Let’s Start Planning Your Basement…

Finishing a basement can add a lot of new livable space to your home. The biggest challenge is determining how you will actually use the space on a day-to-day basis, prioritizing your needs and wants and identifying any obstacles.

How will you use the space…

  • Who will be using the space? Do you have kids that will use the space?
  • How much of the space do you plan on finishing? Is part of the space to remain unfinished for storage or HVAC equipment?
  • What do you envision for the space? A play area for the kids? Or maybe a bar and gaming area? An exercise area?
  • Do you plan on adding a bedroom downstairs? If so, you must have an egress window in that room for safety reasons.
  • What kind of basement do you have? A walk-out basement or completely below grade basement?  If completely below grade, you will need an egress window if you do not already have one.
  • Do you have enough space for all of you needs and wants? This is a good time to start prioritizing and asking yourself what is absolutely essential.
  • Will your needs/wants for the space change over time? For instance, do you want a playroom for small children now but as they grow you may want a gaming area or space for them to hang out with friends? If so, a flexible design may be important to you.
  • Is your budget realistic with your list of needs and wants? This is a question we will be able to advise you on.

Logistical considerations…

  • Are there poles that may dictate where walls are placed?
  • What is the maximum possible ceiling height in different areas? Where does the ductwork run? What is the beam height and joist height?
  • What type of ceiling do you prefer? If acoustical privacy is an issue you may want to consider a drop ceiling. If you want the basement to feel more like an extension of the home you may opt for a drywall ceiling.
  • Are there any moisture problems in the basement? Any mildew smell or cracks in foundation walls or floors of any? Any obvious signs of water getting in?
  • Where is the furnace, water heater, sump pump or other equipment located in the basement?
  • Is the basement pre-plumbed for a bathroom? If so, does the layout work logistically or will plumbing lines need to be moved?

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