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Basement renovation does not receive enough attention. One of the most underappreciated aspects of home design is a livable, finished basement. It makes a world of difference to have a good basement where you can spend time. And having a great basement, one that feels like an extension of your home, is one of life’s small pleasures.

While some homes would be better off without a basement entirely (due to dampness and moisture issues), the number of fully renovated basements increases, that’s because both developers and homeowners have recognized the value of a finished basement, both in terms of quality of life and property value.

What is the Purpose of renovating my basement?

A renovated basement increases the resale value of your home while also increasing your living space significantly. Many include an extra bedroom (for potential guests), a workspace or fitness area, a playroom for children, or even a secondary living room. In contrast to the roofs of many basements, the sky is the limit.

Where should I begin when renovating a basement?

The first step in any home renovation project is to have a clear vision of what you want the space to look like when you’re finished. This may seem obvious, but it is an important aspect of any basement renovation process that is frequently overlooked.

Consider this: the design of your basement renovation should reflect your specific goals:

  • Are you primarily concerned with increasing the value of your home? You could concentrate on adding bathrooms or a laundry room.
  • Is it your intention to create a relaxing environment? Your strategy should change to accommodate that dream.
  • It is critical that you physically walk through the space you have available and reflect on the possibilities. You may discover that you want something unexpected, and it’s better to have that clarity now before you begin renovating your basement.

What about waterproofing the basement?

Before you begin, there are a few other details you should be aware of. Moisture in the basement is a particular issue, so you should inspect thoroughly for any cracks or signs of unwanted moisture. In a similar vein, it’s important to look for and seal any gaps that could allow pests in.

Last but not least, it’s a good idea to photograph your space before beginning any work. These photos, especially for “unseen” upgrades like waterproofing, could help a future real-estate agent explain the value of your work.

What should my Renovation plan Contain?

Here are a few important basement renovation ideas to think about:

Storage space in the basement

A small space in your basement for extra storage can be extremely valuable. This is not only a feature that will appeal to potential buyers (no one wants their clutter upstairs), but it can also save you money when finishing your basement, as many small storage areas have unfinished walls.

Most of the time, more lighting is better.

Unless it’s a walk-out basement, your unfinished basement is probably dimly lit. Almost everyone will find this depressing. Fortunately, filling your space with warm, even lighting does not have to break the bank.

Basement Lighting with an Unfinished Ceiling

Of course, if you leave your ceiling unfinished, you’ll have to find a different solution for your ceiling lights. In that case, a combination of track lighting and pendant lighting features may be appropriate. Track lighting helps to ensure colour and tone balance, while pendant lights add a touch of high design to your space.

Basement Flooring that works

Basement flooring is not the same as flooring in the rest of your house. Because it is close to the ground, there is a special concern with water and moisture, which means that whatever choices you make for the floor should consider how it will dry out.

Windows in the Basement

The Ontario Building Code, like many other building codes around the world, requires an egress window in your finished basement. Because it serves as an emergency escape route, a basement egress window must be appropriately sized, operable from the inside, and easy to open without the use of specialized tools or knowledge.

Do I require the services of a Basement renovation contractor?

A good contractor, particularly one with experience in basement renovation services, can significantly impact the outcome of your renovation while also assisting you in avoiding potential pitfalls. Unlike a few simpler home maintenance/renovation tasks, this is often best left to the professionals. Basements are, by definition, more prone to wear and tear.

While hiring a contractor may appear to increase the cost of your basement renovation, it may save you money in the long run. You don’t have to look far to find examples of DIY basement renovation projects gone wrong online.

In general, almost everyone will need to hire a basement finishing contractor for three major tasks: flooring, plumbing, and electrical.

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