Finished Basement: What to Know Before You Start

A finished basement is the perfect project for the homeowner that is looking to increase their living space at a fraction of the cost of a room addition. If done right by a trusted professional remodeler, a finished basement can become the most popular room in the house. The options are endless; whether it is a home office, exercise room, extra bedroom, game room, man cave, or even a home theater. Here are a few thing to consider before you begin on you finished basement.

Basement is in Good Condition to be Finished

Before even starting on the remodeling process, you need to make sure your basement is a good candidate for finishing. Check the ceiling height, if the ceiling is too low a finished basement would not work. Check the lally columns, heating ducts and water supply lines and make sure they are placed correctly. If not they may need to be moved or replaced which could add huge costs to your finished basement project.

Check Moisture Levels

Moisture levels in a home are generally highest in the basement. High moisture levels can cause mold, warped wood, and creates issues with hardwood flooring. To control moisture levels in your finished basement you can either install a dehumidifier that runs on hydrostat, or install heating/cooling systems that control humidity.

Install Proper Insulation

Insulation in a finished basement cannot be installed directly onto the concrete, it needs space to breathe. If not the moisture in the concrete can transfer to the insulation and cause mold damage.

Select Comfortable/Sensible Flooring

Most likely your basement floor is a concrete slab, which means you have a few choices for flooring. Some choices include vinyl, laminate, carpet, tile, and even engineered wood. Natural wood may not be a good option because it shrinks and expands with moisture. Look at the pros and cons and choose the option that works best for your finished basement.   

Illuminate Your Finished Basement

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Combat the darkness and dinginess of your basement with different lighting options to make it popular gathering space. The first and most important feature is natural light. When designing your finished basement plan to install large windows to bring in as much light as possible.  Then focus on setting up a good lighting plan. Use recessed cans to illuminate the majority of the basement and track lights and pendant lighting to eliminate dark areas where you work, play or read. You can also use table lamps or floor lamps to light up the corners of the finished basement.

Home Addition 5 Tips Before You Start

Doing a home addition is a great decision if you are less than satisfied with your current home but love your neighborhood, love your neighbors, or simply don’t want to deal with stress of picking up and moving. It doesn’t matter whether it is an exterior structure addition, single-room addition, wing addition, second-story addition, or a two-story addition. A home addition not only gives you the space your family needs but also adds value to your home. However, before you start the remodeling process, it is very important to think through your plan carefully. Below are some useful tips on what to consider before doing a home addition.

 

Learn From Others Who Have Done It

Talk to your family and friends who have done a home addition. They are your best source for knowledge, inspiration and ways to avoid difficulties. Listening to first hand experiences from somebody who you know and trust can make you much more aware of the reality of a home addition.

 

Decide on a Budget

Planning out a budget is a vital step when considering a home addition. If you don’t want to max out your funds, you need to create a realistic budget from the start. You can pull the money from your savings or apply for a loan through the bank. There are numerous financing options out there for a home addition, such as contractor loans, home equity loans, second mortgages and home equity lines of credit.  

 

 

Choose the Right Contractor

When you decide on doing a home addition choosing the right contractor can seem like a daunting task. This is the person who you are trusting with your home and money, it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You need to do the correct research and make sure the contractor you choose is fully licensed and insured. Be sure to see examples of their work and talk with other homeowners who used their services.

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Negotiate a Written Contract

Any professional remodeling company should provide you with a contract in writing. This will guarantee everyone is clear of what duties will be performed, the cost (barring any add-ons that you might want to make along the way), and a timetable for completion. The process of negotiating a contract also helps homeowners get more at ease asking questions and talking about the process with your contractor, making communication easier throughout the process.

 

Prepare For Bumps in the Road

If you are remodeling an older house there may be some unexpected issues that arise. Water damage could be found on the stud or still plates, there could be termites, asbestos, or outdated or substandard electrical work.  These are unforeseen circumstances that are not factored into the original quoted price. Make sure to budget in some extra funds and extra time in case any problems occur.

 

Leave During Construction

If it is at all possible try to leave your home when the project starts. A home addition can be loud, messy, dusty, and chaotic. It can become difficult to live through all of the commotion. Especially if the remodeling is taking place in a high traffic area of the house, such as the kitchen or bathroom. It may be a lot happier and peaceful for you and your family to be elsewhere during construction.