Basement Renovation Considerations

Published On December 24, 2018 | By David Corcoran | Interior

Have a basement that is under-utilized? Want to make the most of it? Before starting a basement renovation, there are a few things you need to consider. Once you have the answers to the questions below, you will know if you are ready to remodel your basement or if you need to go back to the drawing board.

  1. Does the basement have a purpose?

Because of where a basement is located, the use doesn’t need to be defined by the surrounding rooms, like a basement and dining room would be. Because of this, the basement can be anything you want it to be. You can add another bathroom if the plumbing lines are exposed. You can transform the space into an entertainment zone. If you prefer quiet and less brightly lit areas, it can even become a book nook, study, or meditation spot. Once you know how you want to use the space, you can start to plan the most effective way to use every centimeter.

  1. Have you considered the plumbing and electrical lines?

Now, here’s where it gets challenging. Some basements have unfinished ceilings and walls. Others have the piping and lines already hidden. Depending on how you want to use the basement, you’re going to have to make note of the plumbing and electrical lines, because the last thing you want is to block access to important places in case of a plumbing or electrical emergency. Connect with a professional contractor, plumber or electrician to ensure your plans are feasible.

  1. Do you have moisture in the basement?

A big problem Canadian homeowners have is dealing with moisture. There are ways to divert moisture away from the basement, such as installing vapor barriers and insulation before doing anything else. Before starting basement renovations, check to make sure there are no foundation problems, bizarre smells, leaks, or mold growth.

  1. Are you planning on redoing the ceiling?

Two things to think about if you want to add a plaster ceiling: how high is ceiling and is there any pipes that would cause obstructions? If you are worried about the height of the ceiling, then you also need to consider the kind of lighting you want. For low ceilings, track lighting is best. Higher ceilings allow for other architectural designs. Meanwhile, if you have the budget, you can always have a plumber relocate certain pipes to accommodate for a ceiling.

  1. What safety precautions will there be?

Accidents and emergencies happen. Ensure that there is an exit available in case the upper floor becomes blocked. You can do this by constructing another way out, such as a window. Fire extinguishers or fire sprinklers are another smart investment.

Additionally, you want there to be air flow, especially if there’s any fuel-burning equipment in the basement. Wall vents or a louvered door around the furnace room are great options. Be sure to consult with local builders to ensure you are meeting all building standards.

So, what do you think? Are you ready for a basement renovation? Granted, there is a lot to think about, but once you have these basement remodeling considerations taken care of, the rest of the process will move along much more smoothly.


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