Tips for Finishing the Basement

Basements add extra space to a home and may be utilized in many ways – as a bedroom, workshop, playroom, office, etc. Finishing a basement may be done over the course of a few weekends and advanced weekend warriors must be organized and thorough. Before starting work on the basement, keep the following tips in mind:

Handyman with toolbox working in a basementEach area has specific codes so find out if any permits or approvals are needed from the local council. This is especially true if your work includes plumbing and electrical factors as the project may have to be inspected.

Ensure the basement is completely dry. Check for water damage such as pools of water or drips coming in through the walls. Repair cracks in your foundation and any other water-related issues. You may begin work once you are certain there are no moisture problems in or around the basement. Add a vapor barrier to the walls and floors before starting to frame and finish off these surfaces.

The majority of basement walls and floors are masonry, cement, block or brick. This means that regular screws and nails will not work when attaching framing. Get the right fasteners and anchors for your walls.

Work safely. Ensure that all power tools are unplugged when not in use and out of the way. For basement projects in the winter, select one of our Buddy Heaters Series by Mr. Heater to stay warm. For bigger jobs, kerosene and oil fired models provide warmth to a larger area.

When looking at insulation options, choose one that includes a vapor barrier on both sides. Insulation will not only help control the temperature inside the basement, but it is wise to use it as another layer of moisture protection. Another insulation option is spray foam insulation – just be sure to check the code requirements.

Drop ceilings are affordable and conceal electrical and plumbing lines, while offering easy access in the case of an emergency. While a suspended ceiling may not be the best option aesthetically, there are many attractive options on the market. Another factor to consider when it comes to the ceiling in the overhead space available.

Keep the utility room that houses the HVAC unit and water heaters clear and open. There are specific code requirements for spacing and framing. While you may be tempted to enclose it or finish it along with the rest of the basement, keep it simple to avoid problems later.