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The Do’s and Don’ts of Basement Renovations

Turning your basement into a warm and comfortable living space is a smart move, especially in a hot housing market. Why? Finishing your basement adds to your home’s value and gives you extra living space without taking up any additional valuable lot space. Basement renovations can be inconvenient but if you follow a few key tips, your basement remodel will go smoothly.

Always have a plan. Sketch out your room layout and know which elements can’t change like the placement of your furnace, water heater, and pipes so you can work around them. What do you want your space to be now and down the road? Budget accordingly. And make sure to research into building codes and permits before you start.


Invest in a good subfloor. A subfloor is essential to help keep your basement warm and dry. It can prevent squeaks, absorb sound but most importantly, a good subfloor allows your concrete to breathe, helping reduce the potential for mold and mildew. DRICORE® R+ is a specially made to insulate basement floors, with an R-value of 3.0, it helps makes floors feel warmer.


Choose materials designed for basements. Instead of the usual studs and drywall route, opt for an engineered wall panel system like DRICORE SMARTWALL® which is your framing, insulation, drywall, and vapour barrier all-in-one. The bonus here is that there’s also less dust and debris during the construction process.

Start work until everything is dry. Did you know the average basement lets in 18 gallons of moisture each day? Mitigate the potential damage with materials like water-barrier systems, drainage, sump pumps, or encapsulation products, but tackle it before any work begins. Unchecked basement moisture can ruin floors and walls and encourage mold.


Underestimate the power of light. Lighting is a great way to brighten up a dark basement and to add interesting design elements. Recessed lighting is a commonly used fixture but keep in mind, you’ll need more space for installation above your ceiling to accommodate. Consider wall sconces and also make sure there are enough outlets for table and floor lamps in your room.


Overdo a single trend in your design scheme. Trends are for accessorizing, not for renovating. Invest in classic finishes with high-quality materials that stand the test of time so you won’t regret or tire of the look. When picking wall colours and tones in your furniture and flooring, consider that darker colours absorb light and can make your space feel smaller.


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Skip Bedell (TV Host and Professional Contractor)

“You never want to put your finished floors on top of wet, damp, and cold concrete. DRICORE® Subfloors gives you a layer of protection to help with moisture and cold coming from concrete.”

Skip Bedell

Steve Maxwell (Professional Contractor)

“Nobody wants a musty smell in the house and that’s why I go with DRICORE® Subfloors.”

Steve Maxwell

Bryan Baeumler (HGTV Host and Professional Contractor)

“In my mind, you cannot finish a basement without putting down DRICORE®. Every house I’ve ever built has DRICORE® in the basement, it’s the only way to do it.”

Bryan Baeumler


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