If you own a home with an unfinished basement, finishing it can be a wise investment. A finished basement can increase the square footage of your home and also add extra bedrooms and bathrooms, all of which can increase the value of your home. But, it is very important to finish a basement the right way. Use the following tips to help ensure that your basement finishing project is a success:
Pay Attention to Building Codes
Just like any major home improvement project, you need to make sure that your basement is finished up to code. Work with a licensed contractor who is familiar with the building codes in your area. You will also need to hire an experienced electrician and plumber to assist with the project. Make sure that you get all of the permits needed in advance and don't forget to have your basement inspected upon completion, if required.
Keep Moisture Out
It is not uncommon for unfinished basements to be slightly damp and moist. But, if you're spending the money to finish you're basement, you will want to keep moisture at bay so it doesn't cause any damage. There are several ways to waterproof a basement, including coating the walls with a special sealant that blocks water and installing a sump pump that will remove water that does enter the basement. Don't cut corners when it comes to spending money waterproofing your basement-- doing so will just lead to numerous problems in the future.
Invest in Good Insulation
Prior to drywall going up, insulation needs to be installed in the basement. Use the highest quality insulation you can afford to buy, since good insulation will help regulate the temperature of the basement and also muffle the sounds from the upper levels of your house. When selecting insulation for your basement, choose one that has a vapor barrier on each side to further waterproof the basement.
Leave the Utility Area Alone
If your HVAC unit and water heater are located in a room in your basement, leave that area alone. There is no need to finish this area, and doing so can lead to breaking building codes pertaining to the amount of open space needed around utilities. When planning how you will utilize the space in your finished basement, make sure that the utility room can be easily accessed in case repairs are needed, but don't make any improvements or changes to the area.