Transforming your basement into an enjoyable and living space is an exciting project that usually brings a lot of emotion, ideas, and excitement, not to mention financial calculations to determine whether you will be able to afford it or not. If you are on a strict budget, don´t worry, many low-cost ideas will allow a total makeover of your basement finishing.
However, long before that, there are a few things you need to do before starting on your project that will save you time, headaches, and even money or future problems.
There are a few things you need to do before starting on your project:
1- Declutter your basement. Usually, basements become like an enormous trash can where we leave all those things we don´t use any longer, such as outgrown kids clothes and toys, old gadgets, broken home appliances, old furniture. Donate or sell everything you haven´t used in a year, and throw away those broken objects that you know you will never repair. If you have plenty of items in proper conditions, consider organizing a garage sale. This will help you not only to empty the basement but also to gather money for your basement finishing.
2- Make a plan for your basement. What will you use it for? A family room, an art studio, a music room, a guests´ apartment? When planning your basement finishing consider the purposes of your remodeling. For instance, if you are creating an extra bedroom or a gym, make sure to place it near the basement bathroom.
3-Find out about required permits. Many people often refinish their basements skipping licenses and taxes increases associated with an expanded house. Given that basement remodeling is usually not visible from the outside, people take that risk. However, that´s a big mistake. You could get caught a be forced to tear it apart and rebuild it. Or, if you later decide to sell your house, buyers may penalize you on the price for it.
4- Electricity and plumbing installations need separate inspections and approval. Don´t skip them, not only for future costs but also because of the type of work. An electrical or plumbing error may lead to future damages and consequential costs.
5- Check drainage. You won´t want your finished basement getting flooded and your polished floors and furniture totally damaged by water. You certainly won´t enjoy having to walk through a cellar covered by a few inches of accumulated water.
6- Consider fumigating your basement, particularly if you used it just to store and accumulate stuff. Get rid of spiders, ants, termites or any bugs that might be inhabiting your basement before remodeling it.
7- Finally, consider weather insulation regardless of the future use of your basement. And don´t forget about noise insulation if you will use it, for instance, to play the drums or let your teen´s rock band practice in the lower space of your home.
Now, after addressing the issues mentioned above, it´s time to start the exciting part of the project, your dreamed basement finishing!