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Remodeling your basement can be a creative way to add some space in your house. However, many factors come into play when doing this project. You must pay attention to them before embarking on remodeling. They will affect the cost of the project as well as the preparations you need to do.
While some basements are easy to remodel, others require some structural work before redesigning. Here are crucial factors to consider before you get started on the renovation.
1. What is the Condition of the Foundation?
Before you start any additional construction in your house, it's always a good idea to check the foundation's state. Sometimes basements possess leaks or cracked walls which can compromise the structural quality and safety of the home. It would help if you addressed these shortcomings before any work commences.
Some indicators of a compromised foundation include:
- Horizontal cracks
- Soft concrete
- Poorly latched doors
- Curved, cracked, or bulging walls
- Cracks on any floor in the home
2. Ensure the Basement is Dry
You need to check for any water issues in the basement. Carefully examine the ceiling, walls, and floors for any signs of water damage. Leaking pipes in the cellar frequently go unnoticed. However, the tell-tale signs include rotting timber, mold, and a shift in the foundation.
Check to see that you fix all leaky pipes and eliminate all water issues before insulating the basement. Ignoring such problems may lead to costly issues later on.
3. How Much Space Do You Have?
The ceiling height is one of the determinants of what you can do with your basement. The International Residential Code requires basements to have a minimum height of 7 feet. Check with your local building code, too, for the actual height requirement in your area. While checking out this code, remember to check the requirements for the hallway width and staircase construction.
The space available will be an essential element when deciding how to remodel the basement. Depending on the available area, you can restructure the basement into a family room, bedroom, kitchen, laundry room, or home office.
In some areas, the law may limit you from constructing a full-time kitchen in the basement. Confirm with the authorities about the kind of emergency exits your remodeled basement should have.
4. What is the Extent of Remodeling?
Depending on the type of remodeling at hand, you may have a lot of things to do. For some people, the remodeling could be nothing more than a few touches to make the place brighter and habitable. For others, it could be adding some electrical outlets and lighting and putting a workbench in place. Yet for another person, it could mean an overhaul of the entire place. This means building new walls, installing a ceiling, building a small home theater, and installing a full wet bar. It’s crucial to determine the kind of renovation you want to have beforehand and what the final result should look like. This way, you can conveniently make a budget and stick to it.
Are You Ready for Basement Remodel?
Once you’ve checked the above factors to determine the viability of remodeling your basement, it’s time for the actual planning. You need to get the design right, and this is where the services of a professional and licensed contractor come in. An expert will help you with the essentials of the design. Keep in mind that you should not alter certain factors of the basement. For example, the utility room should remain intact.
This is the space that houses the heater and HVAC units. The framing and spacing code outlines the requirements the utility room must meet. It's best to leave it untouched than deal with these requirements later. This is the more reason why you need to work with a home remodeling contractor.
They understand these requirements and will ensure you comply with the laws around remodeling.
Remodeling your basement is no small project. It calls for a lot of planning as there are many considerations to make. It helps to work with a professional contractor to help you make the right decision. Having an expert by your side helps you avoid some costly reconstruction mistakes that will require your attention later.