Seven Basement Remodeling Mistakes

Posted by Ben Thompson on 01.19.19

When you are looking to gain more usable space in your home without adding an addition, a basement remodel can be the perfect solution.  Basements provide a blank canvas from which to design the exact areas that your family needs to support your lifestyle. You can create family rooms, kitchens, bar areas, bedrooms, theaters, music studios, or whatever you like really.  But, unlike renovations to the upper levels of your home, a basement remodel presents unique challenges that must be addressed in order to ensure a safe and dry space that you and your family can enjoy for years.

Here are seven basement remodeling mistakes to avoid.

  1. Building on a cracked foundation. Basements are prone to structural stresses, which can be evidenced by cracks in the walls or floors of your home’s foundation. These need to be inspected and repaired by a professional before you begin your remodel.
  2. Inadequate moisture control. Your basement is underground, making it an easy target for water and moisture to make its way in and it must have a way to get out. A variety of ventilation methods such as windows, ducts, fans, and vents should all be incorporated to promote air circulation and cut down on moisture and mildew.
  3. Skipping the subfloor. Installing subfloor over concrete is another important step in preventing moisture and promoting airflow. A subfloor creates a flat and slightly raised surface to install your basement flooring upon.
  4. No egressFor your family’s safety, be sure to consider emergency exit routes.  Walkout basements will have doors, but you should also install egress windows, and in some cases, may be required to by state law. You should familiarize yourself with your state codes that will specify when and where you are required to have an egress window.
  5. Low ceilings. Depending on the age of your home, your basement may not have been built with refinishing in mind.  In some cases, the ceilings may be uncomfortably low or there may be piping and ductwork that you have to work around. A professional remodeler can identify solutions to adjusting ceilings and will know how to work around the important systems in your home.
  6. Poor lighting. Basements can create quite a challenge for bringing in natural light.A carefully thought out lighting plan will include multiple light sources in a variety of fixture styles to ensure comfortable and adequate lighting for all of your activity areas.
  7. Forgetting to sound proof. You don’t want the noise from the surround sound in the basement to travel upstairs after the kids have gone to sleep.  Soundproofing insulation and RC channels in the ceiling and walls will help keep noise travel down. 

Thinking of remodeling your basement? Check out our basement design portfolio and feel free to reach out to us with your questions or to discuss your project.

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