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STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO REMODEL YOUR BASEMENT 

Basements are usually overlooked spaces in the house. When in fact, they could be a source of extra income. If you decide to renovate your basement it could be a rental property that gives your income a little boost. It could also be a home gym, an extra bedroom, or a playroom. Not to forget, that basements assist in keeping the structure of the house stable and it could have 70% ROI.  Let this guide and its lists be your first step to remodeling and utilizing your basement. 

Planning The Basement Renovation

Planning

1. Budgeting: Renovations heavily rely on budgeting. Basement renovations shouldn’t cost more than 20% of the house value. Knowing exactly how much you are willing to spend on the basement’s renovation, will save you a lot of time and disappointment since some materials are more costly than others.

2. Timing: Scheduling your time will take a load of stress off of your back. Basements are usually renovated in 2 to 4 months. It mainly depends on what you're going for. 

3. Assessing the condition of your basement: You need to know the current statutes of your basement. As well as,  the square footage and height of the basement. You will be working around electrical wires, gas lines, heating ducts, plumbing drains, water pipes, heating ducts, and heating ducts. So you need to make sure that there are no leaks. 

4. Moisture test: This is a CRUCIAL point. You have to know if your basement needs waterproofing. Knowing exactly where the moisture is coming from will significantly affect the remodeling process. Is there wet soil underneath the flooring? Are there cracks in the foundation? This is achieved by consulting a professional to spot everything and anything that could ruin your renovation. So get your free estimate now.

Water Proofing Your Basement

Waterproofing

1- Waterproof coating or paint on interior walls can significantly reduce moisture. 

2-Adding a pit with a sump pump or a drain that leads to the storm drain could also help.

3-After you waterproof your basement, re-run the test just to be confident that the issues are gone once and for all and you can start with no fear of leaks. 

Friendly tip: Add a coat of waterproofing material to the exterior cement walls this will help eliminate future issues.

4-Visioning the space: You need to thoroughly think about how you want to utilize the space. To have accurate the measurements and know how much materials will you need. 

BEST HVAC OPTIONS FOR YOUR BASEMENT

Basement Ventalation

Basements need to be properly ventilated where they are located below ground level and most of the time there is paint residue and solvents stored down there. This reduces the quality of the air in the space making it a hazard if inhaled for too long. Due to the existence of high CO2 levels and microbial volatile organic compounds. This can be avoided by proper insulation and ventilation.  You can insular your home using blanket batts and rolls, rigid foam boards, loose-fill insulation, spray foam insulation, etc..

1- Windows: as mentioned previously basements exist below the ground therefore, windows are generally really small. However, they are the perfect way to get fresh air in and keep the basement cool. So make sure they are opened as frequently as possible. If the basement will be used as a bedroom gym or playroom,  an EGRESS WINDOW WILL BE  NEEDED. It’s a fundamental element to ensure safety. Not only does it allow more light and air into the basement. But also, it acts as an ESCAPE route in cases of fires or floods. And do not forget to be sure you are following all the codes if you will be adding any new windows. 

 

2- Ductless mini-split: it’s a unit that contains two parts an outdoor and an indoor one, it’s connected to a refrigerant tube and electrical wires. This is considered to be a better option than normal or other AC types. They are more eco-friendly and energy-efficient than ducted units due to the absence of conditioned air through ducts. They also have a dry mode for humid areas and moisture is automatically removed from the air as part of the cooling process. It can also collect dust and dirt particles. As well as having a dry mode, it has a heating mode so you can keep your renovated basement cool on hot summer days and warm on long winter nights.

 

3-Portable air conditioner in a bedroom:

If the basement won’t be used frequently, if it will be a trophy room for example a portable air conditioner is a more flexible option. They have wheels and can be comfortably rolled from one place to another. They are also cost-friendly. Nevertheless, a vent will still be needed so the air conditioner can dispose of moisture. Keep in mind that portable air conditioners have a certain limit of power and work best in small and medium rooms that don’t go through really high or low temperatures. 

 

4- Extend your Existing Central HVAC System: If you have existing central air conditioning, you could simply extend the ductwork into the basement. This will merge the basement’s conditioning with the rest of the house’s and you will be able to manage your basement AC through the central thermostat. However, this could be an expensive option if you don’t have existing ducts installed, you will have to extend your existing ducts into the basement. Add to this, all the conditioning will be controlled by a single thermostat. 

 

Friendly tip: Add smart air conditioning, this will allow you to automate your basement air conditioning by geofencing, scheduling, and Comfy Mode. 

Finally, KNOW YOUR PERMITS. You do not want to start renovating and then find out you are violating any codes. 

MAINTAINING HEAT IN YOUR BASEMENT

Maintaining Heat

1- Gas Fireplace

A gas fireplace conserves more energy than  a traditional fireplace. Vented, unvented, built-in, and standalone are the four types of fireplaces. 

2-Electric Heater

This is a budget-friendly option. It comes in many models and designs for you to choose from.  So make sure you choose one that goes perfectly with your remodeled basement. 

3-Portable Space Heater

Just like portable air conditioning this works for spaces that are not big and can be easily moved around.

4-Rigid Foam Floor Insulation

Floor insulation is a very smart option that will save you a good amount of money on the overall renovation cost. If you are looking for sufficient heat in your basement and to avoid any water issues in the house, rigid foam insulation is the way to go. Rigid foam insulation is installed between the floor’s frames and covered with hardwood.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MATERIAL FOR YOUR BASEMENT REMODELING

Choosing Materials

Now this is a fun part, where you get to choose flooring, lighting, and wall colors. We will be focusing mainly in this guide on the walls and flooring since the content of the basement depends on how you want to use the space. Nevertheless, in order for you to really start the remodeling process, you will need to move all the junk from the basement and give it a good cleanup. Let’s straight dive into it: 

Drywall Sheets

1-Drywall:

It comes in the form of 4' x 8' sheets of gypsum encased in a strong paper-like envelope. This is a cost-friendly option, it’s easy to install, and it won’t give you a headache when patching it up. 

2-Wood planks:

Wood planks, offer a wide variety of options that can be used, including cedar, knotty pine, birch, and redwood. However, wood is not fireproof and could be pricey. 

Wood Planks
Brick Wall

3-Brick or stone veneer:

Simply thin layers of brick or stones. This could give your basement a rich vibe and could last a lifetime.

There are also multiple options like Beadboard, Plywood, pegboard, plastic, and many more.

INSTALLING NEW WALLS FOR YOUR BASEMENT

Installng Walls

There are three main steps that you will need to follow to make your basement a more welcoming space using walls and adding a spark to it. 

Insulation: Polystyrene foam is an uncomplicated option. You apply it directly to your foundation walls.

 

  1. You will need to cut pieces of foam to the height of your ceiling minus a quarter inch to give some wiggle space. 

  2. Make sure that the cut part is the right height by measuring it against your wall. 

  3. When applying adhesive do it in a S shape and then let sit for the amount of time indicated on the bottle.

  4. Press the sheet into place against the adhesive.

  5. Repeat as many times as necessary until you have got all the walls covered. 

  6. Seal the seams between each piece with duct tape.

  7. Finally, seal any gaps between the foam and the ceiling, floor, and corners with caulk or foam filler.

Framing the basement walls

 

Once the foam is in place, you are ready to frame these walls. All you need are the below 6 steps:

  1. For parallel walls to your floor, install blocking between the overhead joists and the wall by screwing fitted joists. You will use these blocks to attach your frames.

  2. To align the outer edge of the frame, draw a line 4 inches away from the wall to align the outer edge of the frame.

  3. Using a framing nailer attach the wall joists to the top and bottom plates around 15 inches. Adjust it as needed considering doors and windows.

  4. Tip the wall up and match it with the outer edge of the bottom plate to the inch line.

  5. Attach the bottom plate to the concrete floor using a masonry drill, masonry nails, and a hammer. DON’T FORGET SAFETY, wear hearing protection, a dusk mask, and safety goggles during this step.

  6. Attach the top plate to the above joists using a framing nailer and a stepladder. To make sure that the wall is sitting flat while moving across the wall, hold a level vertically against each wall before nailing the top plate. You can use a shim between the top plate and ceiling joists if your wall is not level.

 

Friendly tip: You will need to know your 16 inches. What we mean is wall joists need to be placed every 16 inches in the center of the wall. Most tape measures have a red mark of 16 inches. Do this so you know where to place the edge of your wall joist.

INSTALLING DRYWALLS

Now that your walls are all built up, you can move to the final 3 steps of walls. Most homes have their drywalls hung horizontally as it saves more time and fewer seams happen. However, you can hang your drywall vertically or horizontally. Now the last three steps:

  1. Measure each piece of drywall to be certain it’s a perfect fit and trim where needed using your utility knife.

  2. Using drywall screws and a drill, attach the drywall to each stud. Be careful not to tear the drywall paper surface. The plaster around the nail head should not be visible.

  3.  Finally, cover seams and screw heads with caulk cover, and drywall tape. Repeat until you have covered everything.

CHOOSING YOUR BASEMENT FLOORS

Installing Floors

When renovating your basement, keep in mind that the flooring needs for a basement are somewhat different than kitchen or bathroom floors. Basements are more likely to deal with water and are flood-prone. Waterproof or water-resistant is the best option. You can go as far as you want when it comes to floor designs, but whatever you choose just make sure it is waterproof for maximum functionality. Let’s list the steps you will need: 

1- Choosing the new basement floors: 

-Vinyl: The thing about this option is that it could look like wood planks. It’s basically water-resistant and it’s pretty simple to install.

-Tiles: these are really easy to clean up in case of a flood or leak and they have a polished look.

-Carpet: the best thing about this option is if you come across water issues, they are simply lifted up and dried out, or replaced and they are very budget-friendly.

INSTALLING THE FLOORS FOR YOUR NEW BASEMENT

Some floors easily snap together, these can be applied straight away onto the concrete subfloor. Just be positive that the subfloor is moisture-free. We recommend building a new subfloor. This could be done using plywood and polystyrene sheets. Now it’s time for another list with steps:

  1. Place sheets of polystyrene insulation using adhesive using a S shape same as insulating the walls.

  2. Now apply plywood sheets to shield the new subfloor.

  3. The plywood acts as a base for installing whatever kind of flooring you choose.

 

The type of flooring you will choose should come with installation instructions. Your remodeled basement should be following your vision. 

CHOOSING A CEILING FOR YOUR REVAMPED BASEMENT

InstallingThe Ceiling

To be able to say that your basement remodeling is complete, you have to hide away the wires, vents, and pipes in your ceiling. Yet you want to ensure that there is still access to them if needed. And now we come to the last list of this guide:

1- Choose a ceiling type: You can easily just paint your basement ceiling a quick touch-up that will give your basement more life. OR you can install one of two types:

  1. Drop-Ceiling: this is a pocket-friendly and simple option that is in a lot of homes. It gets the job done, it covers exposed pipes and floor joists while allowing access to overhead utilities.

  2. Drywall Ceiling: Drywall needs a little more work when it comes to having access to pipes and ductwork. But the finishing look of the ceiling is way better. 

Friendly tip: If you have a ceiling that feels a little low, drywall will extremely help you maintain more space than installing a drop ceiling.

INSTALLING THE CEILING

You can have either a tile ceiling or a drywall one. 

 

1-Tile ceiling: You will need a few tools like a hammer, wire, wire cutters, and some nails, basically an installation kit. All you have to do is follow the manufacturer's instructions. Tile ceilings have a huge advantage where you can replace damaged tiles.

 

2-Drywall ceiling: tools you will need is a drywall jack or an extra set of hands. Other than that, it’s the same process as finishing the basement walls. 

Friendly tip: leave an access hole in the drywall. You might need it in the future to reach pipes and also for ventilation. Add an air grate to give it a finished look. 

ADDING LIGHTING TO YOUR BASEMENT

Lighting

1- Ambient or all-over lighting

These lights spread light throughout the entire basement. These usually are attached to the ceiling; they can be lights, downlights, or high-hats. A substitute is track lighting, it’s more budget-friendly.

2- Task lighting

It’s descriptive. Lights for a certain task. large hanging fixtures, pendant lights over a bar, and chandeliers that could hang over a game table or dining table. Or even, reading lamps, and under-cabinet lights in a small kitchenette. 

3-Indirect lighting

If the basement is going to be a chilling spot this lighting is a must. For instance, cute rope lighting can be placed behind a bar or inside a shelf. To put it in a nutshell, lights set a mood and enhance aesthetics.

Basement

Now that you’ve rebuilt your walls, replaced your floors, and fixed your ceiling. Give your new revamped basement a good clean and if it’s going to be an extra bedroom add the furniture you purchased before purchasing it to make sure it matches the aesthetic of the new basement. If it’s going to be a home gym add your dumbbells and treadmill maybe even a TV screen. But, if it’s going to be a playroom you can play with the lights as mentioned previously, add a vintage video game. It could also be a collectible room where you hang precious pieces of art or one-of-a-kind star wars action figures. Whatever you decide to do with the space we can help you with just schedule a free estimate with us. And enjoy a stress-free renovation process and once you are done always give yourself praise for what you have done. 

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