Important Things To Check
Prior To A Basement Renovation
Finished basements are an ideal location for entertaining friends and family. Add in a recreation room with a pool table, ping pong table, pinball, and some darts and you have an instant attraction that will keep the kids at home and under your watchful eye.
Prior to a basement renovation, you should check the following:
Inspect for basement foundation cracks. Even hairline cracks can cause issues. Hairline cracks can be due to improper curing and large cracks are more likely from settling. Both of these can be repaired via hydraulic cement if the crack isn't active. Consider what caused the crack and ensure that the proper repairs have been made. If the basement crack is still active then it may have to be reopened at a later date.
Check for moisture issues. Moisture may be hard to repair. Water can be persistent and seep through walls that seem to be completely intact. A good way to test water issue is to tape a piece of aluminum foil to different areas of the basement walls and the floor. Seal these edges tightly and allow to remain in place for several days. After this time period, if there are any moisture droplets beneath the foil, the moisture is seeping through the masonry. If there is water on the top of the foil, then it's from condensation and humidity. Check for other water issues by checking on the underside of subflooring. Repair any faulty pipes and faulty fixtures. Check for brown stains on the subflooring and on the sides of the basement joists. This will show whether or not a leak is active or has been repaired previously. If the stain is spongy, it's an active leak.
Planning is the key to any successful basement renovation. For example, if you choose to add in a wet bar or a bathroom, you'll want to have the plumbing done prior to installing your fixtures. After the plumbing is installed, you'll want to do the electrical before you proceed further. This should include hiring a certified electrician. Plans should always include plenty of electrical outlets, telephone lines, cable hook-ups and more. You're going to require these for your television, your lighting, your computers, and electronics. Once you've installed all of this, you'll be able to choose your paneling or dry walls and you can plan your paint scheme. While paneling may be less costly, many prefer a more refined look of drywall and then finishing this off. Paneling doesn't last long and can look very dated.
Next, you'll want to consider your stairwell. Many professionals suggest to open up the stairwell and use a banister as basements typically have enclosed stairwells. When you open it up it tends to open up the entire basement reducing the gloom. Many designers use wider doorways and arches or columns to help dress up the basement. French doors work wonders as privacy yet allowing light in. They can also help to delineate certain areas of the basement.
Add in as many windows as possible. Basements can be dark and gloomy and the more natural light the better. Windows will help to lift that gloom. However, ensure that you have secure windows or glass block windows to increase security and privacy. Artificial lighting is also a great option. Fluorescent lighting, table lights, ceiling lights and floor lamps all offer great options. If the budget allows, use something other than fluorescent as it's not the most appealing.
Avoid installing suspended ceilings as they may make the basement appear smaller or darker. They will definitely lower the ceiling. Tray ceilings work well. Choose paints that are light and bright as they will help to make the basement appear more open and airy. You can also use dramatic color schemes as well. Avoid dark colors that add gloom.
Basement floors are notoriously cold due to their direct contact with the ground. Consider a subfloor in between the concrete and the flooring. This will help keep it warmer and drying in the living area and it will lend a nice smooth surface for carpeting or flooring. If you're not planning a subfloor, and you're using carpeting, be sure to get extra padding to use underneath of the carpeting. This will help keep it warmer and be more comfortable to stand or walk on. Consider a storage room as well to use for the sump pump and for the furnace. This should be convenient for anything that can't be thrown out. Consider using shelves in this room so that you can remain organized.
Consider ways to control noise. Wall to wall carpeting, higher quality carpet padding to absorb sound, sound deadening materials underneath of any underlayment or subflooring. This is ideal especially if the basement is going to be an office or a bedroom. Don't forget to use thick installation in between the ceiling joists.
Rеаѕоnѕ To Consider A Basement Rеnоvаtiоn
Many home renovations can be daunting and very expensive. However, a basement renovation is a rare renovation that is typically straightforward and less costly than many other renovations. When you turn the unfinished basement into a useable area it can add over fifty percent of new living area to your home.
Most people who have an unfinished basement spend very little time down there as it's dark, gloomy, musty and typically unattractive. You only go down to the basement when you need to get something out of storage or put something into storage. Imagine that space opened up and a large area that you can use. Well lit, carpeted, insulated and warm. Imagine a couch or chair and even a pool table down there and you've got a nice room for everyone.
Your imagination is the limit when it comes to the basement. You can make it as large or small and usable as you desire. Many contractors will sketch out ideas and give you a free estimate to help you decide what you want to be done.