Basements are an often under-appreciated space in a home even if having one makes the home worth more than those without them. When a basement is finished it becomes a welcoming space that has the ability to up the property value even more.
Basements are an asset to any home. This is the space where items that are not being used are stored at, and many are being used to store the pantry that the upper levels cannot accommodate. When a basement is finished it can become used for so many more purposes. Finished basements offer space for kids to be loud and relax. Homes that lack space upstairs would benefit immensely by finishing the basement and adding a spare bedroom, or even a home office.
Having a contractor help with the construction of the new, finished basement is really the best step to having use of an entire home. Contractors know what is required by the city to keep the building according to the strict building code requirements. They will know how much space is required between a furnace or water heater and new walls. The contractor will know how to insulate the basement to keep moisture from building up and rotting the new drywall. They will also know what type of flooring will work to keep moisture from ruining anything that is put down.
When talking with general contractors there are a few things that should be discussed before deciding on which one to hire.
A general contractor should know everything that there is to know about how to keep a finished basement waterproof. They will be able to walk a potential customer through every procedure that must take place to keep the water out of the basement. A good question to ask the contractor is how long the basement will remain waterproof. Ask the contractor what type of sealant that they will use, and how long it will last. The drywall for a finished basement should be mold and mildew proof, and any contractor worth their license will know this. This type of drywall will cost a bit more than standard drywall, but to keep that black mold from growing in the home, it is worth every penny. A contractor will also know if and what type of dehumidifier will work best to keep any moisture out of the new room.
Insulation of the basement is another important factor in finishing a basement as it is essential to keep the cold out. There are several types of insulation that will work for a basement but a contractor will know which the best is. The insulation is not just to keep the outdoor temperature outside, but it must also be mold and mildew proof. A contractor may use batting style insulation and they will know exactly which R-value will work best for the new room. They could also use a closed-cell form of spray foam, but it is not an easy task. This type of insulation may cost a bit more than the batting style, but it is great for keeping out moisture.
Exposed Pipes and Joists
Anyone that has ever seen an unfinished basement knows what they look like. Pipes are normally exposed and so are the first level floor joists. These items under normal circumstances do not appear welcoming and warm. To address the exposed pipe problem there are a few things to consider. If the pipes are covered by a new ceiling they may be difficult to get to if a plumbing problem arises. The same problem exists for the exposed heating and cooling ducts. A contractor may suggest leaving these items exposed instead of building walls and ceilings over them. This is not a bad option. Many pipes and ducts can be decorated or painted. The area between the floor joists can be insulated and a drop style ceiling tile can be installed. This tile can be simply moved out of the way so the pipes and ducts can be accessed easily.
The basement floor is another thing that must be considered during a remodel. Finished basements need a floor that will not mildew or rot as the temperatures of the cement slab are often colder than the air in the room. This temperature change can cause moisture. Leaving the basement floor alone is one option to consider. The cement can be stained or even painted to look fantastic, but it will always be cold. Insulation could be added to the floor and carpet or even laminate wood can be put down on the floor. These options are great but they may not last as long as they on the upper floor of the home. A contractor will be able to help you decide which flooring option is best for your basement finish.