Like any home renovation, the key to a successful basement renovation is good planning. Knowing what needs to be done, exactly what you want your basement to look like when it's finished, and creating and sticking to a budget are all integral components to getting what you want from your basement renovation. There's often more that goes into a basement renovation than other areas of the home, but the basement is also one of the most coveted areas of the home to renovate. Whereas a bathroom or kitchen renovation is done essentially to improve fixtures and décor, a basement renovation can actually add an entirely new area of livable space in your home.
Repairing, Preparing, and Restoration
Before you can transform your basement into a livable space, you'll need to check into the basic condition of your basement. Before you install new flooring, for example, you'll need to have the foundation checked for cracks. Settling and poor curing can be common causes of foundation cracking. Hydraulic cement can fill in these cracks without already blowing half your budget, if it's determined the settling or curing isn't going to get worse. If your foundation is still settling, you're probably looking at an extensive and costly renovation project.
The other big thing to watch out for is basement moisture problems. Even if you can't detect the actual presence of water, high moisture levels can still cause havoc on basement renovation installations. By taping aluminum foil or a trash bag to your basement walls and floors and leaving them to sit for approximately two days, you should be able to determine if you have a moisture problem. If water condensation appears, you'll probably need to have your basement inspected for moisture problems before continuing with other aspects of the renovation. Inadequate lawn drainage, gutter leaks, or faulty basement plumbing are all common sources of moisture problems.
Basement Renovation and Plumbing
More than just repairing your basement plumbing, you'll also need to determine if you want any new plumbing installed for a wet bar or bathroom. Plumbing is usually installed beneath your cement floor, so you'll want to make these decisions before you start your basement renovation. In this way, basement repair and moisture problems can be a catalyst for new plumbing. If you need to hire a plumber to fix your current plumbing anyway, you may decide the best plan is to make a serious investment in your basement and install all new plumbing.
Basement Renovation/Basement Finishing
Once you have your basement renovated and in good overall condition, it's time to complete your basement like any other home remodeling project. The good news is basement finishing is usually a good deal cheaper than finishing other rooms in your home. The biggest reason for this is your flooring options. Concrete staining and finishing can make your basement floor a reasonably warm and inviting floor. Its maintenance free, withstands the harsh conditions in basements, and doesn't resemble the cold, rough surface associated with industrial concrete.
Replacement windows are usually a great idea for basement renovations. Hopefully, you have at least some windows already in place in your basement. Otherwise, you might even consider the viability of creating a window opening. This will, naturally, decrease the insulating properties of your basement, but a little natural light is hard to imitate. On the other hand, if you install some high-quality replacement windows you may be increasing the overall insulation of your basement that will allow to circumvent the need to add additional basement insulation. Depending on your basement, the best idea to improve your basement heating will vary, but there are multiple avenues you can take, and the right solution for you may not cost as much as you think.
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Paying for Your Basement Renovation
Even with cost-saving techniques, you may find it difficult to pay for a quality basement renovation. The best way to make the project plausible is to finance the project. Many financial institutions will gladly loan you the money for this home improvement project. If you're willing to take out a second mortgage or, in some other way, put your home up as collateral, it should be little problem, especially since a basement renovation is probably going to considerably increase the value of your home. And, just like any major home improvement project, the increased property value of your home can help defray some of the total cost.