If you have moved into a home with an unfinished basement, you may be considering finishing it in order to have more valuable living space. While finishing a basement can require a large financial investment, it can add a lot of value to your home if it is done right. Use the following tips to help you successfully finish your home's basement:
Be Mindful of Ceiling Height
When making plans for your new finished basement, it is important to think about the ceiling height. If the ceiling is too low, it can make the room feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable. Talk to your contractor about your options -- there are many ways to raise the ceiling height while still concealing pipes and duct work.
Don't Forget About Emergency Exits
In many places, building codes require finished basements to have an emergency exit that goes directly outdoors. The easiest solution is to include egress windows in your finished basement plan. In addition to creating an emergency exit, these types of windows can also help let natural light in, which will brighten up your basement space during the daylight hours.
Make Waterproofing a Priority
If you're going to be spending a lot of money to finish your basement, it is absolutely imperative that you waterproof the area to help prevent floods, leaks, or the buildup of moisture. Having a submersible sump pump installed is one way to control moisture. A contractor, like those at http://www.centralpennwaterproofing.com, can also apply special coatings to your basement walls and foundation to help seal water out. If you live in an area that has very damp soil or a high water table, you may also want to install flooring, such as tile, that won't be damaged if it happens to get wet.
Plan the Layout Carefully
In many cases, an open concept floor plan works best in a basement. It is a good idea to add an additional bedroom and bathroom, but try to avoid creating multiple small rooms since this can make the basement feel cramped and disorganized. Large open spaces make your finished basement more versatile, which can be a great selling point when you decide to sell your home.
Don't Forget About the Stairs
Many homeowners who finish a basement forget to plan for and budget for new stairs. While your existing stairway may work fine and be structurally sound, it most likely won't look good in the newly refinished basement. Make sure you plan to add railings and floor coverings to your existing stairs or have a new staircase built.