How To: How to Finish a Basement
Posted: May 14, 2012 | Posted By: Planet Handyman (Larry Hall)
If you have a basement, it’s likely that you want to finish it off and increase your living space. Maybe it would make the perfect “man cave,” a basement apartment or, even extra living space for you and your family. No matter why you want to finish your basement, you probably want to know how to finish a basement first.
The steps that you need to take in finishing your basement will likely depend on what type of space you have right now. Newer basements often have plenty of head room and all other things, like the pipes and ductwork are usually nestled between the rafters. This means that you won’t have much to do when it comes to moving these things around. Not only will you not have much to do to get things where you need them to be, but it will be easier for you to just make a ceiling. However, you will still need to ensure that you have access points to all of the important wiring and piping, as well as duct work.
The next thing you’ll need to focus on is how dry the walls and floor of your basement currently are. Keep in mind that basements are actually below the ground, so it’s not unusual that you might need to do some water proofing in here. If your basement is damp, you will have to make sure to take care of the dampness issue and then it’s advisable that you include a vapor barrier to prevent any future issues. Also, it’s a good idea to lift your floors to allow for proper drainage should you experience water in your basement, without hurting the flooring.
After you’ve gotten the floors taken care of, you’ll need to create the walls. This takes more than just hanging some drywall. You may need to apply vapor barrier before you frame for the walls, so be sure to consider this as well.
You might be thinking that this is all you’re going to need to do, but if you have bigger plans for lies beneath your home, you should probably consider consulting a general contractor that specializes in basement remodels. This is especially true if you have a complicated renovation or need to split your space up into different rooms for different purposes.
Another reason that many people consider hiring the professionals to help them with finish a basement is because there are many things that can be done with a space like this, but if you’re just shy of handy enough, you might not be able to help your basement see it’s full potential. For instance, maybe you would like to create a master suite, or even if you’re making a room for entertaining your guests, you might still find that a great bathroom and fantastic laundry room are great bonuses.
In the end, when you’re considering how to finish a basement, you should consider what you know how to do and what you don’t know how to do and then take a good look at all of your options. Doing a basic finish on a basement can often be relatively simple, but even do it yourselfers should have some guidance. The more challenging basement renovations will likely need the help of a good, experienced general contractor to help you get just what you wanted.
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