Avoiding Basement Remodel Mistakes and Blunders
To add more square feet onto the average house, many homeowners today look down instead of up or out, and this means finishing a basement. The dark, scary, and cobweb-ridden basements of yesterday are nothing like today’s awesome entertainment spaces, extra bedrooms, and playrooms.
Basement Mistakes and Project Enthusiasm
However, if you get too excited about your remodeling and improvement project, you might fall victim to some common basement mistakes. Transforming your wet, dirty basement into a warm and inviting space requires planning and talks with your contractor about items like code, insulation, structural integrity, and the threat of water.
Seems complex and overwhelming, but a good plan will make any significant and complicated basement remodeling project run like clockwork.
Meeting the Challenges of a Basement Remodel
Canadian home improvement tipster Steve Maxwell suggests that many challenges of basement remodeling aren’t “obvious” when you first look at improving the space.
Underneath all these worthy possibilities you’ll find challenges unique to the basement finishing game. And these are especially sneaky because most of the challenges aren’t obvious at first. More often than not, they allow themselves to be ignored, at least for a while. But then, when all the work is done, they make themselves known in the form of trouble that’s almost impossible to fix afterwards.
Two Questions to Ask During Planning
Asking yourself some simple questions about your basement will help ensure you plan right and get the best result from the project. The most important questions revolve around water and the threat of a leaky basement.
Consider these questions when discussing the wishes for your future basement with your contractor:
- Does your basement have any problems with water?
- Does your basement have water-resistant insulation?
The biggest mistake any homeowner can make is to install some amazing features in the basement only to have continuous problems with water each season. One of the best reasons to consult with a contractor is because home improvement professionals can train their expert eye on a basement to determine its propensity and risk for flooding and the invasion of water.
A Warm and Dry Floor
Just like the walls need special consideration for insulation, the floors also need special treatment. Unlike the floors on the upper levels of the home, the floor of a basement is rife with the risk for water and dampness.
The “Chronicle Herald” out of Halifax, Canada shares why floors become damp and wet in the summer months:
Humid summer weather causes many basement moisture problems because basement spaces are cooler than outside air. As warm, moist, summertime air makes its way into the basement it cools, losing its ability to hold moisture, resulting in condensation if conditions are right. This happens most often right at floor level because concrete floors are the coolest part of any basement.
DIY Pitfalls and Basements
Networks like HGTV and the DIY Network encourage homeowners to take control of their homes with projects to beautify the home. However, the basement is a wild area of the home where problems might not seem apparent at the start of a project and may cause some big problems after the basement is finished.
The New Home Blog explains the pitfalls of finishing your own basement:
Be realistic in assessing your skills. Having made a bench in high school shop class may not pre-qualify you for completing a full basement reno with plumbing and wiring, the scope of the project should always be part of your assessment. Sure, you’ll be gaining skills along the way, but the process could be long and arduous.
More Basement Remodeling Tips
Would you like to know how to turn your creepy, dark basement into an awesome entertainment room or an extra bedroom? Contact Artisan Remodeling, today for expert advice on how you can get a beautifully finished basement.