So, you have decided that finishing your basement is this year’s big winter project. Where do you start? Before you begin framing out walls or putting up drywall, there are a few steps you should take to make sure your basement is ready for a makeover.
Moisture Test. The first and one of the most important tests before finishing your basement is a moisture test. You need to make sure your basement is dry before closing in walls and potentially opening up a mold problem. DIY humidity sensors are available to check the humidity level in your basement. Experts suggest humidity below 50% to inhibit mold growth.
Clearances. It is important to check if you’ll have enough headroom. Building codes require certain clearances be met, so know the rules for your area and understand the options you have in your basement. It may add to the cost, but in some instances, ducts and vents can be relocated to accommodate your space.
Mechanicals. If you have a basement, that is likely where many of your home mechanicals live. Items like the furnace and water heater should be checked and proper ventilation confirmed before creating a basement living space. You want to be sure carbon monoxide will not be an issue as you begin spending more time downstairs. It is also a good idea to build out space around these items to allow for optimal performance as well as access for future maintenance.
A Plan. Before you start construction, whether as a DIYer or hiring a contractor, have a plan for what you want the final product to look like. Drawing out a plan can help identify specific areas that may need addressing ahead of time and allow for a smoother process.
A well-done basement can become the go-to space in a home. If you are unsure about taking on these tasks alone, it is always a good idea to consult a professional.