A finished basement adds precious living space and value to your home. Many handy people believe this is a project they can complete themselves, and in some cases, they are correct. But frequently, the job turns out to be more than the average homeowner can handle, due to the challenges of the work from start to finish. Read on to find out if you are suited to finish your own basement.
Do it Right the First Time
Some people who buy older homes planning to fix them up and sell them again in a couple of years take the easy road and put up walls and a ceiling as quickly as possible without regard for quality or livability. That’s not the route you’ll want to take, even if you plan to sell your home, so plan your renovation carefully for quality results.
If your basement is cinderblock or concrete, you will want to put in framing for the walls. Skipping this step and attempting to affix paneling — or worse, drywall — straight to the concrete without insulation will lead to moisture and temperature issues at best. To do a good job, you’ll need a high-quality level to make sure your walls are straight and even, and a concrete nail gun to attach them to the floor. If you have a truck, you can save on the delivery charges for lumber and drywall.
Insulation a Must
A critical component of finishing a basement is proper insulation — it can make the difference between being comfortable and feeling like you are outside. But before you put in the insulation, make sure your wiring is complete. Even if you know how to wire your home and it’s not against the law in your area, it still might not be a good idea. At best, a mistake could lead to nonfunctioning outlets, and at worst you could cause an electrical fire.
Once your wiring, framing and insulation is complete, it’s time for the drywall. If your basement is prone to moisture, it’s best to use the green-colored drywall formulated just for this purpose. If all your walls are even and the same size, that makes this part of the job easier. If not, you may have to do some cutting and trimming, and it’s possible you may be left with an uneven surface. Taping and plastering the joints can be considered an art, and getting this part of the wall perfectly smooth and seam-free can be a real challenge.
Adding a Bathroom
If you plan to add a bathroom in your basement, you will likely need a plumber. Roughing in even a sink and toilet is a big job, and if you plan a tub and shower as well, that only adds to the complexity. If you are experienced at tiling and own a tile cutter, you may be able to do your own tiling.
Flooring is another careful consideration, especially if you are considering carpet. Concrete is hard and prone to moisture, so use enough padding and make sure it is moisture resistant so your new room doesn’t take on that basement smell. A dehumidifier can help with these odors.
If you are hesitant to tackle any or all of these jobs, call Falk Construction, the construction and renovation experts serving the greater Ogden area and beyond. They have the experience to finish your basement professionally and in a fraction of the time you could do it yourself.