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Checklist Before You Finish Your Basement

Beautiful finished basement

Do you treat your basement as just the foundation of the house? If yes, then you might have thought about finishing your basement and making it more functional. You can remodel your basement and turn it into something your family needs. There are plenty of finished basement ideas: an extra room for the guests, a play area for children, an entertainment room for the family. The possibilities are plenty.

Since every construction job must start with a checklist, here is an eight-point checklist for you to consider before you finish your basement. After reading this, your chances of building your dream basement will become a reality.

1. Lawful Construction

Before starting to work on finishing your basement, you need to check building codes in your region. Don’t ignore the legal requirements for a finished basement. For example, the egress requirement: Be it a door or a window, it must have an outside opening. The minimum dimensions for an egress window are 20 inches in width and 24 inches in length, depending on your local code.

It’s likely you will require a legal permit to build a finished basement. It depends on the area you live in, so confirm the legalities before planning. You don’t want to have finished a basement which is branded as illegal.

2. Drainage System Installed

Water damage in basement caused by sewer backflow due to clogged drain

Water is the number one reason why people have concerns about finishing a basement. However, a functional drainage system can keep water away from the living space in your basement. Drainage systems route the water that can enter a basement to a sump pump system where it can be managed.

At Basement Repair Specialists, we install highly effective drainage systems for basements. Instead of focusing on temporary waterproofing, we keep the drain tile next to the footing, not on top of it.

To make the drainage system more powerful, we use the best sump pumps with alarms. They ensure that water passes from the sump crock, without leaking onto the floor surface. These sump pumps are energy efficient and warn you of drainage backup.

3. Proper Ventilation


ventilation system from basement to exterior

Ventilation of a finished basement is easy to forget about. While working on any of the finished basement ideas, do ensure that you have proper ventilation arrangements or plans. Placement of air ducts, supply vents, and intake vents is crucial for maintaining the right temperature inside the basement.

Not everyone is aware of the principles of ventilation, so if you need to consult a contractor, it is a worthy investment. Poor ventilation will spoil the whole vibe of your finished basement. Stagnant air can cause humidity or make the temperature feel too hot or too cold.

A commercial dehumidifier, such as the units installed by Basement Repair Specialists will also improve air quality in your basement.

4. Necessary Plumbing

Basement bathroom remodel.

Make sure you have access to water in your finished basement. If you plan to have a bathing area in your basement, invest in good quality bathroom fittings like taps, showers, pipelines, etc.

It is advised to get the necessary pipes installed before you start the construction of your basement. The pipes will open up to the new drain; that’s why it is critical to have a proper drainage system.

If you plan to have a kitchen, too, you’ll need a sink and a pipe for that project, as well. But beware: Avoid throwing things in the sink which may choke the pipe.

Be sure to hire a licensed plumber that is an expert in basement remodeling for your project.

5. Adequate Lighting

Make sure your finished basement is well lit. There are a variety of lighting options available in the market. Choose the one which suits the interior of your finished basement. If you have a dining place, a bedroom, or a hall, go for bright and straightforward ceiling lights. Shoot for something similar to the lights you have on the main floor of your house.

If your finished basement is a place for entertainment and other fun activities, you may want to invest in something fancy like hanging lights or party lights. Basements are generally very dark, so predicting the right number and positioning of lights can be tricky.

6. Solid Stairway

Stairway to finished basement in home interior with wood paneling and cork flooring.

When your basement was just a concrete box of discarded things, it was not a place visited frequently. But now you have a finished basement idea, and a finished basement is visited often. Often, people forget the stairway in focusing on the interior. Do not abandon the stairway. Give it equal importance as you would give to other things inside your finished basement. Have it rebuilt if you think it’s to steep for yourself and your kids. Make the stairs non-slippery. If there is no grab railing on the stairs, get one installed for the safety of kids and the elderly.

7. All Electrical Installed

Proper wiring is crucial to have electricity available all the time in your finished basement. If you are not good at wiring, contact an electrician. Invest in quality switches, wires, light, and other basic electricals.

When you choose reliable, licensed electricals, you immune yourself from the hassle of repairing and changing your wiring soon.

Place the appliances in the right places to optimize space. If you don’t have a big basement, don’t stuff it with appliances you don’t need.

8. Set up the Furniture

What is your finished basement idea? Think about the photos of your finished basement before you purchase or build the furniture. If it’s a functional family basement, you will want to get the basics, like a bed, a sofa, some chairs, and some bean bags.

For the finished basement, it is not necessary to consult for interior designing. You can find a lot of finished basement ideas on the internet to quickly find inspiration. Keep it up affordable and make it your own by designing your space DIY style.

Reimagining your basement already? We’re here to give you a head start by repairing and fixing your basement. Our specialists will help you fix up your space into the basement of your dreams. Contact Basement Repair Specialists today to get started.

For more information about your basement repair needs, visit our Basement Repair Blog.