5 Tips for Converting Your Old Basement into an Extra Room

Remodeling your basement can add extra living space to your home and increase its value. It can be an area where a family member or friend can live, or you can rent it out. Finishing your basement requires planning and meeting building codes in your town, city, and state. To turn it into an apartment or bedroom, it will have to meet certain building codes and require a permit.

Measure The Area and Inspect Plumbing and Wiring

The first step is to know the height and width of the space and if it meets your local building codes. You may want to have a professional plumber and electrician inspect the basement. Perhaps you are adding a bathroom or need electrical work done for additional fixtures. Whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring contractors, this is the first step in planning.

Waterproofing and Insulation

You may want to inspect your basement to find any water leaks and consider waterproofing the inside. They sell concrete waterproof coating that you can apply to the walls. Silicate-based concrete sealers can be used only on walls that have not been painted or sealed. Waterproofing paint is another material you can use to paint your basement and seal it.

Exterior waterproofing will waterproof your basement walls outside and add drainage panels and a drain. It is the best way to waterproof your basement but costs more than the other methods. Some consumers add a sump pump for basements that have too much moisture. In fact, 98% of basements have water damage. Insulating the walls and ground from moisture using insulated panels is another way to keep it warm and moisture out.

You may want to inspect the water heater and have it serviced to make sure it’s working properly or does not need to be replaced. According to Forbes, the top five reasons water heaters need to be replaced are age, leaks, breakdowns, or they no longer work. Taking care of this will is another crucial step in remodeling.

Window Installation For Basement Additions

You will need to install basement windows that let in light and provide an escape if there is a fire or other emergency. These are called egress windows and can be installed to expand existing windows or to replace them. They come in varied sizes and styles to choose from casement, double-hung, gliding, and awning-style windows. Older homes now by law must have them installed when converting a basement to a living space.

Checking the Basement For Mold, Pests, and Radon

Before beginning a basement conversion, you will want to check your basement for mold that often develops due to moisture. It is wise to have a professional remove the mold. An inspection for insects and other pests should be conducted before you start building. Testing for radon, a substance that produces radiation, should be evaluated before starting a renovation. If you do find radon, you can have a radon mitigation system installed which consists of a fan and exhaust system.

Upgrade The Flooring And Staircase

Wood floors are not a good option due to moisture and warping in basements. Fix the concrete floor first and you can install wood tiles, carpeting, regular tiles, paint the floor, rubber tiles or sheets, vinyl planks, and engineered wood flooring. These materials are designed to withstand moisture, and can be easily cleaned, and repaired.

Often, stairways in the basement can be rickety and dark. Upgrading the stairs with larger study steps and a sturdy handrail makes it safer to go up and down in your home. Statistics show that 4.8 million adults with arthritis have trouble climbing stairs. Remodeling the stairs will make it easier for family members to climb them safely.

These are some of the tips you should consider before you begin construction on a basement to determine what needs to be fixed. Planning beforehand will save you the headache of having to go back and redo things later after you’ve already started your project.


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