Steps to Finishing Your Basement

An unfinished basement presents a world full of opportunities. The space might look dark and cold now, but this space can be transformed into anything you wish. No longer does the basement have to be a place for storage alone. A finished basement can act as additional living space for the family to enjoy; a playroom for the kids; an additional bedroom or secondary suite; theater room – the options are almost endless! Best of all, it will be a worthwhile investment as a finished basement helps to boost a home’s value. Are you still wondering how to finish a basement? The following guide will walk you through the steps of a typical basement reno.

Why Should You Finish Your Basement

There are so many reasons why you should finish your basement. In many homes, the basement is a perfectly good space that sits empty when it could be used towards something worthwhile. 

Increases comfort – once you properly insulate a basement you turn it from a cold and damp area to a room like any other in the home. The basement will be a great cool place to relax during the hot summer months, while staying nice and warm during the cold winters thanks to our furnaces. And did you know that air quality is better in a finished basement compared to an unfinished one?

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Saves money over time – believe it or not a finished basement will actually save you money. Since unfinished basements aren’t adequately sealed, you are at the mercy of the heating and cooling systems in the home to control the temperature. A finished basement will better hold heat and less air will leak out through cracks, meaning your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard, which translates to dollars saved on the utility bill.

Additional living space – creating a guest suite in your basement is a great way to create additional bedrooms and living areas without having to add an addition to the home. A private suite with a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen can also be used as a rental unit as an additional source of income.

Adds value to the house – sure a home renovation project will cost you money up front, but should you ever look to sell your home it will certainly be more alluring to prospective buyers should the basement come finished. A finished basement is also a great avenue to inject some modern features into older homes.  

More space to enjoy – best of all a finished basement means more space for the household to enjoy. You can devote some rooms to storage, some to entertainment like a playroom or movie room, along with additional bedrooms and living areas. Using the basement as a laundry room is also a popular option.

Before Renovating your Basement

There are steps you need to take before you can tackle your basement renovation. That includes cleaning the entire space and ensuring there are no major cracks, leaks, or structural concerns. Next, you’ll want to conduct a moisture test to determine if waterproofing the space is necessary ahead of the remodel. 

Some waterproofing tips:

  • Direct all downspouts away from foundation of home
  • Regrade lawn’s slope so water drains away from home
  • Apply waterproof coating and paint to inside walls
  • Install a floor drain or sump pump to really protect yourself

How to Finish Basement

Finishing your basement isn’t a difficult task. Just make sure you obtain all necessary building permits. If you’re planning on creating a secondary suite, make sure to research the legalities in terms of windows, exits, and ceiling heights.

Once this is complete, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials and tools, now you can get to work. When it comes to tools things like a drill, caulking gun, hammer, tape measure, level, and a utility knife will certainly come in handy.

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Don’t forget safety gear like protective eyewear and a mask to combat the dust. As for materials, you’ll need framing nails, wall screws, drywall, plywood, flooring, caulk, foam insulation, two by fours and even cement nails.

Of course, the size of the space you’re finishing will certainly dictate the material needed. It’s best to measure all aspects of flooring, wall, and ceiling needs ahead of time so you have enough material to complete the job.

Install Insulation

Cut the pieces of insulation to the height of the ceiling, but leave a 1/4 inch of space to play with during the install. A utility knife works well for this job.

Confirm the cut insulation will fit, then apply the adhesive to attach the insulation. Press the insulation so it properly adheres to adhesive and repeat this step on all exterior walls.

Frame Walls

Next up is framing – you’ll want to ensure all your 2x4s are cut to the correct length. Make sure to account for the thickness of the bottom and top plates. Now for the walls that are parallel to the floor joists, install blocking every two feet. These blocks are what the frame attaches to.

Attach wall joists using a framing nailer to the top and bottom plates 16 inches apart (move as needed to work around doors and windows). Use a masonry drill to fix the bottom plate to the concrete floor. Next, use a framing nailer to mount the top plate to the overhead joists. Make sure you bring a level with you to ensure the wall is flush before nailing into place.

Install Drywall 

When it comes to drywalling, it’s important to take the right measurements so the drywall piece ends in line with the stud you’ll be screwing it to.

Cover all seams and screw heads with caulk, cover seams with drywall tape and caulk again. Now you’re ready to paint!

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Choose New Floors and Install Flooring

When it comes to flooring, tiles, vinyl flooring, or carpet are the most popular options.

Ensure the subfloor is level and moisture free and you can install directly on top.

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Choose and Install Ceiling 

Drop ceilings or drywall ceilings are some of the most common options for basements.

Drop ceilings use tiles and beams as a cost-effective way to hide any unsightly pipes and electrical.

Contact Us

Not only is finishing your basement a great way to increase space for your family, or create an additional stream of income, it also improves the home’s air quality, saves you money and increases your home’s resale value. For more information on basement remodeling, call the experts at Top Home Builders.