If your family is like a lot of others, you probably wish you had more usable living space, but you aren’t willing or able to move to a new home for one reason or another. A great way to make your dream of the extra room a reality is to finish your home’s basement. Unfinished basements are nothing more than wasted space, so if you have the money to turn it into a new area for your family to enjoy, there’s no reason not to!
This is not to say, however, that basement renovations aren’t big jobs; most of the time, they are considered major remodels. There are certain things you (and your contractor, for that matter!) should be thinking about as you prepare to get your project underway in the near future. This guide features just a few of the issues that ought to be on your mind.
Determine whether you have a wet or dry basement
Many Carolina homeowners do not have dry basements. As a general rule, it is more-or-less impossible to finish a basement if it has a water seepage issue. Fortunately, wet basements can be dried out, but the technique that is used to do so is quite expensive in most cases. To determine if your home’s basement area is wet or dry, contact a reliable contractor to take a look for mold and other signs of water damage. It is best to use the contractor you plan to hire for your remodeling job. This way, he or she will be completely familiar with the space.
Follow all local regulations and codes
Different Carolina municipalities have various regulations and codes that pertain to basement remodeling jobs. These requirements can vary widely by region, so don’t be surprised if someone you know in Charlotte, NC, has to meet different stipulations than you do in the rural South Carolina Lowcountry. If you are unfamiliar with the basement renovation codes in your city, call your City Hall or have a conversation with your contractor. He or she probably already knows everything you need to adhere to.
Keep safety in mind
During a basement remodeling project, one of the main things you need to keep in mind is that safety is king. Since you are essentially adding a new floor to your home, it will need to be equipped with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, exterior doors, and anything else the rest of your house has to keep your family safe. In some cases, building codes govern basement safety. Your contractor should be able to tell you if there are any features, like windows that can be opened or fire retardant doors, that your newly renovated space is required to have.
Guides like this can sometimes make the idea of a basement remodel seem overwhelming. Although there is a lot to think about, the most important thing for you to keep in mind is how worthwhile the entire job will be in the end. You and your loved ones are sure to have good times in your new space for years to come!