If your home has an unfinished basement or a basement that is need of a serious remodel, you probably have already spent quite a bit of time contemplating what your ideal use for your basement will be. Perhaps you are planning on building your dream games room decked out with a pool table and a fully functional wet bar, maybe a playroom for the kids to keep all their toys and fully explore their imagination, or possibly you are looking to build an in-law suite for any out of town guests to have their own private space. We have put together a list of 5 things to consider when finishing your basement, no matter the use of your newly purposed space.
Not Having a Thorough Plan
Having a rough idea for your basement is not the same as having a plan. A common mistake by many DIYers is to get started without having a firm design. Having a plan that you can refer back to will help you in any tough decisions or unexpected surprises. Incorporate the number of rooms, the intended use for each room, any electrical and plumbing that is needed, and where they will be installed. A plan will ensure you don’t miss anything as you move through the project. A professional renovation company will always provide you with a plan before they start the project, so why wouldn’t you have one prior to beginning?
Ignoring Potential Water Concerns
Basements are prone to flooding, it’s just the nature of their design, they are essentially a concrete box buried in the ground. Water can get into your basement in multiple ways. Above ground flooding, through cracks in your foundations, from backed up water lines, from broken plumbing lines in your home, even accidental water emergencies such as a broken toilet or laundry machine will lead to water getting into your basement. Not having a proper basement waterproofing strategy in place prior to finishing your basement, will not only cost more money in the future. That finished work will need to be ripped out to access the concrete floor and get under your foundation.
Using Wooden Studs
Even though wood studs are a reliable material for framing a home, in the basement it could lead to major issues. Basements are humid and the wood absorbs moisture, this can lead to a potential mold issue. Metal framing studs should be used for your basement renovation project, not only do they not absorb humidity, in the case of a flood, metal studs will remain fairly unharmed.
Foregoing a Subfloor
Installing a subfloor will help keep your basement warm and more comfortable for day-to-day use. Installing tile or laminate directly on top of your concrete basement floor will allow for the cold to be transferred through the material, leaving your basement feeling much colder than you would like, especially on areas that have harsh winters. Your subfloor also plays an important role with minor water issues, as it allows for leaks to flow under your finished floor to the drains.
Being located below the ground does not allow for much natural light to enter your basement to begin with. Skimping out on lighting can leave your new space feeling dark, shadowy, and uncomfortable. Installing pot-lights (recessed lighting) everywhere in your basement will help brighten up the area. You can always install a dimmer switch to control the amount of light based on your mood.