighting fixtures, such as recessed lights or track lights.

Recessed Lights

Recessed lights are lights that are installed directly in your ceiling, wall, or another surface, like a built-in shelf. Use trimming to complement your fixtures. Here are some common options:

  • Reflectors can be used to direct the light downward and help maximize light production.

  • Baffle trims can be used to soften your lights by reducing the glare; they will look great against light-colored ceilings.

  • Wall wash trims can be used to direct the light as an accent and highlight certain areas or architectural features.

Track Lights

Track lights can be used to add a more modern look to your space while giving you that same cozy feel you’re going for. Mount a track lighting fixture system to your ceiling and get creative by customizing your lighting track.

Additionally, track lights are another great way to light dark areas and can be positioned to your liking.

Choose the Right Light Bulb

After you’ve decided on the lighting fixtures you want, you should consider adding in the right light bulbs for your space:

Fluorescent Lights

A good way to save energy and add warmth, or coolness, to your space is by installing fluorescent lights. One good thing about fluorescent lights is that you can choose the color you want.

Warm fluorescent lights give off a soft light and are great if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your basement for leisure and not work.

Cooler fluorescent lights give off a bright white light, with a bluer hue, that is better for creating detail in certain areas.

LED Lights

If you’re looking for efficient lighting, you’ve hit the jackpot. LEDs are up to 25 times more efficient than other bulbs and last longer. This means they can save you more money over time because they use less energy.

LED’s also come in a variety of colors and a range of temperatures that you can choose to fit the atmosphere you want.

Hire a Professional to Wire Your Basement

Starting a new DIY project is exciting and takes a lot of hard work and dedication to finish. If your basement’s electrical wiring needs an upgrade and you want to fix it, consider hiring a professional electrician to do the job for you. You’ll need an expert on your side to determine where the wiring will fit in the walls and if your space is getting adequate light.

An experienced electrician like ours at Beacon Home Services can help you safely remodel your basement and help you design a floor plan that works for you.

Contact us at (703) 343-9884 to schedule an appointment to ensure your basement meets electrical code requirements in Virginia.