Finishing your basement is one of the best ways to add literally hundreds and hundreds of livable square footage to your home, not only adding a lot of extra space for your family to enjoy but also adding a tremendous amount of value to your home when you decide to sell it as well.
At the same time, finishing out your basement is nowhere near as simple or as straightforward as a standard renovation throughout the rest of your home.
There are a lot of different things you’re going to need to think about when you move forward with a basement renovation that just don’t come into play in the rest of your home, and there are some critical areas that you’ll need to really think about before you take the plunge to decide whether or not you’re really ready for this kind of project.
Below you’ll find plenty of important inside information that you will definitely want to know about before you start any basement renovation project. Let’s dive right in!
Consider hiring a professional basement developer
Before anything else, you should consider simply hiring a professional basement development company, like our friends at Edmonton Basement Development (obviously you’d need to look for a reputable basement contractor on your own area). Things to look for when considering a professional contractor include references, online reviews, past project photos, and free estimates.
Is your basement renovation going to be worth it?
The first thing that you’ll need to figure out before you start this kind of project is whether or not it is going to provide you with the finished results that you are hoping for, which might seem obvious on the surface but is really anything but.
Oftentimes, a lot of the “utilities” for your home are going to be located in the basement – and all of them are going to eat up a considerable amount of prime real estate. From time to time you’ll also find your plumbing extends below the rafters in the ceiling, making for a tremendously expensive project to fix before you’re ever going to get the finished look you’re after.
There are a number of other things you’re going to need to think about before you dive right in, but you’ll need to look at the actual space you have to work with, any physical limitations you may have to work around, and a whole host of other details before you choose to go forward with a basement renovation or spend the money somewhere else where it could be better taken advantage of.
Waterproofing and weatherproofing needs to be your number one mission
Because most basements weren’t originally designed to be lived in or enjoyed the way that finished basements are today you’re going to find construction materials used that “leak” or leech water into the property, creating damp and often times musty kinds of spaces that are anything but warm and inviting.
Your number one mission on you go about starting a basement renovation is going to be making sure that there isn’t any excess water already in the basement and that there isn’t any way for excess water to get into the basement after you’ve started this project.
You’ll want to check your foundation, you’ll want to seal your foundation, and you’ll need to make sure that proper drainage has been installed outside to keep your basement as dry as humanly possible the only way to move forward comfortably with a basement renovation that won’t be ruined by water later down the line.
You’ll also want to make sure that you are prepared to insulate the foundation walls, the ceiling, and maybe even include acoustic dampening products as well to create a really comfortable space and it doesn’t feel like a basement.
These are the kinds of simple additions that a lot of people just don’t think about, mostly because they aren’t really thinking of the basement as an entirely different animal from a construction standpoint when it comes to the way that the rest of the home is framed.
You’ll need vapor barriers on both sides, may need to use foam insulation that expands, and should consult the local building code before you dive right in – would make sure EVERYTHING is insulated for your comfort.
Make sure your basement is well lit
Because you’re going to struggle to bring natural light into your basement (though you may be able to cut some windows into your foundation depending upon your specific situation) you’ll want to make sure that you intelligently light your basement so that it feels comfortable, cozy, and well-designed without ever giving off that overwhelming fluorescent look that some basements and garages inevitably put off.
LED lighting, incandescent lighting, and a number of other technologies can help you create a basement space that is well lit without forcing you to use utilitarian products like florescent lights the way that people did in the past. This will help you create a secondary living room, for example, rather than a workshop.
Take advantage of these tips and tricks when you’re going through your basement renovation project and you won’t have anything to worry about!