Basement Remodels: What You Should Know

A finished basement can provide great benefits to a home. However, there are some things that can happen with repairs and renovations that will create a big mess if not done right. The best way to avoid getting into a bigger project than you can handle is having people around you to give you advice and pitch in when you need some help. Basements are a tough project so be sure that you have the time and ability to handle what needs to be done. Here are some tips for getting started and finishing your basement.

Water Issues


One of the biggest problems when working on a basement is issues with water and flood damage. Before you can do any type of work on your basement, you have to make sure that the area is dry. You don't want any moisture problems when you start to rebuild and repair your basement. You need to check downspouts also to see if they are clogged, which can also create unnecessary moisture pressure for your basement. You can also inspect the exterior walls of your basement to see if there are any water damage signs.

Building Codes


Your area might have specific building codes that designate what you can do or not do, and these have big consequences if not followed for your insurance. You may need to get a permit for a proposed renovation if it's something major. You also want to make sure that you get any electrical work or plumbing work done by a professional if you are completely renovating your basement.

Using a Shotgun


While hammer and nails can work, you want to use something called a shotgun to really nail in your wooden beams and fixtures. It's important to use this power tool in construction because it just ensures the strength of your structure. The shotgun is like a nail gun but with bullets, which you can buy in a variety of different colors, and each one has a higher or lower strength depending on what you're building. You should talk to a home improvement specialist at a local store to find out more if you've never used this tool.

Furring Up Your Walls


You need to install furring strips on your walls so you have a ½-inch space between the interior wall and the moisture on the outside of the wall. You can also use a Chicago bar, which is like a ½-inch thick metal strip. Both of these will ensure better moisture protection for your basement.

Keep in the Warm


There are two things that you really want with a basement. You need to keep the humidity out but the warmth in. Polyurethane sheeting is awesome for keeping moisture from getting into your basement. You can use insulation that is enclosed in a vapor barrier and easy to work with.

Recessed Lighting


Recessed lighting is ideal for basements with low ceilings. You don't want anything hanging down really far in your basement. Limited natural light is also a problem, so recessed lighting can fix both of those issues and brighten up your space easily in comparison to a standalone lamp.

Basement Warmth


The basement is usually the chilliest part of the home, so heating your basement can become essential for winter months. Baseboard heating is the perfect way to heat up your basement without having to use any type of dangerous space heaters.

Saving some Money


You don't have to finish every part of the basement to make it work. You can leave the boiler room and laundry room unfinished to save money. You do need to follow a code that needs framing around these items, and a certain clearance has to exist between the wall and unit. However, you don't need to add any siding or make it look fancy.

Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.
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