Creating a Kitchen in the Basement

July 27th, 2011

By Elizabeth Gormley

A kitchen, or kitchenette, in a finished basement has some great advantages.  Maybe you are housing guests, in-laws, a nanny, or you have a tenant living in your finished basement.

A kitchen downstairs allows privacy as well as extraordinary functionality in your home.

Also, a new modern kitchen is one of the most effective ways to add value to your home, and looking to the finished basement is a great way to go at a fraction of the cost an addition would be.

A new kitchen is a tall task for even the most accomplished do-it-yourself homeowner.  Much of the design and execution of the kitchen should be handled by a contractor.  This is particularly true when it comes to installing cabinetry, counters, and new appliances.

Because a kitchen of any sort poses some challenges such as plumbing, grease, smells, noise and cooking fumes, as well as some hazards concerning fire safety, consult your local building and fire codes to see what they recommend and what kind of permits you will need to build your basement kitchen safely and up to code.

One of the reasons homeowners are wary of a kitchen basement is the possibility of flooding.  The appliances are expensive, and the right amount of water can ruin your refrigerator, oven or dishwasher.  It is imperative to seal and waterproof your basement before getting started.  Also, consider that a kitchen is the most common place for a house fire.  There should be an easy escape route, aside from the main stairway.  If there is not, you will need to create one.

The proper ventilation is key in a basement kitchen.  Think about how cooking odors can linger in your upstairs kitchen, and realize the basement is below ground level.  It will be much more susceptible to trapping smells.  Plan on installing a ventilation hole in the side of the basement.  This will be effective against cooking scents and also condensation.  For ventilation and safety, the kitchen should not be tucked into an interior corner of the basement.  It should have at least one wall with open air behind it.

Even if you do not have a tenant or live-in downstairs, a kitchen basement is ultra-convenient in today’s modern home.  Particularly if you have a basement home theater, have friends over for movie night or Sunday football games.  You can fetch snacks and beverages in seconds, with the fridge and oven just a few steps away.

For help with your basement finishing project, enlist the help of one of our skilled Total Basement Finishing contractors! They offer free design consultation, offer full-service basement remodeling and will help you  obtain the necessary permits.

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