Finishing a Basement: Things You Must Know


basement finishing

While basements may not be the most popular rooms in the house, they still deserve to look their best and function properly. This can sometimes mean a lot of work to schedule, but it’s important not to take on too much at a time. A good thing to remember throughout the entire process would be, “Plan big, begin small, and fail fast.” Here are some other points to consider as you finish your basement:

  • Keep it Dry: Any leaking water or any dampness around the basement needs to be taken care of immediately. The obvious signs would be pools of water or drips, but also look for cracks in your foundation walls and repair them if necessary. The last thing you want is a buildup of mold.

  • Learn About Permits: It’s important to check with your local municipality to see if finishing your basement will require any permits. Even though they’re not always necessary, if you’re planning on doing any plumbing or electrical work in the basement, it’s possible you’ll need to have someone  to inspect everything and sign off before you move forward.

  • Insulation: When it comes to basements, it’s important to keep the cold out and the warmth in. Insulation doesn’t just help you control the temperature of the basement, but it also adds another layer of moisture control as well. You’ll also want to choose insulation that has a vapor barrier on each side, and although certain code requirements may restrict it, spray foam insulation is another option you can go with.

  • Stick to the 8 Major Phases: This is the general order in which to finish your basement: 1) Framing 2) Electrical 3) Plumbing 4) Audio/Visual 5) Drywall 6) Painting 7) Trim and Doors 8) Flooring. There are also special cases where the HVAC unit in the basement will need work done as well, so make sure to consider that if your HVAC unit needs some improvement.

Featured photo courtesy of Mark via Flickr