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Monday, March 17, 2014

Basement: The Addition You Thought You Never Had

Would you believe someone if he tells you that every home with a basement already has an additional space, even when its owner hasn’t had one built? You should; he is simply referring to the space the basement offers, which you have yet to maximize.

Comprising a third of a typical house’s living space, the basement can be turned into any room you like, whether this be an extra bedroom or a storage area. Basement remodeling is especially viable when your city has a tight leash on residential and commercial expansions. 

Although Chicago zoning regulations allow expansion, owners of a detached house enjoy more privileges than those of a townhouse. The law divides the city and its suburbs into eight special zoning districts. RS1, RS2, and RS3 are the domains of the single-family detached homes with lots; RT3.5 and RT4 are the domains of multi-family housing units. 

As the basement doesn’t extend laterally from the perimeter of a house, basement remodeling can be done free from restrictions in zoning. For a successful remodeling project, however, your first priority should be waterproofing the basement. Sitting below ground level, the basement is the go-to place for water outside the house, particularly in cases of flooding. Sump pumps and drainage systems will be critical.

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