Key steps in basement renovation planning
Now’s the time when many of us start thinking about what home improvement projects we’d like to tackle this year. For those renovating their basement this season, here are the key steps you need to take:
- Plan your project and design your layout.
It’s important to set out the scope of the reno before you begin, both so you’ll have a sense of your options and so you can stay on track with your budget as the project develops. Choosing a layout is an important part of that scope.
Many pros recommend keeping your space open concept, maximizing your flexibility to use it for anything – a kids’ playroom, man cave or home theatre. If you want to add a kitchen and bathroom for an income suite or in-law apartment but don’t have the budget for it right now, you can have rough-ins installed to make it easier to complete later.
- Decide when to hire a pro.
You can sometimes save by DIY-ing certain basement renovation jobs yourself. Painting is a good one, and so is flooring. While some things you can do yourself, it’s also important to know when to shell out for a professional, like for your HVAC system and electrical. A lot can go wrong with these specialized tasks, so make the investment to save yourself headaches and money in the long run.
- Create a solid foundation
From slight cracks to larger holes, you want to make sure your home is protected from dangers and nuisances before doing anything else. Radon, for example, is a dangerous gas that can seep in through cracks in the concrete, so be sure to seal those first to protect against radon and potential water intrusion. Also, find and seal nooks and crannies where mice and other pests may enter, and be sure to level out you floor at the outset of your reno since many basements have significant dips. Products like DRICORE® PRO Concrete Repair system is a complete crack repair system that can seal and cover cracks, fill in cracks to help prevent water or gas intrusion and, finally, reinforce the structural integrity hurt by cracks in the foundation.
- Protect against moisture
Basements can also be damp and often have problems with moisture, mold and mildew. To help guard against these issues, install a subfloor. A critical step in any basement reno, a quality subflooring like DRICORE, with its air-gap design, helps protect against moisture and insulates against the cold concrete, making the space cozy and comfortable. DRICORE also offers leveling shims for uneven concrete foundations and just happens to be DIY friendly with a tongue and groove design that snaps into place.
- Choose your finishes
Once you’ve made your plan, decided where you need a professional, and protected your basement, then you can move on to the fun stuff—like choosing kitchen cabinets and light fixtures. By doing all the initial steps first you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re creating a beautiful space that’s also safer for your family.