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10 Crucial Things You Must Know Before Finishing a Basement

Are you up for shaping your basement from a damp and cold space to a warm and inviting one? An unfinished basement leaves you with endless basement finishing ideas and possibilities. The problem is that the space has already been there and you are not so sure what exactly to do with it to make it a cozy space for friends and family. This blog can be informative for you if you are planning a basement remodeling any soon.

Are You Remodeling Ready?

Adding a cool window, extending the living area or even adding a bedroom to your basement to make it functionally excellent is indeed a good investment. There is no single budget that fits all basement finishing requirements. Every house and its basement are unique and so is the budget for remodeling. Your expenses may vary depending on whether you go with a DIY approach or hire basement remodeling contractors.

Once you decide which approach you are going to stick with, you are e step closer to being Remodel Ready. And, the final step is to inspect and fix structural, moisture, and other issues before remodeling as you might not want to spend another thousand dollars to remodel it again any soon, right?

Top Things to Consider Before Finishing Your Basement

Many homeowners stay unaware of the potential of old, cold concrete and messy lowest floor of their home. It might not appear inviting as there could be loads of old boxes scattered here and there, an overwhelming smell of damp or lack of proper lighting. It doesn’t have to be like that if you consider that space equivalent to the one aboveground. And, the best part is you can save a lot of cash on remodeling it too. All you need to do is keep these crucial points in mind before planning any remodeling project:

Who is going to do it?

Not all basement remodeling projects can be counted on DIY techniques. Just remember one thing, the more your basement is aesthetically and functionally inviting, the better are the chances you will end up with a good resale deal if you ever want to sell your home. Some buildings might be lenient enough to allow you the DIY approach for small fixes and modifications. However, there are many buildings in New York and other parts of the US that demand a skilled and licensed hand. So, depending on where you live, you will be able to choose an approach for remodeling your basement. You can check your builder’s requirements for remodeling jobs for your building and then proceed. Plus, hiring a licensed contractor for remodeling a basement might save you from all the complex jobs like installing windows, penetrations, etc, and get you some sort of warranty as well.


Is there any Crack?

Cracks can cost you a lot; even more than a remodeling project. Don’t believe it? Well, some cracks in a building may be a sign of a failing foundation. What are the use of all that classy remodeling job and great functionality of the space when you have to tear everything down later and fix the cracks? Closely look for the cracks inspecting floors and foundation walls of the basement. You may want to hire an expert for professional opinions and solutions.

When left unaddressed, foundation issues worsen with time. The small cracks that you just ignored might result in bigger cracks, leaning or bowing walls, sagging floors, and moisture and foul smell entering your basement and make it appear as bad as hell. There are many problems like bad construction, drainage issues, entry and expansion of moisture, damages due to soil, and so forth that demand foundation repair. Every basement requires different foundation repair solutions as every home and its setting are unique.

Inspect and eliminate Mold and Mildew

It might be a pleasant view to watch heavy rains through a tough glassy window but the same can cause severe damage to your basement. There is something called ‘Hydrostatic Pressure’ which means simply the pressure of water due to continued or heavy rainfall. This pressure pushes water and moisture through your basement’s floor and walls. Any kind of wall extracts this moisture from the soil and that leads to gradual and severe damages.

The action required here is a strong sealer or barrier that controls the humidity and prevents the mold from growing. People usually get attracted to cheap waterproofing paints or sealers. But, the fact is such stuff can crack with time and allow the moisture to take an entry again through the walls or floor. The key is to hire an expert for the best basement renovation ideas and concrete mold and mildew control solutions in your budget.

For small leaks in the basement, a few hacks like installing diverters to keep the gutter water at bay, sloping the soil away, sealing small cracks with concrete-patching compounds, and larger ones with hydraulic cement.

Drainage Needs

Wet basements can ruin your glamorous upgrade. Areas like floor coverings, wood, and dry walls soak water more than anything in your basement. This leads to mildew and a musty odor. Take the help of an expert to find out an area where you can create a drainage system. You might want to build a small bar or kitchen area or a bathroom with a shower in the basement some time and for that, a proper drainage system would be required. Also, if you want to connect this drainage system to the main drain of your house, a professional contractor can help you do so.

Flooring Choices

Are you satisfied with the present flooring of your basement? Or, do you want something like laminated flooring with a wooden touch or painted concrete to blend well with your new design? Flooring choices play an important role but only in the aesthetic sense. Suppose you want something easy-to-clean then you might consider installing tiles in the bathroom or kitchen area. For winters, in-floor heating might be needed to keep the floors warm.

Electrical Code Requirements

Some states have specific electrical code requirements and you need to be aware of yours if there are some. Remodeling is not a cheap and easy job. After passing an inspection only you need to install anything electrical in your basement. For further details, you can dig deeper into your local and state codes as well as building codes to avoid any nuisance later.

What about Illumination?

Once you are sure that the electrical connections you require in your basement are meeting with your building’s and state’s electrical codes, you can ask your home remodeling expert to proceed with the floor plan and choose the lighting as you desire. Starting with a basic light at the entrance and anywhere in the basement controlled by a wall switch, you can add more types of lightings like ceiling lights, electrical outlets, or lighting fixtures (track lights or recessed lights).

You can get as creative as you want with the lighting to make your basement space cozy and inviting for guests and family. You might want to save some energy too and add a warm or cool feeling in your basement. Well, that leads you to choose fluorescent lights of desired colors. Both warm and cool fluorescent lights serve unique purposes. Warm fluorescents generate a soft light to make a long, cozy meeting comfortable, and cool ones are used to highlighting details in certain spaces.

Have you considered a sump pump?

Sum Pumps offer you peace of mind whenever you think of any future possibility of the flood that might affect your basement. Wise homeowners prepare for the worst and keep a second sump pump in case the first one fails and battery backup for the circumstances like a power outage.

Test for Radon

The presence of Radon, an odorless and colorless radioactive gas generated from decaying Uranium, is pretty common in US homes. When you plan for basement remodeling, make sure to do a Radon inspection. The gas is usually found in the soil and it easily enters a home through even the tiniest of wall cracks or gaps as well as floors. No matter what kind and how old a house is, there are high chances Radon is expanding in the area but its levels may differ from one place to another. Your house might have more elevated levels of Radon than your adjacent home. Homeowners ignore this issue in the beginning but the real threat arises when the gas gets trapped in a house for so long and leads to lung cancer. So, get the Radon presence inspected and get rid of it as soon as possible.

Do you need a Safe Room or Extra Food Storage?

Smart and forethoughtful homeowners prepare themselves and their families for emergencies. When an emergency, manmade or natural, hits, no room is technically safe in a house. But, a safe house can provide comparatively more safety. You might not be able to build it when your remodeling project is completed or halfway. If you want a safe house, discuss it with your basement remodeling contractor in the first place.

Similarly, if you need additional space for food storage because the regular pantry or kitchen lacks adequate storage, talk to your remodeling contractor about this additional food preserving space.

Additional Inspections and Crucial Points

  • Always plan the layout first – the socializing area should get the best lighting and TV should be placed in a comparatively darker area for a great experience, there should be no need to be crossed in front of the TV to access the pantry or any other space
  • Inspect for any rot or insect damage
  • Check for proper ventilation system and presence of any fuel-burning equipment to ensure additional safety
  • Consider insulating pipes before boxing
  • Channel the natural light as much as you can to save the cost of installing extra lights to see things even in the daytime

Basement remodeling has a different meaning to different homeowners. For some people, adding a few lights and putting some furniture signifies remodeling or fixing a basement while some people are not satisfied even after building waterproof foundation walls, ceiling, installing light fixtures, building a pantry, installing a chimney, add flooring, and whatnot. So, it’s quite eminent to understand what you exactly need from your remodeling project and plan your budget accordingly.

However, choosing a basement contractor in New York or any other vicinity of the US is not a piece of cake. Just a couple of great deals can’t be enough to put your hard-earned money on. D&R Demolition and Remodeling Contractors is a family-owned construction company gaining the trust of the NYC residents for over 30 years now. We provide quality service at affordable prices. It’s always better to choose a reputed basement contractor whom thousands of customers trust than settling with newbies and regret later.

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