Everything You Need to Know About Remodeling Your Basement
June 17, 2021
In the past, most people have been using their basements for storage and laundry. However, things have changed with homeowners turning basements into living spaces. A basement remodel is one of the worthy investments you can make if you plan to sell your home in the near future. You could also remodel the space because you want to use the additional space for an extra bedroom or home office. However, before you start bringing down walls, there are a few things you need to know.
Decide What You Will Do with The Basement
What do you plan to transform your basement into? There are many options to go for. Here are some ideas to help if you are not yet sure how to utilize that space.
- A home gym- If you and your family members enjoy staying fit, then a gym could be a great idea. It is convenient, and once you are done, you will not have to worry about membership. Look at the available space to find the gym equipment that will fit there without congesting the basement.
- A recreational room- Transform your gym into an additional living space where you can entertain a few guests from time to time.
- A wet bar- Do you enjoy entertaining guests, and are you looking for space for that? You can set up a wet bar and a few seats plus a TV for your guests to have fun.
- Kids Playroom- This is a great idea, especially if your kids do not have enough space to play. However, if you plan to sell in the future, it may be challenging to convince a family without children to buy.
- A game room- Set up space where the family members can unwind and have fun in the evening or the weekends
- A bedroom- A bedroom is always a great addition, especially if you have older children that want their own space. You can also transform it into a guest bedroom if you often host people.
- A home theatre- This is an excellent addition for families that love entertainment. It is also a great selling point when you decide to sell the home finally.
- Laundry room- If you need additional space for laundry, a basement is a great idea.
- A home office- If you work from home, your basement is ideal for setting up a home office.
Create a Budget
Once you have decided what you will do with your basement, you need to create a budget. This is a crucial step as it will determine the materials you use, the home painting companies you work with, and the duration the remodeling will take. A budget is what shapes the whole renovating process. Before you purchase any equipment or hire labor, you should already have a budget set aside. If you are wondering where to start when calculating a budget for the remodel, take a look at the amount of money you have available. Have you been saving for this project, or will you be taking a loan?
Some of the things that will also determine what your budget will look like include;
- The renovations you want to do If you intend to put a guest bedroom with a bathroom, you will need to factor in the cost of plumbing.
- Is your basement remodel a DIY project, or will you need contractors? You may want to DIY to save on costs of labor. However, there are certain aspects that you will still need to bring in a qualified technician to help. For things like electricity and plumbing, you should leave them to the professionals.
- How extravagant do you want the place to look? Some people go for something fancy, and others opt for simplicity with something functional. In the end, this will affect the material you choose and the overall budget.
Your budget is your compass. You can always add an allowance on top of the amount you plan to spend in case of emergencies.
Most people always use the basement as a storage space for everything they do not need. If your basement is currently your storage space, you need to remove everything before the work starts. Any items you no longer need, have a yard sale and get rid of them. You can also dispose of things that can no longer be used. Removing clutters gives you a clean slate to work with. It will make the whole renovation process more manageable, and it also gives you a clear layout of the basement.
Conduct a Moisture Test
Moisture and dampness in your basement are a big challenge, especially if you want to transform the basement into a functional room. Any trapped moisture in the basement will lead to the growth of mold and mildew. You can hire professionals to come and conduct a relative humidity test as the method is accurate and will indicate the humidity levels in the basement. This is also an excellent time to check whether any mold has grown. Most people like removing the mold themselves. However, certain types are toxic to humans and can lead to allergies, especially if you have respiratory issues. Therefore, you need to put on proper gear or let the professional conduct a mold remediation process.
You can also check whether there are cracks in the basement, letting in unwanted moisture, and have them repaired. It is easy to spot where the leakage is coming from during rainy seasons. You can also install a dehumidifier once you are done with the basement remodeling. It will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Consider using hard flooring and a few rugs if you want to add comfort to the basement rather than using a carpet. A carpet collects moisture quickly. Another way to deal with the moisture problem is by ensuring there is proper air circulation throughout the basement.
Insulate The Basement
Most of the time, you find the basement walls are unfinished. However, by adding insulation, you will save on the cost of energy and enhance comfort levels. When it comes to insulating the basement, you have a few options such as;
- Spray form- Spray foam is used to fill any crack in the walls to prevent moisture from sipping into your basement, which eventually leads to the growth of mold and mildew. However, it can get messy real quickly, and it can be costly too.
- Foam board- when using foam board, ensure the material is about two to four inches thick. However, the climatic conditions of where you stay and the local codes will also determine the exact thickness.
- Foam and Fiberglass- This method combines both foam board and fiberglass. First, the foam board is installed against the walls. After that, you frame your walls and add fiberglass insulation. However, if you have had issues with high moisture levels before, this method is highly discouraged.
Wire Your Basement
When it comes to wiring your basement, it is best to leave it to the professionals. The task is technical, and one wrong move can lead to serious injuries. Additionally, you may need a subpanel installed in your basement if you plan to have a treadmill, a washer, a sauna, or an oven in there. Since they will be using more watts to run, they will require proper wiring. As the basement is undergoing wiring, you may also want to think about proper lighting. This is what will create a warm and cozy atmosphere where people want to stay. Find a way to incorporate general lighting, accent lighting, and task lighting in the basement to create a warm, friendly, and inviting vibe.
Take Care of the Basement Plumbing System
Since basements are located below ground space, installing a proper plumbing system will take some work. That is why you need professional plumbing services to come and do the job. One major challenge with plumbing is having a functional basement drainage system to ensure all your waste is removed effectively. Unlike your bathrooms and kitchens above ground that rely on gravity for draining wastewater, for the basement, it is different. You will need a solution to lift-pump the drain water. These are issues you will have to address with a plumber before you start furnishing the basement.
Install a Ceiling
While a finished ceiling in your basement is not a must, adding one enhances the basement’s appeal. However, before you install it, check the height of the ceiling as it can make the basement appear smaller. Even a simple painting on your ceiling will do the trick if you do not want to sacrifice your space. Here are three options you can choose for the basement ceiling.
- Use drywall- It takes little space and can conceal any pipes, joists, and ductwork. It will also make your basement appear more finished.
- Use a drop ceiling- It creates a way to conceal all that electrical wiring and plumbing pipes while at the same time giving you access through the removable tiles.
- Paint the ceiling.
Paint the Basement
If your basement receives minimal natural light, you should consider light colors to make the room appear brighter. However, some other colors you can go for that will create an inviting space include;
- Gray- It is a sophisticated painted color that goes well with neutral furniture and bright and bold fabrics.
- Blue- navy and dark blue are great colors, especially if you want to enhance your basement’s looks. They create a soft and calming feeling.
- White- White is inviting, and it gives you a choice to play around with other colors when it comes to furniture and fabrics.
- Brown- Brown is an excellent finish for basement walls, creating an earthly tone.
Install the Flooring
In most cases, basements also serve as part of a home’s foundation. Therefore, before you start drilling and installing a floor, you will want to hire concrete foundation services to come and assess the floor and advise you on the best flooring for your basement. A basement is prone to dampness, and so you may want to avoid carpeting and hardwood. Consider concrete flooring. It is durable and resistant to moisture, ensuring you will not have a mold problem in your hands. When choosing residential concrete contractors for the job, ensure you pick someone skilled that will deliver good services. You can read online reviews for the concrete company you want to work with and see whether the previous customers are satisfied with the service. If you’re going to enhance the look of your floor, you can go for poured flooring. It comes in various finishes, from metallic, flake, and polished concrete, and it oozes style and sophistication. The best way to know you are installing the correct type of flooring is by hiring residential flooring services. Whether you go for floor tiles, ceramic tiles, or floating floors, the important thing is that they are water-resistant.
Storage is critical no matter what you use your basement for. It helps reduce clutter and makes a place look organized. You can start with creating built-in storage. That means that the furniture you pick should allow for additional storage. For example, if you are transforming the basement into a living room, you can choose an ottoman with storage space for some blankets. If you want it to be a kids’ playroom, you need multiple shelves where you can arrange baskets holding your kids’ toys. You can also utilize the area under the stairs by adding some cubbies or floating shelves to keep the place organized.
Make use of vertical storage by installing heavy-duty hooks, pegboards, or wall shelving units. The more items you keep off the ground, the more space you will be saving. Also, if your basement ever floods, you will minimize the number of things that will be damaged by water. If you remodel the whole house and remove old kitchen cabinets, the basement is a great place to utilize them. Install them above the dryer or washer and arrange laundry supplies there.
As you remodel your basement, have functionality in mind. That means creating a warm and safe space. There are many decor ideas you can go for to achieve the desired results. If well renovated, your basement can become a haven for various family activities while adding value to your home.