We don't call them basements anymore. These luxurious spaces are now referred to as "Lower Levels," because the finishes and appointments are often equal to those found elsewhere in the house. Some of the more common functional features included in these lower levels are bar/entertainment areas, exercise rooms, wine cellars, and dedicated media rooms. Even basketball courts can be built. One is only limited by their imagination.

One of the keys to an attractive lower level is a ceiling with no, or at least unobtrusive, soffits. Careful planning of the mechanical runs in the ceiling as well as the design of the first floor structure can minimize ceiling interruptions and maximize the attractiveness of these areas.

Similarly, large window wells with conventional windows can make a lower level, light, open and inviting. These large window wells can be finished in a variety of ways depending upon the budget. A well thought out layout and the addition of an attractive trim package make these lower levels a very inviting and desirable area of new homes.

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