In: Construction in Avon, Ohio

Adding ‘on’ just means adding ‘under’

When your family is growing and you are thinking about adding a bedroom, one of the more practical solutions is to add one in your basement. If the basement is dry and can be affordably remodeled, the only other consideration is an egress window for emergency escape. Here are some things to think about  when you add a basement bedroom in Avon Lake, Ohio.

The City of Avon Lake building department enforces the Residential Code of Ohio, and the code says basement bedrooms must have egress windows or doors directly to the exterior of a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet, a minimum height of 24 inches, a minimum width of 20 inches, and a sill height of no more than 44 inches from floor to window opening.

Window wells at least 3 by 3 feet in size are required. The egress window or door should not require a key or tool to open on the interior. Safety forces have to be able to enter from the outside in an emergency, and if the window well is deeper than 44 inches, a permanent ladder or steps are required.

Otherwise, the space is not considered safe for sleeping and for resale purposes, the home cannot be sold with the basement bedroom listed as a feature.

A basement bedroom is required to have either a door or window for egress in case of an emergency.

Since basements usually are deficient of natural lighting, adding an egress window may make more sense than adding a door. Windows that are sliding or side-hinged casement style are some of the best choices for window egress. Double-hung windows aren’t good choices since they don’t allow enough space for escape required by code. Top-hinged awning windows don’t allow for quick exit since you would have to crawl out the window.

Imagining your project

Once you have checked for dampness and made any necessary improvements (including grading the foundation so rain flows away from the basement), it’s also important to check for radon, a natural occurring gas that is radioactive and is considered a carcinogen by the National Cancer Institute. Testing is a simple matter and if mitigation is needed, the gas may be collected by underground drain lines and vented to the outside.

Now it’s time to locate the bedroom. Take advantage of existing HVAC ductwork as well as electrical outlets so the bedroom will have heating and cooling as well as power. Otherwise, you may have to add ductwork and electrical fixtures.

Try to place the bedroom strategically in the basement. For example, having to go through the bedroom to access the laundry area or playroom would not be ideal. Choose a location wisely so that if you plan future basement remodeling, you can do so without having to change the bedroom you just added.

What to include

Unsightly duct work can be covered to make a basement bedroom more attractive.

Your new bedroom will need insulation, drywall, a closet and most likely, shelving. Don’t forget flooring or carpeting. It’s a smart idea to install a vapor barrier, such as plastic sheeting, to prevent moisture from seeping up from the concrete floor. Carpet and vinyl squares often have a plastic barrier that serves the same purpose.

Another consideration is the bedroom ceiling—one solution is to use a drop ceiling. These ceilings consist of a metal framework that is suspended some inches below the ceiling joists. The framework supports drop-in panels that add a finished style to the room. If such a ceiling is not possible, sometimes the pipes and ductwork can be just painted over to make them look less obvious.

One way to add dress up the look of window well is a scenic liner that slides into the well so you see a seashore, mountains, woodlands or a golf course, for instance. A light kit is available for night viewing.

There is much to think about when adding a basement bedroom. But once the work is completed, you just might never want to leave. If you are thinking about a basement bedroom in Avon Lake, the professionals at Sciarappa Construction will help in your plans and build your project to your total satisfaction. Contact us at (440) 930-2882 or by email at Located at 32961 Oak Pkwy., Avon Lake, OH 44012, our general contracting crew has more than 40 years of combined experience in remodeling homes within the Avon, Avon Lake, and Greater Cleveland, Ohio areas. We are a family-owned and operated full-service construction company.

Sciarappa Construction offers services including new home construction, subdivision, development, apartment, and existing home rehab, plus general contracting and construction management.