Basement Remodeling Tips

A basement.

Remodeling a basement can be a daunting task. Examine your basement for block walls, red posts, and ductwork and pipes that you have no idea of how to deal with. Don't despair. All of these problems can be dealt with, and a beautiful space can be built from a dingy, dark basement. Contractors who specialize in basement remodels have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. Here are some of them.

The Essentials

You must have access to a furnace, water pipes, sewage pipes, and a sump pump. Support posts in the basement are essential to the integrity of the home.

Upgrade the basement sump pump to a newer model if you live in an older home. A battery backup sump pump is essential if the basement is finished, especially with carpeting or hardwood floors. A controller automatically switches from electricity to the battery in the event of a power outage. Living in a location that has heavy thunderstorms means that the power may fail, making basement floods likely. A battery backup system saves a lot of grief.

A support pole in a basement is often boxed in drywall with a chair railing added for effect. Fancier pole treatments can be designed to imitate a Doric column.

An unfinished portion of your basement can house the furnace and utility room. Contractors recommend that you utilize the space by recessing such things such as a kitchen sink or other appliances into this space. Doing so not only increases the floor space, but it also allows you to add lighting.

Contractors recommend that you don't box in such things as sewer and vent pipe. Instead, build the interior wall out to cover them, giving the space a much smoother look. Doing so actually makes the room look larger.

Framing It

There are a lot of different ways to frame in a room in a basement. Different builders have different styles, all of which are relevant. Let's look at some of these styles.

Framing the entire build with 2x4-inch lumber allows you to insulate full hide wires and pipes. It also provides a vapor barrier in cold climates. To save space, the contractor can turn the 2x4-inch boards so that the wide face is against the wall.

Furring strips can be used to attach wallboard or paneling, but doing so decreases the chance for good insulation and vapor barrier. It may not be an issue in a newer home, but in older homes, it is probably not a good idea. If you are considering this to save space, you may be setting yourself up for disaster.

A modular building material for basements, such as OvrX Barricade, is widely used. It exceeds building requirements. This modular system incorporates locking panels that are backed by Styrofoam with a high R-value.

Floors can be finished in the same way with this material. An advantage with this material is its thinness and the capability of nailing into the subfloor or wall panels. The Owens Corning Basement Finishing System is another good modular system for basements

Problems You May Run Into

Don't expect floors and walls to be perfectly straight. They generally aren't because the house was not built to have a finished basement. Walls can lean in or out. Floors are often sloping to allow drainage in case of floods. Always line up new studs with the existing ones. Doing so makes it much easier to access wiring, plumbing, and ductwork.

Although many people desire a finished plaster ceiling, you should consider installing a tile ceiling with traditional grid work to allow access to wires and plumbing. A slightly dropped ceiling in a basement allows access to these housing components and is also handy to check on any pipes or electrical systems.

If you think that acoustic tile is just too commercial, consider installing a soffit perimeter around the room with a tile ceiling in the center. One experience of trying to fish an electrical wire through a finished ceiling will convince you of the wise thinking of the many contractors who recommend this.

Building-out a basement is very different than redecorating an interior room. Listen to the experienced advice of contractors and you can't go wrong on a basement remodel.