Key Things to Know When Finishing a Basement

Make Sure you Basement Remodeling Project Goes as Plan with These Tips

By Mark J. Donovan

Finishing a basement is a great way to get knew living space in your home. Typically it is the most affordable way to gain new finished living space since the exterior walls, roof, and floor are already in place. It is also a great DIY project. However, if you don’t follow the below tips you could end up wasting a lot of money on your basement remodeling project.

1) Make sure the basement is dry, and will stay dry, before moving forward with finishing your basement. Otherwise you most likely will have major mold and mildew problems in your finished basement that will eventually make it unusable. Moreover, the mold and mildew could spread to the rest of your house causing an even larger disaster.

2) Make sure you visit your local building inspector with your finished basement plans. They need to approve them and inspect the remodeling work as it is being completed. This is vitally important if your basement remodeling plans include electric and plumbing work.

3) Framing basement walls typically requires stick building, versus building the walls on the floor and then lifting them up in place. Also, you may want to, or need to, add furring strips to the concrete walls to attach drywall to. Lastly, plan on using a powder-actuated gun for nailing framed wall plates to the concrete basement floor.

4) Installing furring strips is a lower cost alternative to building a framed 2×4 wall and placing it up against the concrete wall. The furring strips allow space for air to circulate behind the finished wall surface, and help to compensate for any waviness in the concrete wall.

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5) When framing your basement make sure to wall off a utility room area and don’t finish it. This way you have easy access to all of the mechanicals in the utility room.

6) Make sure to install a vapor barrier to the walls and floor prior to finishing off these surfaces.

7) Make sure to insulate between the wall studs or furring strips around the perimeter of the interior basement walls.

8) A drop ceiling is the best choice for a basement as it allows you to access plumbing and electrical fixtures that are in the basement ceiling.

9) Make sure to install copious amounts of lighting in the basement. Otherwise the finished basement will feel dark and uninviting. Recessed can lights work best. However, again, make sure to install many of them.

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10) Baseboard heating is ideal for a finished basement as it helps to warm up the walls as the warm air rises. However, it takes space and can complicate your HVAC system.

For more help on Basement Additions, see’s Basement Remodeling Bid sheet. The Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your basement remodeling project is done correctly and you get the project finished on time and budget.

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