Many homeowners have the option to expand their current living space by finishing their basement. However, finishing a basement comes with some unique challenges and considerations, particularly moisture and lighting. Fortunately, there are some things that homeowners can do to prevent future problems. Whether you plan to hire a professional or complete the project yourself, here are four guidelines for creating a bright, beautiful space.
1. Measure Everything
Before you begin any project, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of available space, including the ceilings. Many building codes require that ceilings be at least seven feet high if people are going to be living in the basement. Obtaining a professional, finished look for your basement is only possible with correct measurements. There are tools that will make measuring easier, such as table saws and tape measures, but if you’re unsure about your ability to get precise measurements it’s best to hire a contractor.
2. Use the Right Tools
There are many reasons why people decide to hire a contractor to help complete their basement. One main reason is the lack of access to various tools and the knowledge of how to correctly use them. In any profession, there are specific tools that enable the person to get the job done right. Having the correct tools to finish a basement will not only save time and money, it will ensure the finished project looks good. Some of the various tools needed to finish a basement are:
- Tape measure
- Table saw
- Drywall finishing tool
- Air compressor
- Laser level
- Nail gun
There are also additional tools needed for electrical work, plumbing, carpet installation and finish work.
3. Follow Building Codes
Before beginning your basement finishing project, you or your contractor need to check local building codes. Each city has their own building codes that need to be followed when completing a major project. Construction plans need to be submitted to the building code department. They will inspect the plans for items such as electrical work, window well dimensions and second kitchens. Some cities have specific restrictions such as no second dwelling in the basement. Therefore, it’s important to understand and follow the building codes in your area.
4. Consider Lighting Options
A final consideration when finishing your basement is lighting. Many people still think of the basement as a dark, cold area of the home; however, it doesn’t have to be this way. Installing various types of lighting in the basement creates a visually interesting space. You can brighten the area with recessed can lights and ceiling fixtures or use dimmer lights when you’re ready for movie night.
Finishing a basement is a major project that needs to be done correctly. You can use these guidelines to ensure your finished project is safe and beautiful.