At one point or another every homeowner realizes they could use more space. Some choose to expand horizontally by adding an addition, but others decide it would be best to optimize the space they already have.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a basement, but if you do you owe it to yourself to consider using it for something other than a junk room. If you feel as though you could use more space then you should consider removing all the junk and converting your basement into usable space.
Having said that, there actually is a reason that many basements never reach their full potential. The fact of the matter is that basements were never originally intended to be used as functional living spaces. There are some pitfalls that you need to be aware of before you attempt to convert your basement.
Basement Remodeling Considerations
1. Public Enemy #1: MOISTURE
If moisture is an issue in your basement then it may not be worth considering converting it to livable space. If water is physically pooling in areas in your basement then the basement remodeling may be out. If however, the moisture issue is minor then a team like Steve’s can waterproof your basement before beginning the remodeling process.
2. What is Your Goal?
The truth is, basements may not suit every purpose you have in mind. For this reason you really need to think through how you are planning to use the space, and if your plan is practical. If you are building out your basement so your mother-in-law can stay with you, and she happens to love sunlight then it might not end well.
Then again, if you are considering it for a home theater room a basement might be just the place. Because of its dampened acoustics and the fact that it is a low light area leads basements to be ideal for this purpose.
3. What About the Walls?
In a basement walls have no structural value. If you are finishing your basement you will still need walls for aesthetics, to run electrical wires, and to enhance temperature control. Because of the potential moisture issue your contractor will need to use steel studs.
4. Code Code Code
When planning your basement remodel you have to make sure that everything is up to code. It doesn’t matter where you want to place your electrical outlets, if your choices conflict with code then you’ll have to adjust. A licensed remodeling contractor can help make sure that you vision is compliance.
5. Escape Hatch: Egress
If you are planning on putting a bedroom in your newly remodeled basement then you have to have an exit point besides the doorway (egress). Now some homeowners try to skirt this rule by calling their basement bedroom by some other name. However, requiring a point of egress is to protect people, and without it your new basement will not be up to code.
6. Do You Want a Dungeon?
One of the most overlooked aspects of basement remodeling is lighting. As mentioned earlier, basements tend to be low-light environments. While that may work well if you add a theater room, it can be less than optimal if you are trying to convert your basement into livable space. Can lights tend to be particular effective in improving your basement’s lighting.