Finished Basement

Basement Refinishing: 11 Things to Consider

Thinking about finishing your basement? There are several things to think about as you plan to turn your unfinished basement into functional space.

If your basement is currently concrete floors and bare walls, realize there is a lot of untapped potential beneath your feet. Finishing your basement will create an aesthetically pleasing room that can raise the value of your home. This guide looks at some considerations for remodeling your basement and adding more usable space to your home.

1. Make sure the basement is moisture free

Before making plans to renovate your basement, clear any clutter from the basement and do a moisture test. If there are leaks, you must fix that issue first. Make sure there are no cracks in the foundation. Check to make sure water does not drain from downspouts or inclines in the property. Installing a sump pump and making sure it has backup power sources may also be necessary to keep moisture from accumulating in the basement.

A common practice is to create a vapor barrier with rigid-foam insulation over the foundational walls and installing a stud frame and drywall. Your contractor should have a plan for making sure there is no excess humidity in the basement.

2. Assessing the Usable Floor Space

Oftentimes, there are necessary functional item like a hot water heater or a furnace installed in the basement. Make plans for how the finished basement will be laid out around these items. Moving these items requires lots of extra plumbing, HVAC, or electrical work.

How much space do you have in your basement? What type of room do you want to design?

3. Determine How You Want to Use the Space

Upstairs rooms are designated for specific uses, like the kitchen, bathroom, or bedrooms. The basement can be turned into many different things. Some people choose to create an entertainment room, recreation center, or man cave. Other people turn the basement into an extra bedroom or studio. If you have kids, you may make it into a playroom. The possibilities are open for you to use the floor space however you imagine.

4. Plan for Lighting in Your Layout

If you’re using your basement as an extra bedroom, position the bed on the perimeter, as natural light can come in through an egress window. Plan for where additional light fixtures will have to be placed to illuminate the room. Space out lighting so no part of the finished basement is dark.

5. Choosing Flooring and Other Materials

What type of flooring you choose will be determined in part by the use case for your finished basement. Laminate, tile, hardwood, or carpet all have pros and cons. Many people choose wood laminate or scratch resistant vinyl planks. These look just like hardwood and are resistant to damage.

6. Ceiling Options for Your Basement

There is no need to leave the plumbing exposed in the basement ceiling. You can beautify the room by hanging ceiling materials. Install insulation between the beams and the ceiling material to keep the basement climate consistent and save money on energy bills. There are many great options for basement ceilings, and it will still leave you lots of headroom clearance.

7. Improve the Staircase

Paying attention to the staircase can make a big difference in your finished basement. Many homeowners choose to add flooring to the steps and paint the staircase to match the rest of the room. Adding a handrail will add functionality while making the room look better.

8. Installing Drywall and Painting

Choosing the right color to paint the walls can help make the best use of natural and indoor lighting. You may also choose wainscot paneling to make the basement look more visually pleasing.

9. Appliances, Cabinets, and Storage

Depending on what you are using your finished basement for, cabinets, countertops, and appliances can make the basement more livable. If you are creating a man cave, den, or extra bedroom, adding these amenities can create a truly welcoming environment.

10. Considering Safety

In some cases, radon can collect in the basement. This happens because concrete is naturally porous, and infinitesimally small pores can transport radon from the soil to the air. Before finishing your basement, seal the concrete to prevent radon exposure. Install a radon detector in your basement – these can be bought at a home improvement store for $80-140.

Also, make sure your family has an evacuation plan from the basement in case of a fire or other emergency. Know your escape route in case of a home emergency.

11. What’s the Average Cost to Finish a Basement?

According to a 2021 report by HomeAdvisor, the average cost of finishing a basement is $18,395 for a space of 400 to 1,500 square feet. The report says basement finishing nationwide costs between $2,800 and $33,985. A 2020 report by HomeAdvisor said that extending existing features or adding new features to a basement could cost between 10k and 30k. Premium features and materials could cost more. Supply chain issues in 2021 caused by the COVID pandemic could also affect material costs.
Flooring and wall coverings usually are the most expensive materials, taking up about 15% of the budget, followed by plumbing and electrical supplies – about 14% and 11% respectively for a typical basement remodel.

Basement Finishing in the Northwest Chicago Metro Area

When thinking of adding to your current living space, you need not look any further than beneath your feet. Remodeling an unfinished basement is a cost-effective project, which can considerably increase the value of your suburban Chicago home. Basement finishing also adds a whole set of benefits at minimal cost and inconveniences. This makes a basement remodeling project a sensible investment.

Remodeling an unfinished basement is a cost-effective project that can increase the value of your home and give you another room in your house. There is lots of upside, and minimal cost and inconvenience. If you are ready to invest in basement finishing, contact Sunny Construction & Remodeling or call (708) 860-9742 for a no-obligation estimate. Since 2007, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners in the Northwest Chicago area with basement finishing, kitchen renovations, and bathroom remodeling.

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    Sunny Construction & Remodeling helps homeowners in Schaumburg, Palatine, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect and other Chicago neighborhoods with home remodeling. Our team has done hundreds of kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and basement finishing projects in the Northwest Chicago area. We offer complementary estimates and a five-year warranty on workmanship. If you have a home improvement project you need help with, call the contractor team at Sunny Constrcution & Remodeling for a free estimate at (708) 860-9742.

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