A Few Things To Know About Finishing Your Basement

Posted on: 1 February 2017

If your kids are entering the teen years and need their own space for watching TV, socializing, and enjoying their privacy, it's time to consider finishing your basement. Your basement may be a damp, dark space now, but with a little planning, it can become a hangout your kids live in so you can enjoy some peace and quiet upstairs. Here are some things you'll want to know about basement finishing.

Check Local Building Codes First

Before you start planning out your budget for the job, check your local codes. You'll find there are regulations about basement space when you want to use it as a living area. For one thing, the ceilings have to be a certain height. If your house is old, the ceilings might not be high enough if the basement was intended only for storing the HVAC and water heater. To comply with codes, a contractor will have to lower the floors, which adds significantly to the cost. Also, you'll probably need permits for any new plumbing and electrical work you have done, so it's best to know and understand code requirements at the start.

Make The Basement Waterproof

The next hurdle you need to overcome is wetness and dampness in the basement. This can be solved in a number of ways. A contractor can install a drain in the floor that connects to a sump pump that keeps water out of the basement. You can also have vapor barriers installed and use offset walls that allow for air circulation. Even something as simple as wrapping pipes in insulation can reduce humidity in the basement because it controls condensation. It may take some work, but it is possible to dry out your basement and prevent future problems with water. This is an essential step to prevent mold and damage to electronics and other equipment placed in the new living space.

Isolate The Appliances

One thing you'll want to do is lay out the basement in such a way the HVAC and water heater are isolated. You don't want to finish the area around the appliances. You want to keep the space open too, so the equipment can be reached easily when repairs and maintenance are needed. A related thing to consider is the wiring and plumbing that runs along the ceiling in the basement. Since you don't want to move them, you can hide them under a drop ceiling. That way you can access pipes and wiring easily any time you need to.

Consider A Basement Finishing System

There are many things to consider about finishing a basement. For instance, you need escape windows in a room used for sleeping and you need special drywall that isn't susceptible to mold. One of the easiest solutions for getting the job done is to use a finishing system that comes as a kit. A contractor can install a complete system in several days. The goal of a finishing system is to use materials that are best at combating moisture. They are made with panels that fit together and can be taken apart easily if you need to get behind a wall to work on an appliance or make concrete repairs. The panels look just like traditional drywall, so when the basement is finished, it looks just as nice as any other room in your home.

Finishing your basement may seem like a big expense, but it is more convenient and maybe even less expensive than moving into a larger home. An unfinished basement is wasted space you could be using as living space. Work with a contractor like Everlasting Homes so you don't overlook critical things like radon testing, fire safety, and ventilation measures that need to be taken to make sure the finished basement is safe for your kids.