The Basics of Refinishing a Basement

Are you looking to expand your living space and increase the value of your home? If so, you may want to consider a finished basement. If you currently have an unfinished basement, your home has an untapped living space that will provide you with many benefits once renovated. This month’s blog post highlights some advantages, disadvantages, and obstacles to tackling a basement renovation project.

Why Finish the Basement?

The obvious advantage of a refinished basement is increasing the living space in your home.  A refinished basement can function as a media, living area, multi-functional room, or perhaps an extra bedroom for guests or your teenager.  In addition to the additional living space, you can use a finished basement for storage.  Of course, a finished basement will increase your home’s overall value to a buyer for these same reasons.

On the flip side, there are some disadvantages of a finished basement.  The primary disadvantage is that it could be a significant cost depending on the level of renovation you plan to do in the basement.  For example, if you plan to use the space as an additional bedroom, are you planning to have a bathroom?  An added bathroom may require extensive plumbing work.  Do you plan to extend your ventilation system to the basement to provide heat and air conditioning?  Ductwork and venting will require extra work and costs.  That’s why it is important that you plan before starting the project to determine how you plan to you the refinished basement.

Identify the Purpose of the Space

Deciding how you want to use the space before starting the project is important because the purpose will influence your project plans and budget.   If you anticipate the area to be a daily living space, then you want to make sure the space is properly ventilated with heating and cooling.  Temperature regulation is important in the basement since it tends to be cooler than the rest of the home. You may save money on cooling costs in the summer, but heating will be required in winter.  If you plan to use it as an entertainment area, you may want to consider adding plumbing for a wet bar, sink, or toilet.

Basement Renovation Obstacles

There are several obstacles you will need to consider with a basement renovation, including:

  • Additional moisture
  • Lack of natural light
  • Fuel-burning equipment and pipes.

Additional Moisture

Remember that many basements may have water and mold issues that must be handled before reconstruction.   Before starting your project, you should consult a contractor to test the moisture levels and determine how much moisture retention is in the basement.  If moisture is a problem, they must include the proper dehumidifying equipment to maintain the moisture levels.  You will want to discuss how best to waterproof the living area during construction to prevent moisture seepage and mold.

Lack of Natural Light

Unless you have any external windows in your basement area, you must add lighting, which may mean more electrical work.   You will most likely want to add ceiling lighting like recessed cans or other types of lights to brighten the space.  There are some interesting lighting options today that look like skylights and create a sense of natural light without the skylight.  No one likes a dark living area, so plan this part out well with the advice of a contractor.

Fuel Burning Equipment and Pipes

Finishing your basement is a great way to add value and space to your home.  Before tackling this extensive project, consult with Prominent Builders and Design in Bergen County, NJ.  Our professionals can assist you in determining the scope of work and costs for refinishing your basement. We can also complete the entire project, from designing and permitting to constructing your new space. Call us today to schedule a basement refinishing consultation