6 Steps to Finishing a Basement

Interior of bungalow style city house in Toronto, Canada. This is a 80 years old house, completely renovated for modern family living. Nice mixture of old architecture of the house and contemporary design details. House features two bedrooms on a main floor and one in the fully finished basement. 6 Steps to Finishing a Basement

Finishing a basement can be an awesome way of increasing your home’s footprint. Whether you need to pimp up the old man cave or you need the extra livable space to set up a home gym or family entertainment room, the basement easily adds extra space you can work, play or relax in without any structural addition.

But finishing a basement doesn’t come without its share of challenges. And having an idea of how you do so will go a long way in planning for the remodel and setting a budget.

To break it all down, here are a few things you should do to finish a basement.

1. Check the foundation

Before anything, start by assessing the status of your house’s foundation. It’s not uncommon to find cracked walls or leaks in your basement. This can be either due to stress or settling. Needless to say, you’ll need to repair them before any construction can commence to avoid any foundational issues in the future.

A few indicators of foundation issues might include:

  •         Bulging, cracked, or curved outer walls
  •         Vertical and horizontal cracks
  •         Stuck windows
  •         Doors not latching properly
  •         Cracks on the floor
  •         Slanting or bowing of floors
  •         Softening of concrete

2. Identify the permits needed or for code violations

While finishing a basement doesn’t involve adding a section to your home (like a deck or patio), you’ll still have to get a permit. This is because there is likely to be structural and electrical work involved. By getting a permit, you’ll protect yourself against any future changes that may happen regarding building codes or situations that may arise as you sell your house.

On top of that, you might also need to address any code violations you may have ignored during original construction. One issue common among homeowners, for instance, is the lack of egress windows. These are basically windows built into the ground that allow a grown adult to escape the home in case of a fire. Any modern renovation must meet this now standard fire code.

3. Get rid of water issues

Take a close look at the ceilings, walls, and floors for any signs of water damage. Leaking pipes often go unnoticed in basements. At times water dripping from your sprinklers might cause rot, mold, or a shift in the foundation.

One trick you can use is to make sure your lawn is sloping away from your foundation. Also, make sure any leaky pipes are fixed.

4. Insulate properly

Another move that is often overlooked is insulating the basement. What people don’t realize is that by insulating, you get to save a lot of energy in warm and cold climates. This way, you won’t need to use your AC all the time to cool or heat the place. Insulation will also keep the home structure safe from the elements. There are a ton of insulation options available out there, including spray foam and fiberglass batts, which is pretty effective.

Once done, you can then finish up with drywall. Make sure that you cut out holes for wiring or valves for piping.

5. Address your ceiling

You might also need to make modifications to your basement ceiling, depending on how high or low it is. This should enhance your comfort in the space or make it more responsive to fire codes.

While doing so, consider any access to plumbing and electrical lines that will likely run along the ceiling. In which case, you can either conceal it with a drop ceiling or leave it exposed for a more industrial look.

6. Add all your secondary finishings

Now here is where you add any aesthetic finishes or extra features to make the space cozier. For instance, if the space allows it, you can add an extra bathroom or a bedroom, or you can tweak it to be an extra family or recreation room.

When doing your finishing, it is important that you don’t compromise on essentials, like the utility room, where you store water heaters and AV units. Make sure you make any repairs to these units as well. Also, make sure you consult a contractor before moving or knocking down any support beams. Since your house rests on these beams, doing so might transfer the weight. You’ll therefore need to add additional beams to balance it out.

Contact Painter Bros today

At Painter Bros, we perform all kinds of repair and remodeling services to homes and businesses all across the state. If you want a safe and clean finish or remodel for your basement, we’ve got your back. Our team of experts will take care of everything for you, making sure not to skimp on any of the steps above.

With years of experience dealing with concrete foundations and finishing, we guarantee that the final product will match your vision. For more information, contact us today and get a free quote.