What To Do Before Finishing Your Basement
Revamping a basement into a more useable space can be a great way to add square footage to a home. Additionally, the return investment for a basement renovation can be as much as 69%[MZ1] . Whether you’re a homeowner, interior designer or home contractor, tackling a basement project is no easy feat — it requires a thorough inspection process before any grunt work begins. To ensure a basement project goes smoothly, consider a few technical aspects.
Before the work or design process commences, inspect the foundation for cracks, leaks, displacement or patches of soft concrete, which indicate a foundation repair is needed. Failing to address repairs before proceeding with your project may lead to potential structural damage to the home. Identify water issues by checking for moisture on the floor and walls. Obvious signs include pools of water and dripping walls. Check appliances such as washers and water heaters for any problematic issues as well as outside to make sure the ground is graded to slope away from the foundation.
Verify the property is up to code. If you’re a homeowner or contractor planning to build a bedroom in the lower ground floor, be sure to install an egress window. A basement sleeping room devoid of an egress window is a fire code violation and can’t be labeled as a bedroom in a real estate listing. After conducting a thorough inspection of the home’s lower ground floor, think about the design plans and how you or potential buyers will use the space. If you’re an interior designer, consider what purpose each area of the space will serve. This is a critical step, since it dictates what materials are needed and how the supplies will be utilized.
For more tips on what to do before transforming a basement into an additional living area, see the accompanying checklist infographic.
Author bio: Vince Powell is the owner of Foundation Doctor, a foundation repair company in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has eight years of experience in the industry and focuses on renovating properties in the greater Charlotte metro area.