Finishing your basement can be a challenge, but it is a doable project. If you find a step of the process too complicated to attempt on your own, consult with a contractor. You might want to hire someone to complete some parts of your basement project. You will have plenty of do-it-yourself tasks to complete, even if you delegate some of the work to professionals. Once you finish the project, your basement will be a place where you and your family will love to spend time.
1. Check For Water
The first thing you need to do when finishing your basement is to check for signs of water. Feel along the edges of the basement floor. If you feel any dampness, water is somehow finding its way into your home’s basement. The best time to check for leaking water is right after a heavy rain.
2. Waterproof Your Basement
If you do find signs of water leakage, you need to fix the problem before you start finishing your basement. If you finish your basement without fixing the water damage, the leaking water could ruin your improvements. If you have a concrete wall basement and the water is seeping in through the concrete, you can buy chemical sealant and treat the walls yourself. However, if the water is coming from another source, you might need to have the problem looked at by a plumber or contractor. After a consultation with the plumber or contractor, you can decide whether or not you want to try to fix the problem yourself, or pay someone to do it.
3. Finish Flooring
If your basement currently has a plain concrete floor, you are going to want to install more attractive flooring. Unless you are absolutely certain that your basement is free from water, avoid carpet. Tile and laminate work well in basement environments. Choose a light color of flooring to make a small basement seem larger.
4. Finish The Walls
If you have unfinished walls, you need to put up drywall. Drywall is fairly simple to install, and has a relatively short drying time. Once the drywall is finished, you can paint the walls any color you would like. Once you have the floors finished, and the walls finished, your old basement will start to look like an entirely new space.
5. Safety Precautions
No matter how beautiful your basement is, if it does not have the proper safety features, it is not finished. Your basement needs at least one smoke detector. If your basement will have bedrooms, each bedroom needs to have its own fire detector. A carbon monoxide detector is also crucial. Your basement also needs an exit in case a fire ever starts and a family member needs to escape from the house. If your basement is not a walk-out basement, you can install an over-sized window that is specially designed to be a fire escape. Make sure you choose an egress window that an adult can comfortably crawl through. If you install these features, anyone who sleeps or spends time in your basement will be safe.
6. Decorate and Furnish
Your final step when finishing your basement is to decorate and furnish this new living space. If you will be using the basement as a living room, consider installing a home theatre system. If you will be using the basement area as one or more bedrooms, decorate the bedrooms in a way that reflects the taste of the occupant. If the bedroom will be a guest bedroom, stick with neutral decor. However you decide to decorate your newly finished basement, it is sure to be a valuable family space.