When you’re thinking of finishing your basement, you may wonder where to start. Right now, it’s just a big space, perhaps full of stuff you’ve been storing down there. It’s a tabula rasa, and it can feel overwhelming.
But finishing your basement is a little bit different from, say converting a kid’s old bedroom into an office after they go off to college. You may replace everything in the room, repaint or hang wallpaper, install new blinds and window treatments. But with a basement, you have to make sure it’s dry before you start. Otherwise, you’re just throwing your money away.
Finishing Your Basement if it’s Wet
You can check for signs of water infiltrating your basement, but if you want an expert’s opinion, consider calling a building inspector to take a look. Don’t call a waterproofing company though — that’s like asking an exterminator if they think there might be bugs in your house. You can call a waterproofing company if you find out you have leaks.
But be careful — this remedy could cost thousands and it doesn’t always work. The real solution to a leaky basement is installing a proper drainage system so water isn’t directed toward your home.
If no leaks are found, still consider measuring the humidity levels in your basement. Standing water in a sump pump, an improperly vented dryer or other issues could make your basement unnecessarily damp, which creates an environment ripe for mold growth.
Why Are You Finishing Your Basement?
Once you’re sure it’s a good place to build, determine what you want to use your basement for. A guest suite? Game room? Family room? Workout area? When you know what you want, it’s easier to decide where to put it.
You can download an app for this, and Apartment Therapy has a list of its seven favorites — so fun to play with! But you can also use a piece of paper and a pencil to roughly sketch out what you want. Your remodeling company can load your ideas into their sophisticated, expensive software to give you a real picture of what your finished basement will look like.
How Much Will You Spend Finishing Your Basement?
Your next step is setting a budget. This will help you decide on products and materials. For example, if you’re adding a bathroom, you might want tile floors and granite countertops. But maybe if you got these, you wouldn’t have money for the rest of your basement finishing project.
Remember to consider more than just the building materials. For instance, if you want a pool table, these can run anywhere from $1,000 to $35,000. Home theater equipment — screen, projector, sound system, seating — can also run many thousands of dollars. Ditto for gym equipment.
But you can’t have a theater without a projector or a gym without weights, so make those your priorities, then see where you might be able to save on construction costs.
Rely on Falk Construction
If you’re thinking of finishing your basement, call the experts at Falk Construction and make an appointment for a consultation. We have finished hundreds of basements in the Ogden, Utah, area in the 30-plus years we have run our family business. We also do kitchen and bathroom remodels, new home constructions and provide general contracting services. Contact us today to get started planning your project.