If you have a large basement area in your home you have probably considered or are considering renovating it and converting it in to an extra living space. A big basement is almost like a wasted space in many homes as it tends to just be used for storage purposes and nothing more. Generally speaking, a basement covers a wide area, sometimes even the full floor dimensions of your home. In theory converting your basement is a wonderful idea; it could provide a spare room in your home for guests, older children or even lodgers. If done correctly it could also add a lot of value to your property should you ever decide to sell.
There are many things to contemplate when beginning the process of basement renovations. You have to ensure you have the means to see the renovation through to the end as leaving your basement looking like a construction site isn’t the safest option. Do your research to find a reputable contractor and not just the cheapest bid you receive. It is recommended you try and go with a contractor you know has worked on your friend’s homes and are professional in their work ethic. The last thing you want is your renovation to end up a shambles due to bad workmanship.
Here are some of the main points to take in to consideration when turning your basement in to a living space.
First of all and probably one of the most important aspects of basement renovation is to ensure you have an exit/s. An exit could be a door or a window which opens wide enough to climb through and is low enough to reach when standing on the floor. No building department will approve your plans unless you have an exit pencilled in to your renovation floor plan.
Before you can begin doing any other structural work it is very important to make sure all damp walls, drips and leaks are fixed and dried out. Your brand new living space will not last too long if a major leak should occur plus if anyone was to sleep in the basement breathing in damp rot could cause respiratory problems.
If you want to add ensuite facilities then make sure you have an adequate draining system in place that complies with building regulation. Without a draining system there will be no where for excess water and waste to go.
When any contractor you hire is inspecting the basement prior to commencing any renovations ask him to check for asbestos and lead paint. Both of those substances can be extremely toxic so to avoid any health problems it is imperative to remove any trace of them before renovating your basement.
Make sure your basement is structurally sound. This means that if you are planning to remove any posts you must reinforce the ceiling beams. If your ceiling is too low then you might be required to dig out the floor to give better standing room. Once your floor has been reinforced again bolting it down strengthens the structure of your basement in preparation for the renovations to begin.
If you follow the guidelines above your basement renovations should go smoothly without too many hiccups. Just be aware that cutting corners might save you money now but in the long run they will become bigger problems that might not be so simple to rectify again.