Basement remodeling and finish is a great way to add some functional space for your home. You can even do it yourself if you have the skills and equipment for it. However, you should know a few things before starting on one. Here are 9 of them.
Do Not Remodel a Utility Room
If you use your basement to house any utility such as water heaters and HVAC units, you should not plan to convert it to any other use. These types of systems need to conform to certain codes regarding framing and spacing. This usually means you should keep it open, clear, and unfinished. You might encounter problems in the future when inspection time comes around and you have already spent on basement remodeling and finishing. Save yourself the headache and leave it alone.
If you do decide to remodel it anyway, make sure to keep it simple. You will have an easier time modifying it later on to meet code requirements if necessary. An experienced basement remodeler can advise you on what remodeling you can carry out without issue.
Check for leaks
Unfinished basements can develop problems with water without anyone noticing. Before embarking on an extensive remodel, inspect the basement for any signs of leaks or other water issues. If you see puddles of water or observe dripping coming through the walls, you need to address these problems. You might have water seepage from the foundation because of cracks or ground water. Do any repairs necessary to solve these problems before you start remodeling.
Minimize moisture issues
Checking and handling obvious leaks is one thing. Managing ambient moisture is another. Basements tend to be rather damp, most because it is usually lower than the ground. You have to minimize the moisture by installing a vapor barrier in the floors and wall before you can even think of doing any framing or finishing. A remodeling contractor will automatically install polyurethane sheeting on the bare concrete as a vapor barrier before installing walls and floors. You can do the same thing and check after a couple of days to see how much moisture you get. This will help you determine if you can go ahead with remodeling or do some mitigation first.
Add furring strips
Sometimes, a vapor barrier is not enough to do the job. If you see a lot of moisture coming through, you might have to create a bit of space between the outer and inner wall using furring strips. These are thin pieces of metal or wood you install to offset the inner walls slightly from the outer walls. These are also useful for leveling an uneven wall in preparing for framing.
You might get in trouble for starting on basement remodeling without checking the municipal codes for it. You might need to get permits for working on your basement, particularly anything concerning electrical and plumbing lines. In most cases, an inspection is necessary. If you have a remodeling contractor, they can take care of all of this for you.
Be ready with fasteners
You will probably need special equipment when framing basement walls and floors. These are usually some type of cement or masonry, and nails and screws are not going to do the job. You might need to source a shotgun fastener to anchor your frames firmly on the surface. These shotgun or powder-actuated fasteners use significant force to shoot a fastener on to the surface, so it will stick
Think about insulation
Basements tend not only to be moist but cold as well. You can keep the temperature on a comfortable level without paying an arm and a leg with heating costs by insulating the walls. Putting insulation keeps the moisture as well as the noise levels down. One option is spray foam insulation. You can hit two birds with one stone if you choose insulation that also has vapor barriers on either side. Before you decide, check what the code requires in your area.
Put heating vents
Proper insulation is no guarantee that your basement will be warm enough to keep you comfortable. Heating vents on the floor is a good idea since hot air rises. You might want to hide them in the baseboards, but only do so if you can integrate it easily into your HVAC system. Consult with an HVAC pro about this option.
Put in a drop ceiling
When you are done obsessing over the walls and floors, it is time to think about the ceiling. In most cases, you should put in a drop ceiling. It is a good way to keep the plumbing and electrical lines that services the upper levels of your home accessible and still hidden. It can be an attractive element if you design it properly, and it is an excellent opportunity to put in recessed lighting. However, this will depend on the height of your overhead space, as it has to be enough to accommodate a lowered ceiling.
Basement remodeling and finishing can be a fulfilling DIY project. However, it might be more complicated than you think. You might want to let the experts carry out this project for you to ensure success. Mimosa Kitchen and Bath is your best resource in the DC metro area, Columbia, Rockville, Bethesda, Jessup, Chevy Chase and surrounding areas. We have many years of experience in expert remodeling, so your basement remodeling and finishing is in good hands.
At Mimosa Kitchen and Bath, we deal only with high-quality products manufactured by leading brands in the industry. When you purchase your products from us, we guarantee speedy delivery compared to ordering from big box stores. We will customize the product according to your specifications and install it into your home quickly and with excellent artisanship.
We sell a host of products, including but not limited to bathroom and kitchen cabinets, flooring, faucets and sinks, and vanities. Some of the brands we carry include Zodiaq, Fabuwood, Forevermark Cabinetry, Caesarstone, MSI, Kitchenmaid, Wolf Cabinets, Cambria and Hardware Resources. You can visit our showroom in Elliicott City, Maryland to see the many products and stone slabs we have available. This includes marble, granite and engineered quartz.
All of our products come backed with brand warranties. Contact us today to get a free quote for your basement remodeling!