Basement Finishing Dos and Don’ts

Basement Finishing Dos and Don’ts

It’s time. Your basement has been sitting unfinished for the last two decades, and you’re getting tired of having half of the house dedicated to storage, the furnace and water heater, and your kids’ designated skate rink. You’re going to finish your basement. But it’s such a daunting task. Where do you begin? Well, there are certainly some design dos and don’ts when it comes to renovating a basement, and we’re here to outline a few of those considerations. And as always, once you’ve settled on a design you can count on the renovation contractors here at Task Guru — we connect homeowners with the contractors they need to complete their projects on time and on budget.

Now, here are our tips on the dos and don’ts of basement finishing.

The Dos

Create a Realistic Budget

First thing’s first, you should create a budget that makes sense. While you may have plenty of money saved up, you may not want to invest all of your cash in your basement — especially if you plan on selling your home in the next few years. While you’ll recoup much of your investment, you likely won’t recoup all of it, so don’t overspend.

Speaking of overspending, you certainly shouldn’t spend more than you have. While you may want to take out a loan or place a mortgage on the house to complete the project, you should be cautious not to get in over your head. If you must finish your basement (perhaps you have kids who need some extra space), then it may be worth it to borrow a bit of money, but be sure that you can pay off the interest.

Consider Value-Retaining Investments

Now that you have a budget, you should consider the best investments to keep value in your home. While you may want to install a bar, a theater room, and an indoor putt putt green, it may make more sense to stick to something more practical, especially if you have a home with a small square footage. Consider extra bedrooms first, and an extra bathroom. If you have extra space, you can opt to build in an entertainment room and perhaps a bar. These investments will retain much of their value if you ever choose to sell your home.

Design Around Infrastructure

While it may be frustrating to have a furnace in the middle of your basement layout, or perhaps to have low-hanging ductwork, it’s usually not worth it to move infrastructure around. If you have to, simply try to shift things closer to the nearest wall, and build a closet around these infrastructure items to make them accessible, but out of the way. If you can get creative and build around these infrastructure components, you’ll be able to save on the overall cost of your basement renovation.

The Don’ts

Don’t Go Overboard

As we mentioned, you may consider additions that won’t really make sense if you choose to sell your house. Remember that not everybody will share the same likes and hobbies that you do, so you may not want to design a basement with specialized spaces. Again, you probably don’t want to build a putt putt course in your basement, just because you need to work on your putting game. Instead, you can build open spaces, or create multi-purpose rooms that the next homeowner can adapt to his or her whim.

Don’t Overlook Lighting

Lighting should be an integral part of your design. Since your basement likely doesn’t have many windows, and the windows that it does have will be fairly dark, you’ll have to integrate plenty of lighting throughout your spaces. Consider installing dimmers and track lights for shared spaces and entertainment spaces. And be sure to install plenty of lighting in bedrooms, and vanity lighting in the bathrooms of your new basement.

Don’t Forget About Hazards

Your basement has additional hazards that you may not have to worry about on the upper floors of your home. Be sure to be wary of radon, mold, and the potential for flooding. Have your home tested for radon, and build in a solution to mitigate the issue if you do have high levels of radon. Also, test for mold throughout the basement before you get to work. If you find mold, be sure to neutralize it, and eliminate the source of moisture. If flooding is a possibility, you should install a sump pump to prepare for the worst, and be mindful that your flooring should be flood-proof. For basements that are liable to flood, stick to tile or composite materials, since wood and carpet can prove problematic.

A Finished Basement in a Few Clicks

With Task Guru, you can get your new basement underway in a matter of clicks. We have a network of contractors, including contractors in your area, who are eager for projects. That’s why we can provide you with the lowest estimates from trusted contractors in our network. Get started today with a quick contractor quote!