7 Tips for Remodeling a Basement
Turn that dark unfinished basement into livable space. Are you ready to get started? Read our seven tips to for remodeling your basement.
Make sure it is dry. Before you begin any home basement renovation project, determine whether or not you have any water or mold issues, which are common to basements. Check for pools of water, drips, mold or cracks in the foundation. Check that the surrounding ground is graded away from your basement. Remediate mold, waterproof your basement and make any repairs as needed. Include moisture and vapor barriers in your basement remodeling plan.
Do you need any permits to begin your basement project? Are there codes that must be followed? Find out from your township or city. Most local governments require at least an inspection of plumbing and electrical work.
Furring strips can be used to create an offset from the walls so moisture will not be a problem in your new remodel. They can also compensate for wavy walls, providing a flat surface for your basement’s framing.
Because basements tend to be cold as well as damp, include plenty of insulation behind your new walls to keep the family comfortable and to reduce the noise from outside.
Understand the pros and cons of a drop ceiling and then decide if it is the right choice for your space. Suspended ceilings can conceal electrical and plumbing lines, while still providing easy access to these systems for maintenance. They are limited in their look, although new designs and styles have recently become available. The downside to dropped ceilings is that they reduce your overhead space, so measure and see if you can live with a lower overhead. Keep in mind that this may be an issue if you want to turn your space into a home gym, complete with exercise machines.
Consider installing baseboard heating, if it fits in with your current HVAC system. Heat rises, so vents near the floor make sense. You may also want to invest in radiant flooring for the basement, which can add extra warmth and avoid the need for space heaters.
Leave the utility room unfinished. This is the area to house your furnace, HVAC system, water heater, etc. Keeping this area open and accessible will save you from frustration later.