Your basement is valuable space in your home that can be used for storage, work space, recreation space, or living space. Before beginning any basement project, check your basement for feasibility of your intended use and your local building code to ensure safety and any necessary changes required to meet your intended use.
The following items should be checked to protect your investment:
• Sump pump operation and location (add a backup system in case of power loss)
• Floor drain condition, cleanliness and location
• Foundation inspection for leaks and structural issues
• Plumbing inspection for leaks
This is a good time to waterproof or seal your basement walls and floor to protect your investment and efforts.Storage Space
Storage space is the easiest conversion for the unfinished basement – just add your possessions and you are done. Shelves and closets are readily available at home improvement and department stores in a variety of styles and colors. Specific storage items are available for cleaners/solvents and paint, sports equipment, and family heirlooms.
Working space is an easy conversion for your basement. You know your equipment and a basement typically gives the room to arrange this equipment as you like. No matter the task being worked on, lighting is critical. Remember to add additional lighting so your work is done safely.
Recreation space is easily obtained with minimal finishing or an elaborate design. For instance, table tennis and exercise equipment may occupy a sparsely finished room, but a pool table and large screen television work well when the room is completely finished. Depending on use, your walls may be left bare, painted or covered in drywall and your floors may be left bare, painted, tiled, or carpeted. No matter the use, a drop ceiling will hide your plumbing and clean up the appearance of the room. When completed, add you pool table, television, and some furniture and have fun.
Living space requires the most work and preparation. If you intend on using your basement to add a bedroom, you must have a secondary egress route in case of an emergency (check your local building code for these requirements). If you are unable to add this feature you cannot use your basement for additional bedrooms. Living space is a great basement application because you can configure the area as a large room and entertain many people. Carpeting the floor and adding drywall will make the room feel like any other room in the house, especially after adding your furnishings. With this choice you may still use all your recreation toys, but you have the additional finish to feel like part of the home. It is recommended to add a dehumidifier to your living space to maintain comfort through the summer and protect the work done to create this environment.