Basement Finishing Tips

Finished Basement

Basements are often the final frontier of our homes, we don’t use the space well because it is often dark, below ground, and not finished. However, you can make this area a pleasant place by deciding to renovate or finish your basement. When you do decide to finish the basement of your home you need to do all your homework before you pick up a single tool. There are a number of tasks that need to be completed so let’s take a look at them individually.

Purpose

The first assignment is to clearly identify what you want your basement to look like when you are done. Many homeowners have decided to look at the extra space in the basement as a way to expand their home rather than building up and out. To what purpose are you going to use that space? Are you going to add living space such as extra bedrooms, an entertainment centre, office space, laundry facilities, rental area, or increased storage space for your belongings? Do you want to divide the space up into smaller rooms or make one big space? Go on-line or flip through magazines to see all the potentials for the space you have in your basement. These decisions will have an impact on what you need to do to prepare for the next steps.

Budget

Determine how much money you can set aside to renovate or refinish your basement. Make sure you include all the elements you want along with any of the preparations you need to do first. It is wise to build in a little buffer to allow for any surprises. Don’t forget, at the end of your project you will have added value to your property as well. You don’t want to skip important steps such as waterproofing your basement before renovations because you may have to find extra funds if your basement floods or has water damage after you have created the space of your dreams.

Condition

Depending on the age of your home, the basement’s condition can play a major role on what you need to do next. If you have an older home, you may even have an unfinished crawl space that needs to be sealed. No matter what age your home, you should ensure that your basement has been waterproofed before you undertake any renovation or refinishing projects.

You should do a visual inspection to check for any signs that your basement floor or walls has been allowing water or moisture to enter. Look for cracks, salty stains, standing water puddles, musty or dank odours, damaged drywall or flooring. These are all indications that you have a problem that needs to be rectified before you start work. Professional basement waterproofing companies, such as the City Wide Group can help you identify the project you need to repair the damage done by water being where it shouldn’t be.

You should also ask about having a waterproofing project conducted that will seal your basement walls and floors to prevent water from entering your basement in the future. You can decide, based on your budget, whether to have an exterior or interior waterproofing project undertaken. Either will ensure you won’t have problems in the future.

If you have an older home, you may need to add some head space to your basement. Known as underpinning, your basement floor can actually be lowered to make the space more useable. You can also move interior walls and add lighting options that would not be possible without the added space. The City Wide Group can help you here too. Again, there are options you can made about the type of underpinning project you have done based on your foundation and budget.

Lighting and Fixtures

In addition to any windows you may have in your basement, you are going to need added light in the basement so you will have to consider the electrical fixtures you need to have. Your windows should be checked to make sure there are no cracks or fissures allowing cold air or dampness to get into your basement. Have a look at the window wells while you are at it.

Laundry facilities need plumbing and electrical fixtures for your washing machine and dryer. If you have a bar added to the basement, you will want a sink and fridge there too. An extra bathroom or powder room needs plumbing work as well.

Flooring

Given that basements are below ground and often a cooler space, you might want to consider having heated cables laid in below your flooring.

Codes

Don’t forget to consider the building codes that protect you and your family and what type of detectors should be installed. Check with your municipality about what permits are needed for your project.

Once you have your homework done and you have made your decisions, call upon the professionals to make sure your basement is ready: