Basements: The Need-to-know

Basement in luxury homeMany homes are built with basements, and it is not uncommon to find an unfinished basement turn into storage. You may have seen pictures of beautifully finished basements. Perhaps basements that have been turned into beautiful entertainment spaces, mother-in-law apartments, or master bedrooms have caught your eye. If you’re wondering what you can do with your basement, feel free to start dreaming! Here’s some of the basics you should know when it comes to converting an unfinished basement into a beautiful addition to your home!

1)   The Floor

One of the important qualities a floor must have before it is ready to be built on is to be leveled. Basements have an undesired habit of being un-level. Because of their material, adjacency with the foundation, and tendency to collect water, they settle easily. Before you can build upon a floor it must be cleaned, filled, sealed and leveled. This project is not for the first-time do-it-yourselfer! The contractor you use to convert your basement should be able to take care of this for you.

2)   Insulation

Unfinished basements often lack the necessary insulation. While you may be able to get away without it, insulating your basement is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make.  Without proper insulation, your basement will have a difficult time holding heat. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy: “Heat loss from an un-insulated basement can account for up to one third of the heating cost in an average home.” Yikes! If you plan on having any heat in there, make sure you get it properly insulated.

3)   Mold and Mildew

Basements that haven’t been given much attention in a while are likely to have problems with mold. This is partially due to water intrusion and the cold temperatures that come with being surrounded by earth. Mold grows quickly: 24-48 hours after water has started to leak. Mold is more than annoying: it is a health issue. Before refinishing your basement, make sure all the mold is scrubbed away. Also find the water culprit, to prevent it from growing back in the future. Along with this, make sure you ask your contractor about moisture proofing, to keep it safe for years to come!

As with every project, make sure you have a contractor you can trust to walk through the process with you. Once these three areas have been addressed, you will likely be well on your way to a basement transformation! On average, refinishing a basement can run up to $25/sf, making it an economical choice for a family wanting additional space. When you’re ready to start, contact us for a referral or visit www.responsiblecontractors.com. We will be happy to connect you with a professional you can trust to get the job done right the first time!

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