Housing is an ongoing issue. It is often difficult and expensive to get started on the property ladder. This is the reason that many people start small, and then, sell their property a few years later in order to upsize. However, there are other options which can be considered. A refinished basement is one idea that can help you save money and hassle; both of which are connected to selling and buying a new home.
It is also worth noting that, in general, it is cheaper to complete a refinished basement project than it is to extend your house or convert a loft. This is, of course, assuming that the basement already exists!
To ensure your refinished basement project goes smoothly there are a few items which you should be aware of:
In general planning is not needed to undertake a refinished basement project. Of course, if you are considering changing windows or even adding windows and doors you will probably need permission.
However, even if planning is not necessary you will need to complete the work according to the building code. You will need to obtain a building permit and register the additional living space you are creating. It is not advisable to skip this process. Firstly it will give you issues if you attempt to sell the house. Secondly, if the building department discovers what you have done you will be heavily fined. You can even be ordered to undo your refinished basement and complete it again; complying with building codes and inspections as you do so.
One mistake many people make when they are creating a refinished basement is to simply board the ceiling and add lights. However, you will be surprised at how much noise can move upwards from the basement and into your main living area. Whilst you have the opportunity it is advisable to include sound deadening techniques. They will only add a small amount to your refinished basement project but can make a dramatic difference to the finished job.
You must consider the height of your basement; in general you will need seven feet of clearance. This may be achieved by moving pipes and electrics; in which case you should budget for them. If the cost of moving these items is extremely high you may be able to get an exemption; but you will need to check first!
Basements are prone to damp. Before you start any building project you will need to ensure the basement is completely dry. This will take time but must be done properly to prevent problems with your new living space. Once you have dried it out you can apply damp proofing and damp sealing products which will prevent damp from occurring and mold growing.
It can be difficult to prevent all water ingress but the better you prepare for it the less repair work you will need to do after you have completed your refinished basement project.