8 Things To Know About Finishing a Basement





Winthorpe Design & Build Newsletter                                                                     Volume 1  Issue 13

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8 Things to Know About Finishing a Basement


The basement doesn't need to be that dark, dreary area where no one wants to spend time.

1. Expect a payback. Finishing a basement can be a good investment. According to cost versus value surveys conducted annually by Remodeling magazine, the average return on investment for a basement project nationally is currently around 75 cents on the dollar. A Winthorpe Design & Build basement will add new functionality to your home: more space to entertain, more efficient storage , and potentially more bedrooms.

2. Let there be light. Where possible, plan for windows and doors. Make sure openings are cut before other work begins, and seal off the rest of the house from the resulting masonry dust. Before creating any new windows or doors, have Winthorpe Design & Build make sure the surrounding walls can take on the increased structural load.

3. Evaporate moisture worries. Merely installing a dehumidifier can actually create problems by drawing water through foundation walls. Winthorpe Design & Build will work to ensure good drainage off your roof and away from your foundation, provide good ventilation of bathrooms and kitchens to the outside. Remember not to open windows during humid months. Along with breathable insulation, a vapor retardant should be installed between interior stud walls and floors, and between foundation walls and floor slabs.

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1. Use Paint to Open Up a Room
 Paint crown molding to match the ceiling to widen a narrow room. Painting both the crown and ceiling white in this skinny space creates the illusion that the ceiling is wider than it is, minimizing the tunnel-vision effect. Here's another trick: Install flooring, whether it's wood or tile, in a diagonal pattern to help make rooms appear wider than they are.
Tip: Keep compact rooms simple by using small-scale furniture instead of overstuffed pieces.
2. Mirror, Mirror
Place large mirrors facing each other to create the illusion of more space. One looking glass is enough to expand the perceived depth of a room, but two facing each other amplifies the effect even more.
3. Gain Light and Square Feet With a Bay Window
Maximize square footage and natural light with bay windows. Bumping out bay windows is a common architectural trick for gaining precious square footage. It also creates room for three ample windows that flood the room with sunlight.
4. Keep It Simple
Choose simple profiles and reflective materials to open up rooms. The flat-panel cabinets in a tight kitchen don't add any complicating and oppressive details, making the room feel airier. Stainless-steel appliances and shiny fixtures and hardware reflect more light, making a small space feel more expansive.
5. Think Vertical With Cabinetry
Use double-height cabinets for vertical emphasis and maximum storage. A second set of upper cabinets draws the eye upward, taking attention away from the limited counter space underneath. The extra cabinets also add much-needed storage space. "Sure, you need a footstool to access them, but they're a great place to store things you don't use much, like holiday dishes."
6. Cool Shades
Use cool colors to make walls recede. In rooms where paint color makes a decorating statement, choosing cool shades (blues and greens) for the walls expands the space visually.
Tip: A large landscape painting creates a virtual "window," making a small space appear bigger.
7. Choose Tall Furniture
Use tall furniture and built-ins to draw the eye upward. Scale and shape play a large part in convincing the mind that a room has volume.
8. Rethink Inefficient Floor Plans
Reconfigure the layout to get the most utility out of a limited footprint. Though costly, sometimes an effective floor-plan alteration works wonders. Take a close look at a small room's layout and see how you can maximize space.
9. Save Space With a Spiral Staircase
Install a compact spiral staircase to conserve floor space. Creating access to an upper story—say, for an attic conversion or addition—can gobble up valuable square footage. A spiral staircase is a compact alternative to a traditional one.
Please contact Winthorpe Design & Build today to hear more tips and see how they can help renovate your home. 



Scott’s Corner 

This month’s “Corner” takes a slightly different topic; I want to mention something that the Winthorpe team is committed too. March 26th was Epilepsy Purple Day and to raise awareness and to support those with Epilepsy, the Winthorpe team wore purple. You may not know this, but Krag has a niece that was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a form of Epilepsy. Her name is Hannah and she lives in Carroll County, MD with Krag’s brother Karl and his wife Lisa. Hannah was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome when she was just three months old and all she knows is a life that involves seizures. At Winthorpe, we give back portions of our earnings each year to the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, the local food bank, the Red Cross, Alzheimer's Association and the American Heart Association to try and help make a difference. I wanted to bring this to your attention not to “toot” Winthorpe’s horn but to persuade you to find some way to help others; the Dravet Foundation, a local charity, or something that is close to your heart. Please donate some time, clothing, or money. Donations, of any kind, are never too small or too big. Pay it forward, the rewards will be great and together we can make this world a better place for those who need it.
Thanks for reading.



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