Things To Consider When Converting A Basement To Living Space In Your Home

Posted on: 12 July 2021

Basement remodeling or conversion can be a great way to add some additional living space to your home. However, there are some things to consider and extra things you may need to do when redoing the room. 

Start With A Plan

Before you embark on any basement remodeling project, it is crucial to take the time to plan out the space and inspect the basement for any problem areas that might need to be addressed. Walk around the basement and look at the room to determine if you will need to move any mechanical equipment to make the space work, and look for things like water coming in through walls or the floor. 

If the basement is water-free and has enough headspace to walk around in, you can start looking at how to best lay out the area. Often getting a designer or architect to design the space can help, but if you want to lay it out yourself, you can do that as well. 

Involve your contractor in the planning phase so that you have a professional perspective on things like heating and air conditioning, materials to use, and room wiring. Once the plan is complete, the contractor can begin preparing the space and start the basement remodeling.

Sealing, Drainage, and Other Preparation

Because the basement is below grade, the biggest concern is often keeping water out. Even a dry basement can start to have water infiltration issues later on. If the room is finished and water starts coming in, the water can damage furnishings and materials like carpet or wallboard. 

Sealing the outside of the foundation and installing some drainage around the house is a good idea before you start construction. You can paint the walls inside the basement with a water sealant before any wallboard, or another finish, is applied. Taking these steps can protect your basement remodeling project for the future. 

Building Your Basement Room

It is vital to lay out your space so that you know where everything fits. You can hide most of the mechanical units like heating and AC, water heaters, and the electrical panel in a closet or small mechanical room. You may even want to move them to another part of the basement, but that can be a lot of work, so talk with the contractor about that. 

You can often use the existing heating system to heat the basement by adding a zone to it, and you may need to have an electrician come in and wire the space for lights and electrical outlets after the walls and ceiling are in place. If you are thinking about adding a bathroom in the basement, you will also want to talk to a plumber about that to be sure it is done right because it will most likely be below the level of the existing sewer line. You may need a special pump to ensure you can lift water and waste to the line from a below-grade bathroom. To learn more, contact a basement remodeling company.