When you are planning your basement remodeling project there some things that you need to do in advance to help yourself to avoid some future headaches. Most homeowners want to give their basement a makeover but don’t quite know where to start. Here are some basement remodeling tips that you may want to keep in mind before starting your project.
Check Your Basement for Water Leaks
The very first thing that you should do before you start planning any work is to check for any water issues in your basement. The most obvious signs are pools of water on the floor or water leaking through any below ground level walls. Next, check outside to make sure the ground around your home is graded away from your foundation. Also, look for any cracks in your foundation walls and repair any damage. Once you are certain that there is no way for water to get in then you can start your plans.
Make Sure That You Have the Proper Permits
Most cities require building permits even if you are doing the work yourself. You need to check with local building department and find out if it will be necessary for you to get work permits. This is especially important if you are doing any electrical or plumbing work. Any work of this kind must be completed using a licensed and bonded contractor. All work that is completed must also be inspected and approved by your local building inspector. Failure to comply with any of these items could result in fines and penalties.
Install a Vapor Barrier
After making sure that there not any water issues you still need to install a vapor barrier. While your basement may not be leaking water, it can still become a damp place. Adding a vapor barrier to the floors and walls prior to framing and finishing off these surfaces can prevent the buildup of unseen mold in your basement. Install your vapor barrier and wait for a day or two, then check underneath to see how much moisture may be coming through before continuing. If there is still an issue with moisture create a slight offset from the outside wall by adding thin slats of metal or wood. These strips can also be used to help level out a wall that may be “wavy” to create a flat surface for adding framing.
Insulate Your Basement
Installing insulation in your basement is just as important as installing the vapor barrier. Insulation not only controls the temperature inside your basement, but it also adds another layer of moisture control and helps dampen sound from the outside. Use an insulation that includes a vapor barrier on both sides or you can use spray foam insulation. Make sure to check your local building code requirements before using spray foam insulation. Having insulation in your basement will also help reduce your energy costs as well.
These basement remodeling tips can not only save you money, but you can save yourself some time by doing your project right the first time. By doing these things initially you can avoid having to tear everything out and starting your project again from scratch.