Tips for Renovating your Basement

Tips for Renovating your Basement

Want to add more space to your home without building up or out?  Look no further than your basement.  According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, renovating a basement can give you a 50-75% return on your investment when it comes to selling your home. Here’s how to get it done right:

Start with a plan
What type of space does your family require?  Is it an extra living space for your teenager, a playroom for the little one, or perhaps an entertainment area for all to enjoy?  Once you decide on how you want to utilize the space, you can layout your design.  If budget allows, an architect or interior designer could assist you with the layout design and make valuable suggestions.

Do it yourself or hire a professional
Depending on your skill set, budget, and time, you may want to enlist the services of a contractor who has the expertise required to finish a basement.  If you do it yourself and don’t have the required time or skill to do the job correctly, you may find yourself looking at a repair bill far exceeding the amount you originally thought the project would cost.  Make an informed decision.  Be sure to carefully weigh all factors when deciding which option is right for you, while considering costs, material, labour, and equipment requirements.

Framing
Framing basement walls and ceilings is one of the most important aspects of any basement renovation. Two popular wall framing options are wood or steel studs. Wood is the classic choice.  It is versatile, easy to work with, and cost-effective.  Whereas steel, although more costly, adds a level of strength, rot resistance and won’t warp and crack like wood might over time.  Two popular ceiling framing options are dropped ceiling tiles or drywall. Dropped ceiling tiles provide easy access to pipes and wires which can be a saviour if a tub or toilet on the main level floor springs a leak.  Alternatively, dry wall ceilings offer a smooth finish and require less vertical space – a great option if your basement ceiling height is already low.

Flooring
There are plenty of basement flooring choices to choose from including laminate, linoleum, vinyl, wood and ceramic tiles.  Be sure to match your flooring choice with the intended use of the space and your geographic location.  For example, a game room may require more durable flooring than an office.  Do you live in an area with a tendency for flooding or is your location dry?  Carpet with high density under pad will offer cushion and moisture protection from the typical condensation found in basements.  Engineered hardwood made for below grade installation will flex and handle moisture better than traditional hardwood. Ceramic tile is great for bathrooms and laundry rooms and is easy to install on concrete.

Add a bathroom
Installing a bathroom in the basement is a great way to add value to your home.  Determine if you require a full bathroom or if a powder room will suffice.  Powder rooms are relatively simple to install, easy to keep clean, and won’t take up too much room.  Full three or four piece bathrooms can provide a comfortable, private, and even luxurious, space for overnight visitors to enjoy. With either option, time and costs can be reduced if bathroom fixtures are located near existing plumbing and are arranged in a line on one wall.  Be sure to check local codes for plumbing and electrical aspects of your project.

Add storage
No matter what kind of plan you come up with for your basement, remember to factor in plenty of closet or storage space.  This will enable you to de-clutter the rest of your home to keep it tidy and inviting.  Further, if you ever decide to move, having this extra storage space should appeal to just about any prospective buyer.

A finished basement can not only increase your home enjoyment but it can also add valuable square footage.  From everyday living to financial value, finished basements provide many benefits to you as a homeowner.