A basement can be much more than just a storage area. Whether in your home or investment property, basement remodeling contractors can turn that dark, unused area into a livable, functional space. Because of its location, a basement remodel has some unique considerations. Below we discuss what to expect during the project.
Decide How You Want to Use the Basement
Before you hire basement remodel contractors, decide how you plan to use the space. Are you converting it to a living area or will you be using it as a laundry room? Some remodels require extensive structural changes, while others involve mostly cosmetic work.
The complexity of the remodel also depends on local building codes and the condition of the basement. A general contracting professional can advise you on the type of work needed to meet your goals.
Test for Moisture
Dampness is a common issue in basements, so a remodel will likely involve moisture control. A good way to check for moisture is to tape squares of plastic sheeting to the floor and walls. If you see water droplets underneath the sheeting, the foundation needs sealing. If the droplets form on top, the issue is excess humidity. To reduce humidity, you can install a dehumidifier and increase ventilation by opening windows.
Make Sure Building Is Up to Code
Local building codes apply to various aspects of a basement remodel. For example, electrical and plumbing work must meet code requirements and should be carried out by licensed professionals. Building codes apply to other types of basement remodel work, including:
- Framing boiler and laundry rooms
- Ceiling height
- Clearance around the water heater and furnace
Bringing your basement up to code may involve relocating plumbing or ductwork, or even lowering the floor. Basement remodel contractors have the necessary skills and expertise for this type of work and can assist with obtaining required permits.
Prevent Mold Growth
Since mold loves a humid, dark environment, a basement remodel should prevent mold before it has a chance to grow. First, seal the floor and walls with a masonry primer. Then, apply latex paint to the walls and epoxy or enamel to the floor. Install a dehumidifier to keep humidity at 65 percent or lower. Insulate pipes to prevent condensation and add weather stripping to doors and windows as a barrier against summer humidity.
Hire an HVAC Professional to Check the Ventilation
Poor ventilation and a faulty HVAC system can result in carbon monoxide buildup in the basement. Fuel-burning equipment must be working properly to prevent dangerous levels of this gas. Hire an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and ventilation, and make any necessary repairs or upgrades.
Plan For Backup Sump Pump
A backup sump pump is a worthwhile investment to prevent basement flooding. A main pump can fail for a variety of reasons, including power outages and clogs. Installing a battery backup for the main pump and second, stand-alone sump pump can prevent costly flood damage in the future.
At RH Blanchard, our experienced basement remodeling contractors can transform your Boston-area home or investment property. Contact us today and get your free quote.