If you want to add more living space to your home, you have several options. You can add on or expand the main or upper levels to get that extra family room, bedroom or den. Or you could consider refinishing your basement to fulfill that need, which likely will cost much less than the other options.
What to Consider Before Refinishing the Basement
Before you even start the basement project, you need to do your homework. Otherwise, all the time, effort and money you pour into it may be for naught. Here are some things you need to know before you begin the process.
1. Make Sure It’s Dry!
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, 60% of all basements experience some type of water issues. If you don’t correct the leaking or dampness issues before you refinish, you’ll wind up having to tear out drywall, carpet and other materials the next time a heavy rain or other source of excess water occurs.
Moisture can also cause mold to form on the structures in the basement, so you’ll need to remedy that prior to the remodeling. For assistance in water cleanup and mold remediation, contact our sister company, St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration for a free appraisal and quote.
2. Know and Follow the Codes.
Don’t try to get around the requirements for permits and building codes in your area. If you get caught, your local department can mandate you to tear down everything and rebuild afterward.
Even if you don’t get caught while you live there, when you put your home on the market, potential buyers may balk at purchasing if you don’t have the proper certificate of occupancy for the project.
Hiring an expert inspector provides you with an independent party who will have your best interests at heart. He’ll let you know what permits you need, whether the electrical system is up to code, any special insulation requirements needed and any periodic inspections required during the process.
3. Plan the Layout.
You likely already have ideas for how you plan to use the basement as an extra living space. Will it be a recreation room, man cave, entertaining space? Will you build an extra bedroom? Here are some ideas for making the most of the space:
- Areas used for entertaining and socializing should get the most natural light in order to be more welcoming.
- Bedrooms need a window, so they need to be on the perimeter.
- TV viewing areas or in-home theaters can be in a dark area, reducing glare.
- Refrigerators and storage areas should be located in areas where accessing them doesn’t interfere with TV viewing.
You’ll need to determine other options, like the type of ceiling that’s best for your needs. A drop ceiling conceals electrical wires and pipes, while providing ready access if necessary, but it will also reduce the amount of overhead space available.
Recessed lighting is also a great option, especially for drop ceilings, as it doesn’t take up any additional overhead space.
Heating the basement is an area you need to plan out carefully, as you don’t want to rely on space heaters for warmth. Because heat rises, baseboard heating can be a great choice for a basement. But you need to make sure it will work within your current HVAC system.
4. Insulate the Walls and Pipes.
Adding insulation to the walls will help regulate the temperature indoors. It can also help in controlling moisture and reducing noise from the outside. You should choose insulation that includes a vapor barrier on both sides. If local building codes allow it, spray foam insulation is also a good option.
Before covering them up, put foam insulation sleeves over water pipes. This will reduce heat loss from the hot water pipes and prevent condensation from forming on cold water pipes and dripping inside the drywall or ceiling.
Finnteriors Is the Expert on Basement Refinishing
Finnteriors Construction Services has been in the home construction business in St. Louis for over 20 years. We will help you plan your basement refinishing project and create a welcoming and functional space for you that meets your needs and is built to code.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you get that basement refinishing project started!