When homeowners decide to finish their basement, or renovate/update an existing finished basement, homeowners should expect a payback on that investment. Many factors come into play when making the decision to finish or remodel your basement, such as the age of the home, how much of the basement to keep for storage, adding additional bedrooms and bathrooms to name a few.
Some basements are natural candidates for finishing, while others may require some structural work before plumbing, walls, insulation, and electrical can be installed. Here are four things to consider while the basement is unfinished:
- Inspect the foundation walls and floor for cracks, bulging walls, doors that don’t latch properly, and windows that seem “stuck”. Settling or stress can cause concrete to crack which can lead to bigger problems during the renovation and after the basement is finished. If there are serious foundation issues, act quickly and make the proper repairs. Otherwise, the stability and safety of your home could be placed in jeopardy and can make your basement renovation more challenging and expensive.
- Look for signs of water damage inside and outside the home due to poor drainage. It is common that pipes may leak. It’s also common that after a hard rain, or use of your sprinkler system, to see pooling of water due to the slope of your yard. If your foundation has shifted, you may see mold or rot which is a sign you may have an unnoticed problem.
- If you are considering adding a bedroom as part of your renovation, there must be a means of escape in case of fire or another emergency. Egress windows weren’t part of building codes until the 1990’s so if your home was built prior to that it probably doesn’t meet standard fire codes. Egress windows are a fantastic option when the basement of your home is below grade. They are also a great way to add natural light to an otherwise dark basement and can raise the value of homes.
- Plan Ahead. If you notice any of the issues above, a foundation repair could take as much as 10-12 weeks lead time. If you are planning to do your renovation this spring, now is the time to ensure your basement is ready with no foundation or structural issues
All of these issues can easily be addressed when building the basement of your dreams. Preventing headaches during or after the build will make your new space much more enjoyable.