Finishing your basement is not the same as upgrading the top floors of your house. Basement finishing problems occur because the climate is significantly wetter and humid, causing moisture difficulties. Your basement also houses all of your home’s mechanicals, such as your water heater, furnace, sump pump and more, which all take up room in the basement and present barriers such as wire and piping that you must work around. The combination of all of these challenges makes completing your basement more challenging than finishing the rest of your home. Here are our top four things to avoid while renovating your basement to safeguard your house and your financial investment.
Wood or Carpet Flooring
Install no wood or carpet materials in the basement! Hardwood, laminate and carpets cannot survive moisture and will begin to exhibit indications of mold after being exposed to it. Vinyl flooring is designed to be entirely waterproof and resistant to floods. Vinyl flooring does not have to look like your grandmother’s; it may have the look and feel of hardwood or ceramic tile while being waterproof, mold-proof and long-lasting. With so many various types of flooring available, deciding which is ideal for your new lower level can be challenging. The most significant consideration when selecting basement flooring is what will happen if there is a water or flooding problem in the basement. Remember that the basement is already more wet and humid than the rest of your house, so selecting a material built for such a climate is critical.
Consider scrapping the notion of carpeting entirely. Yes, burying your toes in warm, fluffy carpeting is far preferable to walking on frigid concrete. So we won’t hold it against you if you choose fluff. Carpets, on the other hand, are a no-no in older homes—after all, carpet is the worst type of flooring to recover after a flood. Stick to a vinyl locking tile that can be completely removed if it gets wet. You’ll hope you never have to pull it down again, but you’ll be ready if you do.
Because basements receive little natural light, appropriate interior illumination is required even throughout the day. A gloomy interior area is uninviting and does not lend itself to many activities. When the area is done, proper lighting might mean the difference between whether it is being used or not. A basement is already a frightening place. Use recessed lighting around the area and regulate it with a dimmer switch. This allows you to precisely adjust the illumination.
Water Damage and Moisture
Drainage difficulties surrounding your home’s foundation might lead to troubles inside. You may be unaware of these hazards in an unfinished area, but after you spend completing walls and floors and bringing in furniture, repairing water damage will be difficult—and considerably more expensive. Before you begin renovation, be sure you handle any water concerns.
Before beginning a basement finishing job, inspect every square inch of the walls for cracks and leaks. You should address any structural issues with the foundation walls before covering them over. You should also fix any water leaks. But what about the wall cracks? A fissure in a poured foundation wall may or may not extend through the wall. Even if the fracture extends through the wall, it may be still dry. Water can enter if a foundation wall fracture continues to move and the waterproofing seal on the exterior is destroyed. This might have severe consequences for a completed basement wall. The leak may lie unnoticed for some time, causing material degradation and perhaps mold growth.
Knowing what kinds of areas you want in your basement is one thing; knowing where to put everything else is another. Nothing is more frustrating than investing time and money to renovate your basement only to have it be choppy due to a bad floor plan and design. Consider the places you want in your lower level, and then work with a designer to establish the ideal arrangement for your new space. A well-planned and designed bottom level may make a space feel bigger and more useable.
Valor Home Services, as experienced stress-free basement professionals, can guide you through the finishing process. We know what to look out for and have plenty of ideas and innovative solutions for your one-of-a-kind place. Contact us today for a no-obligation phone consultation.