An unfinished basement can seem to be a rough, bare, and empty space. We believe a basement has limitless potential. Basement renos offer ample space for expanding livable square footage.
So, where to begin? First of all, determine how the basement will be used. Basement suites used for rental units, also referred to as secondary suites, require additional work. Therefore more planning will be required.
The entire area can be left open, or it can be divided into rooms. It can be elegantly finished, or it can be given a rustic design. In essence the only limits are the boundaries of your imagination:
- home theater and entertainment rooms
- a man cave with a theme
- extra bedrooms and bathrooms so your visiting friends or family have some privacy
- secondary living quarters including kitchen and laundry
- basement suites with a private entrance
Things To Consider For Basement Renos
Here are some things to consider before starting your basement renovation:
- How the basement will be used
If the basement will be used as a secondary suite, or an Airbnb, there are permits that will be required.
- Ceiling height
For the most part a visible duct work and/or a low ceiling level will be encountered. Basically you have three options. The first option is to live with a lower ceiling. The second option is to frame boxes around the duct work, and have the rest of the ceiling higher. The third option is to move the duct work; however, this is an expensive option.
For the most part if you have a “sunlight basement” (meaning that at least one wall is above ground and has windows to let in sunlight), providing light for part of the area will be much easier. In areas without windows, you will need to really pay attention to lighting. Along with protecting the environment, choosing energy-efficient fixtures will save you money.
- Concrete floors
Generally speaking concrete floors are hard on your back, legs or feet. Therefore, choosing the right kind of flooring for your basement activities is important.
Last but not least dampness in a finished basement is usually the cause of all kinds of problems. For the most part the dampness will make the area feel cooler or warmer, but more importantly, the dampness will breed mold and mildew. So, the first step in finishing a basement is to correct any dampness problems and then seal the floor and walls carefully.