What to Consider Before Finishing Your Basement

Published On: August 3, 20210 Comments on What to Consider Before Finishing Your BasementTags: Last Updated: February 5, 20243.2 min read

Many times, homeowners choose to not finish their basements when having a house built since that can reduce some costs. They can choose to later finish the space to make it more usable and increase the home’s value. However, if you have decided that now is the time to finish the space, there are some things to consider first.

What to Consider Before Finishing Your Basement

They will affect your costs and the things necessary to prepare.

Paying for the Renovation

Before you create a plan to redo the area, it is important to think about how you will pay for it. Come up with a workable budget after getting some estimates. It is a good idea to try to cut costs where you can, but you should also not go too cheap, since that might mean the work will not be done right. One way of paying for a basement refinish is to get a home equity line of credit to pay for the upgrade. You can use a guide to find the best rates on home equity lines of credit. When you find the best payment, you can get the funds you need for a renovation sure to increase your property’s value.

Checking the Foundation

Before you start a construction project in the basement, you’ll want to check that your foundation is still sturdy. If your house is older, the foundation might have some cracks, and a basement could have cracked walls or leaks as a result. It is best to fix these issues now before moving ahead. The walls might crack from stress or simple settling of the house. That causes the concrete to weaken, causing the foundation to have more serious issues later if you do not fix them. If there are serious issues with the foundation now, it is important to address them now so the building’s safety is not jeopardized.
There are a few indications of a potential issue, including:

  • Flooring cracks
  • Windows that will not open properly
  • Horizontal cracks running on the interior or exterior walls
  • Floors that are starting to slant or bow
  • Doors that will not properly latch

What to Consider Before Finishing Your Basement - basement

Avoiding Code Violations

If your home was not built according to code or the building is old, you might need to check for potential code violations before finishing the basement. And some types of work might require permits, depending on your area and the home’s age. One of the more common issues is a potential lack of egress windows requiring professional egress installation. That means that even if the basement is somewhat below ground level, there will still be windows in a window well that will allow someone to escape in case of fire. Since these were not always required, older homes might not meet the codes. That means if you renovate the area, you will need to bring it up to code. Make sure you check with the officials in your area to determine other potential issues you might need to address.

Insulating the Space

Sometimes, a homeowner can choose to save on insulation in the basement since they aren’t down there as much. But this is a mistake that can affect the cost of keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. When you properly insulate the basement, you can save money on both heating and cooling. The HVAC system will not need to work quite as hard to keep the home at a good temperature. Plus, insulation protects the house and its foundation from harsh conditions. And with options ranging from spray foam to fiberglass, you can find something affordable that will do the job. You might choose spray foam since it tends to be the most efficient.

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