10 Tips for Renovating Your Basement

10 Tips for Renovating Your Basement

Remodeling a basement is no little accomplishment. Unless you live in a brand new home that is intended for a possible remodel, many houses are not equipped with basements designed to be transformed into living spaces. But do not find this as a setback — it is merely a matter of knowing how to handle the circumstance.

Renovating Shade is old hat for Ventana Construction co-owner Anne Higuera. Wipe her knowledge, have a look at her original renovation shots for reference, and choose whether you’re ready to jump right into a basement remodel.

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1. Plan your exits. Building codes need safe exit routes in the event of a crisis, particularly in bedroom areas. “A frequent requirement is that an opening window must be large enough to climb out of, and close enough to the floor to reach,” says Higeura. “This occasionally means cutting the foundation and constructing a window”

The windows within this finished basement not only let in loads of light, but they also provide an easy-to-access escape route in the event of emergency. Check with the regional building department about your home’s requirements.

2. Stop the water. If you’ve any moisture or water coming from the foundation or slab, Higuera recommends not finishing that portion of the cellar before the source is located and fixed. “Covering up a problem will only mean soggy, moldy insulation and Sheetrock later on, along with ruined floors,” she says. “Don’t risk it.”

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3. Check the height. “If basements are not built purposely as living space, chances are they have reduced ceiling height, or low-hanging ductwork, piping and wiring,” says Higuera. “One alternative, as seen in this picture, is to dig, which means pouring new footings under your existing ones.”

Otherwise, Higuera suggests relocating the ductwork or waste piping into inconspicuous areas such as cabinets. “There are many ways to remove ductwork, gas and water piping and other mechanical components in perspective by injecting them in the floor joists above,” she says. “Even beams can be flush-framed into the ground system.”

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4. Can you empty? Most basement remodels involve installing a new bathroom, which usually means removing part of the concrete slab and linking new waste lines to the bathroom and bathtub or shower. Your ability to attach those lines depends on how heavy your waste lines are under the surface of the concrete floor.

“You want enough of a slope from the lines, known as ‘fall,’ to permit the waste to depart by gravity,” says Higuera. “If you do not have autumn or your waste lines leave the building through the foundation, like this photo shows, you will require a sewage ejection pump to empty the toilet waste”

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5. Describe your hazmat. Basements could be stuffed with various hazardous substances. Asbestos was often utilized to seal seams in ductwork (see photo), and can nevertheless be found from the adhesive adhesive used to put in many linoleum-type floor tiles from the 1950s. Most pre-1978 homes have lead paint. Work with your builder to identify these hazards, and bring in a lab to analyze samples for complete safety.

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6. Retrofit. If you live in earthquake country, do not finish your cellar without bolting your foundation and installing shearwall in your pony walls (the short-framed wall between the foundation and the floor program, shown above) as they are at risk for failure in an earthquake. “Standard retrofitting involves nailing plywood into the face of the brief wall, in addition to linking it to the foundation and the ground system above, if at all possible,” says Higuera. “It is simple to do if the walls are open, plus much more pricey after the actuality.”

7. Look ahead. Don’t finish your basement without thinking about potential jobs. Because the cellar is the heart of most homes’ mechanical methods, you probably will have to return in there to do any major work on your primary floor, or for a good addition.

“In case you are thinking about a kitchen remodel, then run a few additional electrical circuits into the ground system. If a new bathtub is on your programs, run the garbage and supply lines today,” advises Higuera. “There is nothing worse than having to remove and replace the work you’ve just put into perform a new job.”

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8. Reduce noise. Your newly finished basement has the potential to influence the remainder of your house with noise, particularly if you create a media or play room. Installing sound insulation into the cellar ceiling can help. Higuera also suggests using RC station, which is a long piece of metal shaped like a hat if viewed from the end.

Without a solid break, sound travels throughout the wood right into the drywall. The RC station is installed across the joists prior to the drywall. When it is time for the drywall to be attached, then it rests to the RC station instead of the wood joists, reducing noise cancelling.

Still another Alternative? Lights can lights. “Can lights have a tendency to carry noise, so utilize surface-mount lights if your ceiling is high enough,” Higuera says.

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9. Choose your style. Do you want your cellar to match the finishes in the remainder of your home, or do you want it to have a different texture? This transitional bathroom has both traditional and modern elements, and the cellar has painted trim and doors throughout. According to Higuera, it is a complete departure from the primary floor, which is a traditional Arts & Crafts home with dark-stained fir millwork. However, the transitional elements make it compatible with a variety of styles while giving it a distinctive aesthetic.

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10. Consider the box. Don’t feel hemmed in by things like articles going down the center of your space, or door and window locations. “There are a range of ways to hold up beams while reducing the amount of articles, and doors and windows can often be moved without a lot of trouble,” says Higuera. “Even the stairwell into the basement could be reworked or emptied.”

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