Remodeling magazine conducted a study that shows that the average basement remodel will offer a 75 cent return on every dollar spent, placing it in the top 10 best investments for home improvement, behind bathroom and kitchen remodels. This top 10 placement is based on the useable square footage addition, adding an extra bedroom, bathroom, in-home office, or family space.
There are several things to consider when looking to finish your basement.
One of the number 1 destroyers of basements is moisture. There are multiple ways to test for moisture levels and prevent leaks and mold from ruining the hard work you put into your new space. While a dehumidifier may help alleviate some density, it can sometimes pull moisture through unsealed walls from the surrounding earth. Alternative ways to reduce water problems include professional HVAC installation, sealing walls, and choosing correct flooring like floating vinyl slat flooring. A vapor retardant is also recommended between floor slabs and foundation walls to help reduce the amount of water that comes from the outside. If you plan to install a bathroom in the basement, make sure it is properly equipped with exhaust fans and ventilation that will help reduce steam buildup.
Most basements have limited options when it comes to natural lighting. Organizing your space around optimizing the available light will create a warmer space to spend time in. Optical tricks, like lighter walls and mirrors, will help the space look larger and allow more natural light in. If you’re unable to harness natural light, there are lots of lighting options that mimic sunlight that could be better fitting alternatives. Planning the layout to be more open around your light source can also allow more light into the subterranean space.
Being on the garden level of a home can be the noisiest place in the house. While vinyl slat flooring may be the best option for moisture control, it will only help to amplify the sound that is coming from the floors above. It’s up to you to choose your flooring in respects to soundproofing your basement. Water & mold resistant carpeting could be your best option if you’re looking to add an extra bedroom, playroom, or movie room, as the carpet absorbs quite a bit of sound. Other ways to soundproof the basement include adding fiberglass batts behind the drywall to create an extra layer of insulation. Sound absorption pads and matts can also be added between the first-story floorboards and the basement ceiling.
Take into consideration how much space in your basement is currently used for storage. If your answer is “none” than this will be less important than the last 3 suggestions. However, as you grow into your home or your family begins to grow, having designated storage space will benefit your entire family. There are creative ways to add storage without reducing the useable square footage of your home. Adding a closet underneath the stairs will offer great storage space without cutting into an open floor plan. Creating a full closet wall can also minimize the intrusion of storage into an open layout. This can be created with an extension of added drywall just a few feet from the original basement wall. Another option includes building a cabinet and cubby system on one of the walls for all of the kitsch things you may have.
There are so many other factors that go into a basement remodel, like egress/emergency exit installation, ceiling heights, etc. but these will give you a framework of important things to note when considering finishing your basement. One other noteworthy point includes examining the stairwell to the basement. Basement stairs are often not even or have deteriorated over the years due to moisture and most likely need maintenance too.
If you’re thinking of adding on to your house, we would love to offer a free consultation for renovating your basement space. Contact Bright Star Handyman Service for more information today!