Finished basements can be the sites of stunning achievements and apocalyptic home disasters. Problems there can significantly decrease the value of your home, while cost-effective finishing work can add livable square footage, vastly increasing its value. Whether you're thinking of remodeling your basement or you need to fix leaking or sinking foundations, the cost of your work will vary based on your geographical location, type of soil, kind of repair or enhancement and complexity or amount of work needed. Get free quotes for a basement remodel.
Basement Finishing & Remodel Options
An unfinished basement serves as a valuable blank canvas. A remodel can start with something as basic as hanging and painting simple sheetrock walls and installing plywood floors at a relatively low cost. Of course, the sky is the limit on remodeling and design projects in your home; and setting a budget for design is a bit easier than setting a budget for needed repairs. Remember, even for the simplest remodeling projects, a permit as well as an inspection may be needed in order to ensure it is legal - especially if you are adding a bedroom or bathroom. For your remodel, you may have to place a special emphasis on lighting choices. Since basement spaces are generally darker than other above-ground spaces, you'll need to either install extra lighting or find a way (perhaps with egress windows) to open up and lighten the space with natural light. Continue Reading
Remodeled basements can mean additional living rooms, play rooms for the kids, home offices and a lot more.
One advantage of remodeling a basement is that it's not generally an essential living space, so you can take your time, doing one area at a time. But be aware that, to save money, you'll want to do all of the necessary plumbing and electrical work while walls and floors are unfinished.
Your basement probably houses some of your home's work engines: a boiler, hot water heater, furnace, maybe an extensive network of pipes carrying water or sewage. It's the area that's extremely susceptible to water damage and leakage. Whatever work you do to your basement, you probably will want to include waterproofing.
Old homes may suffer from sagging foundation beams as a result of shifting ground or decay and deterioration of the original building materials over time. With the right tools, foundation beams can be raised and shored up successfully. It's important to have the right tools for this type of project, such as a pneumatic jack. Depending on how much the foundation beam must be raised, this job may require several days of incremental steps to complete - which means a lot of labor costs. And given the necessity of moving large, heavy objects, like wooden beams, it's likely you will need to employ several people for the job. Unless you're extremely well trained and skilled, you'll want to avoid do-it-yourself work on the foundation.
Water leakage in a basement can cause serious problems for a homeowner. Standing water can lead to mold and mildew growth. It's also a haven for bugs and other pests. Over time, concrete blocks and foundations can sustain hairline cracks. While they may appear small on the surface, they can be the start of an enormous problem, so early repair is key. The only way to rectify a water problem in your basement is to remove the water and seal the leaks. This may involve removing existing paint or wall coverings. It may involve replacing soggy beams.
Things to Think About
If you're doing a basement renovation, remember to work with your contractor to create a budget and payment schedule. Factor in cost of materials, labor and possibly time off if you need to let in the workers or be there during the day.