How to plan your basement renovation project

A basement can provide any home with a number of uses, you can turn a basement into an entertainment area, extend the living space, convert it into a home gym, and many others. Depending on the size of the space you have to work with you may even combine different uses into a multifunctional area.

Whether you are redoing your basement or finishing it, the planning process starts with deciding how you want to use the space. Keep in mind the long-term use of the space, what you may decide now may not be what you need in the long term. As an example, converting a basement home gym into a fully furnished living space with a kitchen and bathroom can be a large endeavor later on. Hence why choosing the use of the space and planning is a critical first step in the basement renovation process.

Another aspect of planning your basement renovation project is the items you will need to keep, regardless of the space they may take up. The HVAC unit and associated ductwork, water heater, well pump, sump pump and pit, electrical panel and wiring, pipes, support columns, and beams are among these items. It is important to remember that, while these items will still need to be in your basement, you may be able to relocate them during the construction process. If you decide to relocate these items, work with a professional to ensure that you select a practical and realistic location.

A basement renovation project is no small task that can quickly escalate in scope if you plan to add customized features. Here are only some of the different components when it comes to a basement renovation project.

Things to consider for your basement reno project

Lighting

An underground space like a basement needs to have built-in lighting. In most cases, a basement space will not have enough natural light coming in. Recessed lights would be ideal, especially in a space with lower ceilings. Take into account the distance between each light and the space from the walls to avoid corner shadows. A well-lit space can make a difference in your overall mood and the area’s overall appeal.

Windows

Even with enough lighting from fixtures, having a source of a natural light source is important visually and for safety. Building codes may require basement egress windows to open all the way. There are a number of different window types to choose from like awning windows, picture windows, or sliding windows, to name a few. All accompanied by window features like the number of panes, gas filled, and Low-E coating.

Flooring

There are a number of floorings to choose from which will depend on the use of the space. Carpeting is great for home theaters because of the improved sound quality while also being a good option to consider if you have children who play on the floor. In contrast, hard flooring like ceramic and vinyl may be an optimal option if you are searching for a specific aesthetic.

Insulation

With the changing seasons, insulation is important in controlling the varying temperature. Insulation also minimizes water damage and may reduce your energy consumption. The basement of your home is an entire floor and proper insulation will ensure that space’s overall comfort.

Plumbing

You may be planning on including a bathroom, a working kitchen, and maybe a laundry area in your renovation. If you are considering one or some of these additions you need to add proper plumbing to your checklist. Different systems are needed depending on the layout and the current state of the basement.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing is a preventative feature that can ward off future headaches of potential water damage. Since basements are likely to experience some type of water damage during their lifespan. Basement waterproofing will depend on the complexity of the system, the size of the basement, and any existing sources of water damage.

Designated Rooms

The basement space could be one entire room if that is the layout you decide to choose. In the case that you want to include bathrooms, bedrooms, or a kitchen area, you need to create walls to section off the desired floor plan. When placing walls in a basement you also need to account for the current beams and columns as they are usually unmovable and need to be built around.

Furniture and Decor

The layout of your basement renovation may depend on the furniture and decor you are placing. A bed and dresser may require a separate room requiring walls to be placed and section off a portion of the basement. The tv and couch may also need a dedicated space which can also affect the layout. Planning can ensure that you get the most out of your basement renovation.

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How much does it cost to renovate a basement?

The basement area in a home can offer great value to you as a homeowner and potential buyers if you ever decide to sell your home. Such an upgrade can provide a number of added uses to an area of your home that is both beneficial when it is finished and in the long run. During the planning process of your proposed basement renovation, you may be taking into account potential costs simultaneously with the features and upgrades you are considering.

However, due to the number of varying factors in a basement renovation, the cost of such a project can widely vary. Such factors can include the quality of the material, cost of labor and installation, the size of the basement, the overall condition of the area, the proposed upgrades, and the complexity of the renovation design. Generally, for a basement size of 1000 square feet, it can cost around $45 000 to $95 000. Setting a clear budget for your basement renovation project will make the process much easier. Communicate with your renovation contractor about what you are comfortable spending and the must-have features you want in your basement. As a result, the renovation fees can stay within your desired budget, but you still get the best quality for the resources available.

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How much does it cost to renovate a basement