Looking to turn your basement from a storage unit to a living area/entertainment area while increasing the value on your property? Consider these 10 considerations before starting your reservation process.

  1. Remodeling Magazine projected nationally the average ROI for basement projects currently sits at 75 cents on the dollar. In addition to a payback a basement project creates more rooms and storage, as well as entertainment space.
  2. Are you experienced in doing the work yourself? Wall framing, installing insulation and drywall work can be done without hiring professionals. There however are some basement projects that will require professional work like wiring and plumbing. When doing the work ensure that you grab the proper building permits to do so.
  3. Make sure to locate areas in the basement where doors and windows that will allow for natural lighting. Make sure to have a professional look over the structure of the building before cutting out walls to make the windows and doors.
  4. Make sure stairwell entry into the basement is safe. Sturdy handrails and the walls supporting the handrails should be in place.
  5. Eliminate all moisture worries. Start by making sure your roof drainage drains water away from your foundation. Keep your windows closed during humid weather and ensure your bathrooms and kitchens have good ventilation to the outside. Lastly add a vapor retardant between interior stud walls and floors as well as between foundation walls and floor slabs.
  6. Make sure you pick the right flooring. Some products such as solid woods don’t hold well below ground level. Options like vinyl, ceramic tile and engineered wood will give you much better long term options that will hold up and still look good.
  7. Figure out the ceiling. Drywall or drop ceiling tiles are two solid options for basements. Keep in mind the highest level of your ceiling can only go as high as the lowest hanging pipe, duct, or wire.
  8. Hire an HVAC contractor to make sure you have the right equipment to support the basement with heating, ventilation and AC systems.
  9. Test for radon, an odorless radioactive gas that seeps into basements from surrounding soil. If it exists it could cause people living within future health issues. It can be mitigated by sealing cracks and surfaces and using ventilators.
  10. In case of emergencies make sure there is an easy escape route. Most building codes require egress windows if a room wants to be considered a bedroom. Adding access to the outside with a access door is also a good option.