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What To Know Before You Finish Your Basement

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What To Know Before You Finish Your Basement Majestic Home Solutions

If you are planning basement renovations or have already started the project, you should know the devil is in the details. Even a seemingly minor omission or mistake can lead to major problems. Here’s some “small stuff” to sweat before you finish your basement.

Moisture is the Enemy

The basement should be thoroughly checked for moisture issues at the outset of this project. If any drips or pools of water are identified, they must be corrected before work proceeds. Moisture seeping through walls is more common than most homeowners think. Be sure to analyze the outdoor area around the basement to ensure the ground is graded away from the foundation. Furthermore, you should also closely examine the foundation walls to identify cracks. If cracks are present, have the damage repaired before proceeding.

Implement a Vapor Barrier

Even if you follow the advice set forth above regarding water prevention, it is still possible for your basement to feel damp. A vapor barrier solves this problem. Add a vapor barrier to the floors and walls before framing and finishing these surfaces. Lay down this barrier for a couple days then take a look below to determine if any moisture is present. If little or no moisture is present, proceed with the remainder of the project.

Check the Code

Once the water issues have been rectified, move on to checking with your municipality to determine if a permit will be necessary. If you are planning any type of electrical work or plumbing for your basement, knowing the details of the local codes are especially important. Find out all about the codes and obtain the proper permit paperwork as soon as possible. The permit will likely cost a couple hundred dollars at the most yet it is well worth it. The failure to follow local protocols can lead to the building department forcing you to tear the project apart and rebuild it from step one. Adhere to the law and you won’t have to deal with this nightmare.

Budget for Additional Headroom

Most building codes mandate ceiling space of at least seven feet. When in doubt, do not make any assumptions. Refer to your local building department for specifics. Do not hesitate to relocate ducts or pipes away from the middle of the room or upwards into the ceiling. Though this alteration will cost $500 or more, it provides additional headroom that will make your basement that much more enjoyable.

Spend Extra for Noise Control

When you invest in basement improvements, your family will spend more time in this portion of the home. However, using the basement at a higher frequency has the potential to create some noise that extends to other portions of the home. Prepare accordingly by insulating the basement ceiling. Such insulation will likely run $500 – $1,000 yet it is well worth it.
You can also consider a drop ceiling to provide noise control. This is the type of ceiling that hangs off of a series of metal frames. If you are adding drywall, use sound deadening clips. This form of noise protection has neoprene rubber gaskets to stop noise from carrying into the ceiling and other portions of the home.

Proceed With Caution

The moral of this story is to take your time with your basement remodel. Proceed carefully and you will transform this often neglected space into an area that provides true utility. Be creative with your basement, sweat the details and you can transform it into anything from a space for entertainment to a playroom, gym or even an apartment. When in doubt, contact the experts at Majestic Home Solutions for your basement remodel.

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