Are you thinking about starting a basement remodeling project in your home? If so, you’ve come to the right place for expert advice on things you should and should not do during your basement finishing process.
This project is no easy task, but if you’ve done enough research you probably already have a good idea of what you’re getting yourself into. The planning stage of this project is so critical, so we’re glad you’ve landed here to gain further insight. Read on for our top tips on basement remodeling, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have additional questions!
What to Do During a Basement Remodel
Below are a few critical things to think about before starting your basement remodeling project. While there are a number of factors to consider throughout the entire process, here at A.M. we’ve seen many projects go wrong throughout our decades of work, and they’re due to these common items being overlooked.
DO Look for cracks
Once you’ve cleared everything out of your basement, before you even start your design phase, inspect the entire basement as-is. You’ll want to make sure there aren’t any cracks on the walls or floor of the basement, and you’ll want to keep an eye out for any moisture as well. A solid foundation is important not only for your basement finishing project to be successful, but also to ensure the entire structure of your home remains intact long term. If you notice any signs of moisture or cracking, make sure to call a local professional to inspect further.
DO Add a subfloor
Adding a subfloor is another critical component in a basement remodel project. A subfloor, among other things, provides insulation and helps to keep moisture out of the basement (we all know moisture is the enemy in that area!). In a flood situation, a subfloor is able to dry out instead of retain moisture. It’s a relatively low cost and simple first step in your remodeling project. There are different subfloor options available depending on your budget and needs.
DO Think Energy Efficient
Modern technology has afforded us a variety of options in the world of energy efficiency. Many homeowners already have energy efficiency in mind when planning home renovation projects, but it’s highly recommended when finishing a basement. One of the most vital steps is insulation! Make sure you have a plan in place for proper insulation of the entire basement to retain heat when you need it most. Also consider LED lighting and upgrading any appliances you might have located in the basement.
DO Waterproof your basement
As experts in basement waterproofing, we highly recommend taking this step if you’re finishing your basement. While it can be a costly portion of your project, it ensures longevity of your investment. The last thing you want are soaked carpets and mold or mildew damage once you’ve spent all your time and money on a beautiful new basement. Waterproofing your basement will avoid such a nightmare!
What Not To Do During a Basement Remodel
Below are a few things that we do not recommend during your basement remodel. As with the above list, this is not comprehensive, but these are key items we’ve observed in the many years that we’ve worked with homeowners on basement projects.
DON’T build without permits
Many homeowners are excited and want to jump right into their home renovation. We highly recommend consulting with your city or county to ensure you’ve pulled all permits necessary before starting the work. In some areas, there aren’t any permits needed, but it’s better to double check and be safe than risk larger headaches once your project has already begun.
DON’T forget about proper drainage
Proper drainage is an absolute must in your basement! With the amount of time and money that will go into a project like a basement remodel, the last thing you’d want to run into is destruction of the new space due to flooding or drainage issues. Be sure to research and take all steps needed to have a proper drainage system in place and protect your home!
DON’T start without a complete plan
We know how exciting a project such as basement finishing can be, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to see your plan through. Throughout the design process (even towards the end) you might find yourself wanting to change minor details, or thinking of something that hadn’t yet come up during planning. It’s best to completely finish your layout, and review it a couple of times until you’re 100% sure you’ve covered all areas. One of our favorite sayings comes to mind here: Measure twice, cut once!
DON’T hesitate to hire a professional – this is a big investment!
We all love a good DIY project, but every once in a while it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced professional. Because there are so many moving parts in a basement remodel project, we do recommend at least consulting with an expert to review your plans and design. Most of us have completed a number of similar projects, and we’ll be able to provide you with insight that you wouldn’t otherwise have as a ‘first-timer’. If you’re local to western PA, call us today and we’d be happy to discuss your project with you further!