A finished basement can add utility and enjoyment to your home, not to mention some much-needed square footage. If you find yourself continually wishing for more storage space, an extra bedroom, a dedicated playroom for the kids, or even just a more organized laundry area, the solution may literally be right under your feet.
Finishing a basement is complicated project, especially if you are working on a budget. However, you’ll be happy to learn that this project will cost significantly less than adding on an addition of the same square footage. If possible, it is always best to work within the existing footprint of your home, and to make the most of the space and foundation that you already have.
Of course, as most homeowners realize, basements come with their own particular set of challenges. With that in mind, we have assembled a list of 9 tips for a successful finished basement project. After years of helping families turn an unused space into something truly enjoyable, we have become familiar with some universal truths.
Here they are…
Address Any and All Problems Before Beginning Work
Before you do a single thing – and this includes even sketching out a preliminary layout – have your basement professionally inspected so that you can address any problems before they have a chance to halt construction.
Minor issues can easily be handled by a homeowner with a good set of tools, but there are four specific problems which are best handled by a professional.
- Structural damage – Cracks in the walls or ceilings of your basement may be the result of surface damage, but there’s also the possibility that they are the beginning signs of damage to the foundation of your home. Hopefully, you do not find this type of damage at all, but if you do, do not attempt to remedy it yourself. Get a trusted professional to assess the situation, and come up with a plan.
- Radon – Radon is a radioactive gas which can seep up through the soil on which your home is built, and make its way inside. This is a dangerous situation, as radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. Radon will need to be detected, and if it is found, a removal system will need to be placed in your basement.
- Mold – Basements are more likely to be wet than any other room in your home. If your basement has already been infiltrated by dangerous mold, you may need a professional to safely remove it before you can begin building.
- Termites – If termite damage is found in the foundation of your home, you’ll need to call in a professional to exterminate the bugs, and to make sure the damage is not severe enough to warrant any further action.
Hopefully, none of these issues come up. However, if they do, it is best to call in a professional right away rather than try to tackle this yourself.