A basement kitchen can help turn a blank slate into a true work of art. Making it a much nicer space could double as an entertainment suite or guest suite. If a kitchen remodel is something on your resume, then you already know the challenges one faces when choosing design elements, building challenges, and a bit of inconvenience for you or guests. A basement kitchen needs similar thought, but with fewer ramifications.
A basement requires at least one emergency exit, whether it be a door or an egress (larger) window to help you exit. With this in mind, you’ll also need to figure out the kitchen’s electrical panel, ductwork, utility lines, accessible plumbing lines, and pillars or structural supports. Hiring the right basement remodeler can be a big leg up in figuring out how to integrate these options in a new space. For example, ductwork and/or pipes may be hidden in a wet bar structure or via coffered ceilings.
Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing
Depending on what appliances and amenities you want your kitchen to have, you maybe need a few dedicated conduits, specially placed outlets, and light fixtures. These will all use a fair amount of energy, so be sure the wiring is done properly and you use high-efficiency bulbs, appliances, and electronics. You will also need to consider the plumbing requirements for both hot and cold water, drains, the sink, and the dishwasher. A big step a contractor must take for you is to determine if your current plumbing (assuming you have it) will fit your new basement kitchen (and bath). There are devices that can be installed before finishing that make the job of plumbing far easier than post-kitchen install. If you have existing plumbing and electrical in your basement, the cost could be much lower than implementing these features from scratch.
The building codes require that your basement has some form of ventilation, whether it’s windows that open or actual vents, kitchen hoods, and fans. The removal of moisture, odors, or possible smoke is extremely vital to your basement’s air quality. Many basements already deal with humidity issues, so this is a very important thing not to overlook. Plan ventilation early simply for the fact that it could cost an arm and a leg if it ends up being an afterthought. Kitchens can be customized to exact specs, but your budget is going to be the determining factor of what you are and are not able to add to your build-out.
Figuring out what appliances you want or need in the basement does require some strategy. For instance, you probably need a refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and microwave – but what else might you need? There are plenty of other devices that basements are made of – ice makers, kegerators, wine fridges, cooktops. The best thing to realize is how far you’re willing to walk upstairs to cook or make something. If your main kitchen is close to the basement, maybe save some money by forgoing the oven/range and microwave, especially if space is hard to come by. Researching appliances ahead of time gives you the added benefit of those items possibly going on sale before you complete your basement kitchen.
Cabinets and Countertops
Much like choosing appliances for space and function, you should opt for cabinet and counter space that fits your needs. This isn’t your main floor, so smaller can not only be less expensive but also leave ample room for activities. A wet bar can really come in handy here. It not only can serve as food/drink prep but with cabinets below it’s perfect for storage and entertaining. Upper cabinets are nice for the storage factor, but may not be practical if you have lower than normal ceilings. Sometimes minimalism is the best route for success!
Choices, Options, and Possibilities
By now you have no doubt seen how much goes into completing a basement kitchen. You can’t just flip a switch and have a new kitchen. Unless you’ve just won the lottery, and in that case, congratulations! Between finishes, building codes and ordinances, cost, and space allowance, you really have a lot to think about. It’s best to bring a professional in for this job and try and hang up your DIY shoes for a while. The time you save by hiring a contractor will be worth every extra penny you spend because every step of the way will be done properly, by a professional, and will give you a big return on investment.