Basement Remodel Tips
In a basement remodel, there are certainly a few things to ensure are taken care of before setting in on the fun parts. It takes a good design to create a great, lasting basement that is easy to care for, isn’t exposed to the elements, and is a sturdily built place to enjoy for many years to come. Many people step into their unfinished basement with lofty dreams and goals, but it’s good to solidify the basics first.
To start, it’s important to check for any cracks or settling that may need to be addressed. This should be done at the very start to ensure that the basement is prepared for renovation. Plus, it’s so much easier to address foundational issues before the rest of the building begins. It will leave a more clear path for any construction work that is needed to fix the problems and may save any supplies that may be laying around from damage.
Next in line is to draw up a plan. Take the measurements, decide the layout of the space, and enjoy planning out the best way to optimize the new space. This part can be quite a bit of fun. Feel free to include some interesting personalizations to make the space unique. After all, there must be a reason that the basement is going from unfinished to finished - give the basement a facelift and a purpose. Make sure to get all of the permits to turn your dream rooms into a reality. Also, don’t be afraid to ask licensed contractors for help. Do it yourself projects are quite popular, but if there are things such as electric and plumbing that are unfamiliar, paying the extra to a professional is money well spent. After all, it’s better to have it done correctly, to begin with, than it is to clean up the mess that could come from incorrectly completing things in the first place. Some places may also require inspections, so that’s another note to keep in mind.
Now that everything is measured out and meticulously accounted for, it’s time to prep the canvas, if you will, for its masterpiece. It’s always a good idea to make sure that the basement walls have a water barrier to help keep any molding and mildewing to a minimum. Hopefully, during the initial foundation inspection, any current water leakage problems were addressed. Helpful tip: make sure to keep current on any potential problems with a sprinkler system. This may not seem to be directly related, but if a pipe bursts or a sprinkler head floods and is left unchecked, it could mean big money to fix the basement. This also goes for the plumbing running through the house, though typically that is more quickly caught. From here on out, the goal is to keep the basement dry and prevent future water problems. To do this, a vapor barrier is going to be key, but it’s a good idea to apply the barrier and then wait for a few days to ensure that it’s an airtight seal.
Framing in the basement walls can be tricky depending on the material that it must be attached to. Renting or purchasing the proper tools to attach the fasteners to the flooring and foundations before beginning this step will certainly save a lot of heartache and frustration than trying to make due with tools that are not specially fitted for this purpose. Hopefully, during the planning stage, there were ways to avoid knocking out existing, load bearing walls. If this is a task that cannot be completed without moving these important, structurally beneficial walls, then there are ways around it such as archways, columns, and even beams in some situations, but this is certainly a situation that could use the lookover of a professional to ensure that no errors will be made. Once all of the framing and layout is out of the way, it’s on to the insulation stage.
Heating the basement can be difficult if there is not a layer of insulation. In addition to keeping the utilities down, there are added benefits such as providing a layer of protection from water damage in the case of a highly humid environment or a leak that isn’t sealed with the previous precautions. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of a more well-controlled temperature in the basement? There are several different options for ways to insulate, from sprayable foam insulation to fiberglass or wool rolls of insulation. Each has its own benefits and downsides, but if a fiberglass or wool batt is the route decided upon, it’s important to get one that has a vapor barrier on both sides to help keep the insulation from water damage. In preparation for insulation, check and see if your area has any input on what type must be used to pass inspections and be up to code. If there aren’t any specific regulations, then choose whichever option fits the needs of the space most accurately.
One final tip involves covering up the exposed beams that protect the cords and pipes that help keep your house comfortable. In order to keep those things accessible in case of repair needs, having a drop ceiling. There are many ways to spice up the removable tiles such as purchasing glue-up ceiling tiles and covering the plain, drop ceiling tiles. If the easy accessibility is not important, then building a regular ceiling is fine too, just less convenient.
Hopefully, these are some great ideas that help in preparing a basement for a lifetime of use and enjoyment. A solid foundation can make all the difference, and building a quality space can help to lessen the threat of complications in the future.