What You Should Know About Basement Finishing
You've been meaning to finish your basement, but you don't know where to start. Your situation is not unique because many homeowners struggle to form plans for their basement finishing, but hiring a remodeling contractor and exploring designs for finished basements will get you on track. Depending on the function of your basement, your remodeling project may require simple adjustments or drastic renovations.
Things to Consider When Finishing Your Basement
- Building Codes – If you're planning to install wiring and plumbing in your basement, check to see if a permit is required. Once the work is done, the wiring or plumbing may have to be inspected. Your local municipality's building and safety codes may also require direct access to the outdoors, so if your basement doesn't have a door that leads outside, your remodeling contractor may need to install one.
- Function – Basements can serve as dens, guest bedrooms, game rooms, music rooms, pantries, laundry rooms, and craft rooms. The function of your basement will depend on your household's needs and preferences.
- Insulation – Installing insulation to basements is necessary to control moisture levels, maintain temperatures, maximize energy efficiency, and dampen sound.
- Waterproofing – Basements are prone to moisture, a problem which can damage surfaces and promote mold and mildew growth. Check for signs of water damage, add vapor barriers to the floors and walls, and repair cracks in foundation walls prior to basement finishing.
- Lighting – Once you've determined your basement's function, you can choose the types of lighting that will suit the space best. Many homeowners select recessed lighting because it doesn't take up as much space as surface lighting. You will also have to choose between LED, fluorescent, or incandescent lights.
- Radon Testing – During your remodeling project, take the time to test the basement's radon levels. Radon is a radioactive gas produced by decaying uranium, and it is odorless and colorless. It exists in soil, and its presence in the lower levels of houses can pose problems. Prolonged exposure to high levels of radon can be extremely dangerous, so having your basement tested during the finishing process is recommended.
If your basement is unfinished, you aren't making the most of the space in your home. Determine the needs of your household, and design the basement to meet those requirements. Because basement finishing can be quite extensive, hiring a remodeling contractor to perform the renovations is wise. If you're ready to finish your basement, contact a reputable remodeling contractor like S&S Remodeling.