Turning your basement into a fully functional, daily use space is easier and more cost effective than adding on to your home. The challenge in creating an attractive living space in a basement is that you need to be strategic in tastefully concealing your homes systems and infrastructure.
In addition to adding more functionality to your home, finishing a basement can be a good investment with the average return on investment for a basement project nationally coming in around 75 cents on the dollar. However, you will likely see less value from your basement finish if it’s not done to professional standards, has very low ceilings or the lack of at least a three-quarter bath. To get the most out of your money and remodel, you should go with a professional when finishing and remodeling your home’s basement area.
Securing the necessary permits and checking building codes is always the first step with a basement assignment. Requirements for secondary escape/access is standard in many areas and may mean adding some type of window or doorway to your basement. Your remodeling professional will be able to make these determinations for you.
Laying out your basement design options is key before the actual work begins. Look at the areas containing pipes, wiring, water heaters, etc that will need to concealed and the space this will require. Taking a look at your remaining usable space, determine your current and potential future needs for the space. Do you need an entertainment area, storage, bedroom, bath or some combination of all these options? Based on your needs, a professional can work with you to design a space for your family while using as much of the existing infrastructure as possible to keep down costs.
To avoid problems with moisture, talk to your professional remodeler about current drainage from your home, ensuring good ventilation and using vapor retardants between all basement walls and floors. When it comes to your top flooring level in the basement, you’ll want to use a material that will resist moisture and avoid buckling. A floor drain should be an essential part of your basement plan. It’s best to get a drain that ties into the storm drain directly or that drains into a pit with a sump pump in it. If you pay for these systems up front, you won’t be paying to replace furniture, rugs and appliances later.
The ceiling in your basement can make a huge difference in the appearance of the overall space. Using a dropped ceiling in areas to conceal pipes, wires and ducts is a necessity, but done correctly, it will not detract from the overall look of your remodeled basement. Another ceiling consideration that will make a major difference in your room’s appeal is lighting. Because the ceilings in a basement are usually lower than elsewhere in the house, light reflected up off the ceiling, like the ambient lighting in a tray ceiling or the sconces on the wall, is better than light directed down.
When you remodel your basement, you’re also adding extra work for your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. A good remodeler will work with a HVAC contractor to ensure that you have the right equipment to serve the basement. On the topic of ventilation, you’ll also want to have a radon test. Radon is an odorless radioactive gas that seeps into basements from surrounding soils. Uncontrolled, it can expose you and your family to the equivalent of 200 chest x-rays annually. You can purchase radon testing kits, alarms and many utility companies may offer radon testing as well.
If your basement remodel calls for a sink or bathroom installation, you’ll need to review your current drainage systems. The location of your home’s main drain will determine the type of plumbing and equipment required to provide the amenities you want.
A basement remodel can be a great addition to your home by increasing space, functionality and buyer appeal. By working with remodeling professionals, you can help ensure that your new space meets necessary codes, avoids infrastructure issues and is completed to your satisfaction.
For all your home remodeling needs, contact Pipkorn Construction at 414 916 4642 or visit our website at pipkornconstruction.com.
J. Pipkorn Construction LLC
414 916 4642