Image: Reno Assistance
Congrats! You’re ready to take the plunge and turn your dream basement into a reality. Now comes the homework—what features and materials, both trendy and practical—should you be considering? We’re here to help; we tracked down Reno Assistance's Andrew Collins to discuss what trends will be on the top of his list in 2018.
Radiant heated floors
The cost makes these an exclusive option but, in 2018, count on the popularity of radiant heated flooring—which in chilly Canada is a creature comfort. “It’s a bit complicated to install because it’s a network of heating, but we’re finding it to be a luxury element being included in many basement renovations,” explains Collins.
You don’t want to be constantly reminded that you’re in a basement, so the right insulation is essential. “Insulation quality needs to meet a certain standard set by the Ministry of Housing, called an ‘R value’. While many homes may have an R-12 value based on past requirements, since 2012 basements of residences located in Zone 2, which includes the majority of the Canadian population, require insulation with a minimum R-value of 20 to be installed to optimize energy efficiency,” explains Collins. Proper insulation ensures a year-round enjoyable living space, and reasonable heating costs.
Don't get your feet wet!
Ensure you and your contractor gauge your basement’s moisture level. Wood flooring in a moisture-rich room will only lead to warped floors, so you’re better off going with wood-like patterns in materials such as ceramic or epoxy. In terms of design aesthetic, today’s artificial materials are incredibly close to the real thing, so all you’re sacrificing are future headaches!
Light, colour, bright!
Basements are prone to darkness—they’re underground after all—so a perennial trend is ample, effective lighting. Aside from practical considerations like recessed lighting versus lighting fixtures, you’ll also want to consider how décor elements can help to illuminate the room: splashes of bright colour can play off your lighting to further enliven the room. Think: brightly coloured accent walls, furniture like couches and chairs, pillows or artwork!
Bring the outdoors in
Natural elements were being added everywhere in 2017 basement renovations—and 2018 is likely to follow suit. Natural materials are always a hit as they help anchor the space. Large wooden tables, chairs, bookcases and/or or stone or granite fireplaces or walls, and other statement pieces lend a visually and texturally striking aspect to your design. Decorative pieces like fur throws or pillows, plants and water fountains can add a calming, spa-like touch. Pantone agrees: their Classic Colour picks for 2018 include: harbour mist, warm sand, and coconut!
The most important trend?
Make sure you’re working with qualified professionals for your basement renovation — something Andrew Collins also knows about as Reno-Assistance’s 360° Verification Coordinator. “Always know the qualifications of who you’re working with,” he advises. “It’s also a red flag if the contractor wants to start work right away—depending on the project, you may need to have the city accept your plans before you begin, and permits can sometimes be hard to obtain.” Quality professionals equal a quality job—something that never goes out of style!