6 Tips for the Perfect Basement Remodel

6 Tips for the Perfect Basement Remodel

Finishing your basement is a great idea, it gives your family more living space and adds value to your home.  Win-win…right.  The whole process of a basement remodel is not exactly fun, especially if you’re not prepared.

Here are 6 tips to make sure your basement renovation goes off without a hitch.

Get the Permits

Before you start any construction project in your home you need to know what if any permits you’re going to need.  Some municipalities require different permits for different stages in the construction.  There are likely to be building codes you will have to abide by and knowing this stuff upfront will save you a ton of hassle and money.

Check for Moisture First

Basements are notorious for leaks and damp.  It’s common to have condensation, leaks and floods in basements, so before you begin check and make sure this isn’t going to be a problem.  The last thing you want is to have to rip out the renovation because of mold.  A cheap and easy way to test to see if your basement is damp is to tape plastic sheeting to the floors and walls.  Come back in two weeks and see if there is any condensation.  If there is some under the plastic, then you need to seal your foundation.  If you have moisture on top of the sheeting then you need to get a dehumidifier.  Here is a video from home improvement expert Bob Vila on how to waterproof your basement.

Inspect & Repair any Problems

You will want to check the floor joists before you start and make sure they aren’t sagging.  Insect damage can be another problem that will come back to haunt you if you don’t deal with it now.  Check any windows and casings to make sure there aren’t any infestations, get pest control into deal with them if you find any.  Get your furnace or boiler inspection to make sure carbon monoxide is not a problem for you.

Break Up the Space

If you’re completely remodeling the basement consider adding different rooms.  You can add a bedroom or an office depending on your needs.  You can still have the man cave but putting an extra bathroom down there would add value and make it easier to enjoy the space.

Fix the Stairs

If your basement has been left unused then chances are you have a pretty rickety old staircase.  It probably needs an upgrade too, and if you have children who will be traveling the stairs you want them safe.  Make sure the staircase is in a safe and convenient location and like the rest of the project make sure it is up to code.

Get the Right Flooring

Most basements have just a concrete floor which allows you to choose from several flooring options.  Despite that fact there are some flooring materials that you should probably stay away from and hardwood is one of them.  Even finished basement still have some bit of damp and the floors can be cold, solid wood flooring can warp or you will end up with gaps.  Think of how you will be using the room and of course the budget before buying your floor.

Taking the right steps ahead of time can ensure your basement remodel goes smoothly and you have a space your family can enjoy for years.

 

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Home Improvements and the Budget

The Balance Between Home Improvements and the Budget

Doing renovations whether it is on your own home or an investment property is a costly undertaking.  Not every homeowner has an unlimited budget to fix everything they want all at once.  Consider your options and decide what the priority is going to be.

Take some time and evaluate the property objectively, make a list of what repairs are needed.  Now you need to triage that list to decide where you will spend most of your home improvement budget.  Look at anything structural along with the roof, plumbing and electricity.  Those need to be dealt with first, all other things you do to the property are largely cosmetic.

Where to Put Your Renovation Dollars

In most cases the bathroom or the kitchen are the best place to put your money, they offer the most return for the investment.  If this is a property you’re going to sell any realtor will tell you “kitchens and bathrooms sell houses”.  They don’t necessarily require the most work, have a look around and see what you can salvage and what will need to be replaced.  You may not have to rip out all the cupboards when a new countertop will suffice.

Now have a look at the rest of your house to see which other areas need an upgrade, or would impress a potential buyer.  Fresh paint is a quick and dirty way to improve the look of your home and if your budget doesn’t have room for a professional painting contractor then it’s a fairly easy project to do it yourself.  Remember first impressions count for a lot when it comes to real estate.

Curb Appeal

Clean up your landscaping, you don’t have to break the bank doing it but you do need to make sure it looks good.  If you don’t have the time or the know how to take care of it yourself then work with a  landscape company to clean up the front yard.  Don’t forget the backyard either, buyers will look there too.  One of the best renovations you can do, and it’s really simple…get a new door.  Doors have a 98% return on your investment, and it is far cheaper than gutting your kitchen.

Flooring

Everybody loves hardwood floors, but not everybody loves the price.  Laminate has gotten much better over the years and now you can get high quality laminate that looks exactly like high end hardwood.  If you have your heart set on hardwood, do you need it in every room?  Select where you will use it carefully and stretch your flooring dollars.  Bear in mind that kitchens and bathrooms need tile or linoleum, because of the potential for water damage.

Home Improvements and the Budget

The only hard and fast rule of renovating is stick to the budget!  Knowing the best places to spend your money is the easiest way to make that happen.  Pick the areas that need the biggest portions of your budget.  Save as much as you can on the areas that won’t affect the property value or affect you enjoying your home.

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