Whether it’s huge or tiny, your basement is a space that’s filled with tons of possibilities—and you’re just itching to get started on a remodel! A finished basement is definitely cost-efficient and will provide more living space in your home. But there are a few essential things you should think about first. So let’s delve into what you need to know before starting a basement finishing project.
1. Know the Codes
It’s vital that you go to your city or town hall and speak with someone about building codes that are applicable to a basement finishing project. Since electrical and/or plumbing work is expected, you must learn about licensing and permit requirements. If you’re planning to close off the laundry room or boiler room from the rest of the basement living area, there might be a code that pertains to that which you’ll need to know about too.
There could also be codes regarding your ceiling height. It sounds strange, right? But each city or town is different and sometimes there’s a code with a ceiling height of seven or eight feet. If your ceiling isn’t that specific height, you’ll need to do one of two expensive things: relocate your ducts and/or pipes or lower your concrete floor. Should one of these things be necessary, don’t attempt it yourself—hire us!
2. Moisture Control
If your basement has a few issues and you’re considering hiding the present problems behind new floors, ceilings or dry wall, don’t do it; you’ll just be borrowing trouble. The issues will most likely spread and damage those materials which will then need to be replaced. If you have a damp basement, survey all the areas to find where the moisture is coming from; peruse the outside walls to observe if there’s any water coming in.
Also, check out your gutters because the water can settle in the down-spouts and find a way to get in through the walls. You should inspect that the land around your home slants away from your foundation, thus carrying any rain water on to the lawn or driveway and not into your house.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of family members or neighbors having a flooded basement—or perhaps you’ve had the “pleasure” of experiencing that yourself. To save thousands of dollars in the future (prior to your renovation), it’s critical that you have a backup sump pump system put in; but make sure it stands alone and is entirely unattached from your main pump. The backup system will take over if your main pump goes on the fritz because of a clog or power outage or another problem.
By identifying and addressing moisture issues ahead of time, you can greatly reduce the chances of harmful mold infesting your newly finished living space.
3. Create a Floor Plan
How do you want to use your basement? Do you want to make it a teenage hangout, a place for entertaining friends, or a kid’s play room? Or maybe it’ll be a little retreat for in-laws that come to visit. If you go in that direction, think about installing a beverage center/kitchenette, or a bathroom.
When you sketch your floor plan, be sure to include the furnace and water heater or other equipment areas and allow for 2-3 feet of clearance so that maintenance or repair work can be done on this equipment.
4. Hiring an Expert
Make sure you don’t waste your time and money hiring an inexperienced contractor. Once you’re ready to begin the basement finishing process, please contact us. Our creative, professional, expert staff will be happy to assist you design the basement living space that you want.
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