One of the best ways to increase the livable square footage of your home is to ﬁnish out your basement. A ﬁnished basement not only increases the livable space, but it can help increase the resale value of your home. Before you start a basement ﬁnishing project, be sure to read through these tips to help you get the greatest value possible:
- DRY IT UP:
If your basement is damp, or gets wet easily, that has to be ﬁxed before you start any basement ﬁnishing work. There is great news: most water problems should be easily ﬁxed with two diﬀerent measures. First, you could regrade the soil to slope away from the house and the foundation. The second measure is to repair your gutters or your downspouts. More extreme measures can be taken, such as adding exterior drain tile, installing an interior drain tile that leads to a sump basket attached to a pump, or waterprooﬁng your basement walls. These measures can become time-consuming and costly, but they are part of the most important step to ensure your work ﬁnishing your basement isn’t ruined by leaking water.
- KNOW THE CODE:
If only it was simply as easy as doing the work and living with the results then life would be smooth! In all seriousness, check with your local municipality to see if you’ll need to purchase any building permits, or if there are any restrictions to what you can do for your basement ﬁnishing project. This is of upmost importance if you are planning on installing plumbing, or having electrical work done in your basement ﬁnishing project as they need to be inspected and approved. This may seem like a waste of time, but trust us, you don’t want to be the one to break any rules and have your basement ﬁnishing project delayed or cancelled because you didn’t check with the proper agencies before beginning.
If you are planning on adding a separate bathroom for your basement ﬁnishing project, then you might as well check on the current pluming and wiring systems. See what expansions or upgrades you’ll need to do. Remember, check with your local municipality for permits that you’ll need, and have the proper inspections done. Remember – Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
- KNOW YOUR SPACE:
You may think that your basement ﬁnishing project will be an easy-todo process, thinking you could just work away. However, you need to know your space and how much you are working with. Height is of particular importance because a number of local regulations on turning a basement into a livable area require the basement to be a certain number of feet tall. These numbers vary so, again, CHECK YOUR LOCAL MUNICIPALITY TO BE SURE!
- SEAL CRACKS AROUND PIPES AND WIRES:
You’ll want to ﬁll larger openings with a ﬂameresistant expanding foam to help protect your basement. Close oﬀ any other larger openings by nailing some sheet metal over them, and seal oﬀ the edges with caulk. This will help prevent any ﬁre spreading from the basement to the upstair, and will also help you save a lot of energy from leakage and transfers. Plus, doing this will help keep sound transfer at a minimum!
Another area to consider sealing are the rim joists. Uninsulated rim joists are huge energy drainers on a basement ﬁnishing project, and during your project is the best time to seal the rim joists. Check with your municipality on coding to see if there are any particular restrictions on what type of insulation you should use. Once that’s done, be sure to ﬁll in small gaps with caulk, and for the larger holes be sure to use some expanding spray foam.
- ONE FINAL TIP:
The utility room is not for ﬁnishing! This is an important key to remember when you are doing a basement ﬁnishing project. Keep the space housing HVAC units and water heaters clear and open. You don’t want these to be ﬁnished because these spaces have speciﬁc codes requirements for framing and spacing. Also, keeping it unﬁnished allows for an easier access to do inspections and/or repairs. Remember, always check with your municipality and their codes!
Inch By Inch Construction can help you with your basement ﬁnishing project. We help take the hassle oﬀ of you, and make your basement ﬁnishing project simple and easy. Call to get your free quote today, and get more value out of your house by ﬁnishing your basement.