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3 Things to Consider Before Remodeling Your Basement

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A basement remodel can seem like the most obvious solution to your need for additional square footage. But before you get started, consider these three aspects of a basement remodel to determine whether this is the right choice for you, and to decide how you want to proceed.

Do you want or need outside access? There can be many reasons for adding an access door to your remodeled basement area. You could then use the lower level as a separate rental unit, living space for adult children, or a mother-in-law suite. Having an access door is also a good idea in case of a house fire.

Without an access door, your contractors will be trekking up and down stairs, bringing materials through the rest of your house. It also quite simply makes it easier to move in furniture. But of course, adding an access door will mean more work and expense, if one doesn’t already exist. And where will you put it? Consider your floor plan carefully.

How much work is involved? Does your basement already have walls and ceiling, and simply needs some finishing touches? Or will you be adding a heating system, putting up walls, and maybe plumbing a bathroom? Keep in mind that plumbing a basement bathroom can be difficult, due to the fact that you’re working on a concrete slab. Where will the pipes go? In particular, a toilet needs some “drop” in order to flush correctly. If you do add a bathroom, consider the location of existing pipes overhead. Sometimes placing the bathroom on an exterior wall can make things easier.

Think about moisture. Because they’re partially or fully underground, basements frequently experience moisture problems. You will need to consider ventilation, such as the addition of windows and/or an air conditioning unit. A dehumidifier can be a good idea as well. Basements should be correctly waterproofed, or else you’re asking for big trouble.

Having said all that, a basement remodel can be an excellent way to add the extra space you need. Basements can provide the room for a home theater, gym, playroom, rec room, or just additional living space. Call us to discuss your ideas for a basement remodel, and we can help you learn what to expect from this worthwhile project.