Basement Blunders: 5 Things to Avoid When Finishing Your Basement

Finishing a basement is a great investment in your home. It expands your useful living space and also adds value to your home. Before you start installing walls and picking out furniture, you need to know about a few mistakes you want to avoid. These mistakes can end up costing you more in the long run.

Blocking Access to Equipment

Most basements house critical equipment that keeps the household running. When finishing the basement, you do not want to block access to this equipment. This includes your furnace, boiler, and water heater. Also, if your water main comes into the basement, make sure you allow access to it as well. Look for gas mains and electrical panels as well.

Using the Wrong Materials

Even well-draining basements are going to have some moisture. When selecting materials for the space, you need to keep this in mind. Wood is a great example of this. Hardwood floors look great, but they wick water. You may find your beautiful hardwood swelling up and buckling in just a short time after installation.

Not Soundproofing

Your basement is a noisy space. If you walk into the space before it’s finished, you will hear the hiss of the boiler, the humming of the furnace, and the clicking of the water heater. Adding soundproofing will allow you to enjoy your space without the constant interruption.

Not Planning for Drainage

Basements are, by their very definition, underground. That means that water in the soil can leach into the basement through the walls. In some cases, it can come up from the ground, along the edges of the foundation. Before you do anything in the basement, it is important to address drainage needs. Working with a sump pump company like Rite-Way Waterproofing or someone similar to add drainage is a critical step in the finishing process.

Not Changing the Stairs

What kind of stairs do you have now going into your basement? Many homes have dark, narrow, often steep stairs going into the lower area. If you are going to finish your basement, you want stairs that match the work you are going to be doing. Expand them and give them plenty of light.

The idea of getting extra space by finishing your basement can be very enticing. But, as these mistakes illustrate, it is important to plan your project carefully. The time spent planning means the project will go smoothly and the finished product will be the best it can be.


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