Finishing out a basement is an excellent two-fold investment: it adds practical living space to your home, and can significantly increase your home’s property value. If you’re ready to clear out the cobwebs and out-of-season holiday decorations and create some new rooms in your house from the (under)ground up, we’ve got you covered. But before we get started, there are some important things that you need to consider.
First and foremost, the basement needs to pass a few basic checks to make sure we can finish it. Does your basement have any issues with water? Can you spot any cracks in the foundation? Have you had it tested for radon? These are problems that must be addressed before putting any further work into the project.
How high is the ceiling? Unless you enjoy crouching through door frames, ceiling height can be a deal-breaker. Additionally, many basements have electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems running across the ceiling, so those should be taken into consideration during the design stage. These systems will need to remain accessible in some places, and where they can be covered, there are design options available. And if your HVAC system isn’t built to accommodate the extra square-footage of your basement, you may want to consider an upgrade.
Do you plan to include any bathroom or kitchen facilities in the basement? If so, we’ll need to locate your home’s main drain to determine whether it runs underground or above ground. If it’s underground, installing the new plumbing should be more or less the same as if it were upstairs. But if it runs above ground, we will need to install special equipment to pump water up and out, against the flow of gravity.
Will any rooms be used for recreation or entertainment purposes? The basement can be the perfect space to create play areas for kids, wet bars for mom and dad, or even your own private movie theater for the whole family. But noise from the basement can be a serious issue upstairs if the ceiling isn’t properly insulated for sound.
And speaking of insulation: did you know that insulating your basement can lead to significant savings on your monthly energy bill? In fact, International Residential Code now requires new houses to have insulated basements in colder climates. It just makes good financial sense to insulate your basement interior, especially if your home doesn’t have insulation on the exterior of the foundation.
Last, but not least, comes the flooring. Much like your bathrooms upstairs, you’ll want to pick out flooring that’s made to be exposed to water, like porcelain tile. Even the most well-protected basements may be subjected to water damage over a lifetime, so go with flooring that won’t need to be replaced if and when that happens. Trust us: your future self will thank you.
There are lots of other questions that will need to be addressed when finishing your basement, but if you’ve made it this far, you’re on the right track! Luckily for you, Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can handle every aspect of your basement finishing project, no matter the size. Let us help you take that dusty old storage space and turn it into something you and your family will cherish for the lifetime of the home. Call us today!