5 Biggest Mistakes When Finishing Your Basement
An unfinished basement offers a big opportunity to expand the space in your home – a full floor’s worth,
in fact. Whether you’ve decided you want to create that home theater you’ve been dreaming about
or your family has expanded and you just need the extra space, the basement area is one of the most
logical places for growth anywhere in your home. A basement remodel can add a great deal of value to
your home, both financially and personally. Once you’ve decided to tackle that untapped space, avoid
some of the common mistakes that many homeowners often make.
1. Not Dealing with Moisture Issues
For most people, the actual decorating is the fun and exciting part of home improvement.
You’ve got big plans in the works for that unused space and you’re anxious to realize those
dreams. But en route to your new finished space, don’t overlook the importance of ensuring
that your basement is actually dry enough to even begin to finish. If you have a problem with
moisture or dampness in your basement, it’s imperative that it be corrected before you even
begin to think about a color scheme. One surefire way to deal with these issues is to hire
someone who is a specialist in basement waterproofing techniques. In fact, even if you don’t
currently have moisture issues, hiring a specialist to check for potential problems can save you a
great deal of money in the long run.
2. Using the Wrong Materials
Your basement simply can’t be refinished using the same materials that were used in the
aboveground portion of your home. Because of the unique environmental concerns below
ground, the basement requires specialized materials that will hold-up to moisture, mold, mildew
and humidity. For example, it’s common practice to use wood framing materials aboveground,
but they are not the right material for a below ground application. Flooring should also be
considered carefully. Placing wood planks on concrete, even with a barrier present, is generally
not a long-term solution.
3. Breaking up the Space
Enter any older home and you’ll feel like a mouse in a maze with all of the walls and corridors
you have to navigate through. These days, open concept floor plans are all the rage due to the
spaciousness and interaction they promote. In the basement, where ceiling heights are usually
significantly lower than in the remainder of the home, an open concept plan becomes even
more important. Of course, you’ll have to put up walls if you’re adding a bedroom or bathroom,
but keep the separate spaces to a minimum.
4. Hiding Access Points
Don’t seal off areas of your home that you’ll need to access for maintenance and repairs. You
may have water shut off valves, electrical panels, plumbing points and a host of others that you
will always need to gain access to. Ensure that these areas don’t get covered up and there is an
ease of access to each of these spots. There’s nothing worse than needing to shut off your water
right away and having to unscrew an access panel to even get to the valve you need.
5. Not Hiring a Contractor
While there are many home improvements that you can and should tackle on your own,
a basement remodel might not be one of them. Many contractors specialize in the unique
basement area and it would be beneficial to you, and your basement, to hire someone with
experience in this area. From using the right materials to handling permits and inspections, a
contractor can make the journey much easier for you and create a finished basement you’ll
enjoy for years to come.
Lori Wallace-Roberts is a writer for Bedly, a home furnishing
provider online. When she isn't working, she enjoys reading, cooking, scrapbooking and making
memories with family and friends.