Will renovating your basement add value to your home?
What will you use that space for? A playroom for the kids, a man cave, or an arts and crafts room? It is a good space to have extra storage. A finished basement can be fun and useful without a proper egress. However, without an egress, your basement cannot be used as a legal guest room or bedroom.
If your basement is currently finished, no need to read any further! Otherwise, you can potentially create a living space if you have an existing ceiling height of over 6’-9”. No more dark, dingy, gray subterranean space that normally holds your water heater and unpacked boxes.
In order to finish a basement correctly, it is important to know that one of the issues basements have is moisture. You cannot just simply slap sheetrock on the walls and call it a day. To make the space habitable, (and legal), there are a few guidelines you will need to follow.
Guidelines for a Habitable Basement
- New walls need to be framed 1”-3” away from your cement foundation walls. This ensures that moisture does not collect and create mold. It is also important to use mold and water-resistant materials to help with this issue. The proper insulation is necessary to allow the space to retain a comfortable temperature so it will not become damp and chilly.
- The floor of your basement should also be finished with a water-resistant material such as vinyl, laminate, or tile. Sometimes people install indoor/outdoor carpeting that can be lifted and dried in case of moisture, such as carpet tiles or area rugs.
- Install correct lighting and electrical as per code. You should have an outlet every 8’-11’ along the perimeter walls of your space. Our suggestion is to have a light fixture, (at minimum), every 6’-8’ to allow for a well-lit area.
Things to Consider
A basement, unless it’s a walk-out, will always be a basement. By the time you calculate all the costs to frame walls, install outlets, lights, insulation, and flooring…maybe investigating a Family Room addition might be a better direction. Depending upon the size, an above ground addition may price out as a similar project.