If you are
house-hunting, you have probably established a list of wants and needs. Is a finished basement included as a need or
a want? For some families, a finished
basement isn’t a priority and many homeowners spend decades in a home without
ever taking on this home renovation project.
If it is something that is important to you, finishing the basement once you have moved into a home can increase its value while adding additional living space and giving you the opportunity to tackle your first home renovation project!
Perhaps you envision a spectacular man-cave complete with wet bar, home theatre and games area. Or maybe you would like to create an exercise studio home office or children’s playroom. Whatever your reason, there are some key factors to consider before you start planning your first basement party. If you are a home reno rookie, you may want to consider hiring a contractor to help with certain aspects of your project, particularly layout design, flooring, the ceiling and drywalling.
When establishing a floor plan, consider window placement as a starting point. If you are creating a bedroom, there must be a window. If you want a theatre area, avoid locating it directly beneath a window. If you want a wet bar, you will need to have plumbing installed.
When starting with concrete floors and walls, it is always a good idea to test for moisture before you cover up these areas permanently. The easiest way to do this is by securing a few two-foot square sheets of heavy duty plastic to your floors and walls. Wait a few weeks and inspect the plastic for condensation underneath – a sign that your foundation is not sealed. If moisture droplets appear on top of the plastic, you may need to purchase a dehumidifier.
Consider a suspended or dropped ceiling if your basement is high enough. That way you can always access the plumbing, electrical wiring and other ‘guts’ of the home.
Since basements are prone to moisture and leaks, you should install a sub-floor. The space between the sub-floor and the existing floor acts as a barrier to moisture issues. When it comes to choosing flooring, it is a matter of budget, personal preference and usage. If the space will be used as a recreation room for the entire family, Berber carpet is a warm and durable option. A home gym might lend itself more to concrete, ceramic or vinyl tile, though those options may offer a colder floor.
After you have addressed these structural aspects of your basement reno, you can focus on the fun stuff like decorating and furniture shopping!
Content courtesy of Home and Community Newsletter.
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