Did you know that your basement is a precious piece of real estate? While it makes an excellent home for all the household items you’re too reluctant to let go of, your basement is also just one renovation away from being the coolest home theater for house parties, a hobby room for long, sleepless nights, or even as a source of extra income.
With the right plan and a budget laid out, your basement can be whatever you want it to be.
But before you start shopping for drywall and paint, it’s important to know some things about renovating your basement. Due to the basement’s sensitive location, having a room at the foundation of your home requires you to address the following aspects first to ensure your family’s safety and the room’s longevity.
Keep Out Moisture
Mold is a common problem in basements. That’s not something you’d want to handle later on. Aside from being a nasty problem that can render your room really uncomfortable to use for some time, it can also create respiratory health risks for your family.
So see to it that you detect any water issues before you start the planning process. Make sure the ground outside is graded away from your foundation and there are no cracks on your walls that can produce Moisture Problems in the future. Should you find any damages or similar issues, repair them immediately and thoroughly.
Get Your Permits
Check up on local laws about renovating your basement space. Because there would be inevitable pipework and electrical work, you’re most likely going to need to secure permits from your local municipality for the work to be adequately inspected. This is required to ensure that the job adheres to the safety standards of the state.
Install a Vapor Retardant
Even though you’ve thoroughly checked up on water issues and did the necessary repairs, that does not guarantee that your basement space will be free from moisture. To mitigate this problem, install a vapor barrier between the interior stud walls and falls as well as between foundation walls and floor slabs.
Lay down the barrier for a day or two, then check up underneath to test how much moisture is coming through. This will help you place an adequate layer of a barrier to ensure that the place is kept dry throughout.
Settle for Solid
Although the aesthetic value of wood is tempting, it’s not a very good option for basement flooring. Moisture can easily damage wood construction, making your flooring very vulnerable to splitting. Repairs and premature replacement are no doubt costly. To make sure your flooring lasts long, choose solid options that are suitable for below-grade applications.
Your Best Basement Flooring Choices include sheet vinyl, ceramic or porcelain, luxury vinyl plank or tile, and concrete flooring, etc.
Make Your Bathroom Simple and Eye-Catching
If you want to turn your basement space into a rental where it’s necessary to install a bath, go for a simple yet functional design. Opt for light-reflecting finishes like white fixtures and shiny hardware.
Because you’ll be dealing with below-grade installations, don’t risk overflow, and call a professional to install a backflow-prevention valve on your main drain line pipe. Then mitigate dampness by adding a humidistat to your bathroom’s exhaust fan.
If you’re installing a full below-grade bath, you will need an injector system with a tank and a pump but if you’re going for a half bath, a Macerating Toilet is your best option. Macerating toilets like Saniflo have a compact tank that can manage both the sink and the john.
A good insulation system has multiple functions. It helps you regulate the temperature inside the basement better, create a noise barrier, and add another layer of moisture control. There are different types of insulation options you can choose, including spray insulation or one that comes with a vapor barrier.
Don’t Forget the Exit
Check with your local building requirements if there is a need to install escape routes in your basement room. In most cases, you will be required to install egress windows with an enclosed closet. This safety measure is standardized in case there’s an emergency in the building and the windows can be used by occupants to escape safely or by a heavily geared firefighter to squeeze through.
A Basement Renovation is not the easiest of projects, and indeed, it can be a little more than meticulous. But a finished basement is not only an additional space you can enjoy but is also a project that can add value to your home.
Make sure you do it right by integrating these points into your project plan.