Know Your House: The Measures in Finishing a Basement

Know Your House: The Measures in Finishing a Basement

Among the very best and most rewarding house remodeling jobs is finishing an present basement. In older houses, where the ceiling peaks aren’t always the tallest, finishing a basement can provide that extra bit of living space such as a playroom for the kids, a workout area, a quiet house office and much more.

First, though, you will need to make certain that your basement is a candidate for finishing. Make sure there’s enough ceiling height, the foundation does not leak and there are no egregious code offenses.

That’s not to say you can not correct those items. If the ceiling isn’t high enough, you can lower the floor by removing the present concrete slab, then digging down and then pouring a new slab. When there isn’t an egress window, you are able to cut through the foundation wall and install one. Just keep in mind that doing such items will add to the cost of the remodel.

AIA, Bud Dietrich

Keep the water out and allow the sunshine in. Most important, you’ll want to resolve any water problems in the basement. By ensuring the outside ground is sloped away from your foundation to making certain that the drain tile system is very clear and functioning the way it should, you will want to inspect and verify that you’ve done everything you can to keep the water out.

Among my favourite tactics to keep the water at bay is installing an interior drain tile program. This can be particularly useful if, as in some older houses, an outside system was not installed.

Another favourite way is to utilize oversize windows with large wells on the outside. While the tendency is to use smaller, less expensive plastic or metal escape wells, I find that the bigger ones can make the basement feel much less like an underground cave and much more like any other living space.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Mind the gap. It’s time to stand out for the wall finishes once you are confident that the basement can stay dry — and you’ve done any remedial work, such as increasing the size of a window or adding one. You will want to use a medicated sill plate set on sill sealer to start with. Just as when you are constructing an exterior wall, then it is always smart to use a treated timber in regards into contact with concrete.

It’s also smart to place the new perimeter wall slightly inboard of the foundation walls. I do so because the foundation walls may not be plumb (straight up and down) and may have surface imperfections. Along with the space which gets made between the framed wall and the foundation wall is a fantastic place to readily run conduit, cables and wires through. The added space will also increase the amount of insulation which can be installed.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Keep the basement warm. A insulated basement can yield significant energy savings in cold climates. In reality, that the 2012 International Residential Code requires new houses to have insulated basements in cold zones (zone 3 or higher). Surely, insulating a basement in an older house is a fantastic idea. Especially if the house does not have insulation installed on the outside of the foundation.

While it’d be less expensive to put in fiberglass batts, a much better alternative is to utilize a closed-cell spray-foam insulating material. These types of insulations fill cavities, which makes an airtight seal, and can prevent condensation from forming on the concrete foundation walls.

A nice quality of spray-foam insulating material is that the overspray can fill any openings around the old fashioned plate and rim joist at the peak of the older foundation. Any openings that settling has created will get closed up, creating a more energy-efficient house.

AIA, Bud Dietrich

Finish the ceiling and walls. The basement is ready for new drywall finishes once the framing, insulating material, rough electrical and other behind-the-walls stuff are done and have passed inspection by the local building official.

Do not make a gap between the concrete floor and the bottom of the drywall. This will prevent any moisture from the concrete from being evil up to the drywall. And if there’s 1 thing that can really cause problems in a house, it’s moisture trapped in building materials.

Whilst drywall is by far the most common material used to finish the walls, there are lots of options for your ceiling finishing. Drywall is certainly one; just make certain you’ve got access panels where you can find plumbing and other things you’ll need to get to.

It is also possible to utilize drop-in tiles, which avoid the need for access panels but usually lead to the reduction of a ceiling height. Not to mention you can just paint the construction, leaving it vulnerable. This last option is particularly nice where there’s a low ceiling and you need as much height as you can get.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Add some color. Once the drywall is done, you are prepared to paint, or prime, the drywall and get started installing a lot of the trimming work. While you can delay painting and trim work, I’ve found it best to do as far as possible until the flooring finish is installed. It’s only an issue of not having to worry about damaging the flooring finish while you walk around with buckets of paint and create all that sawdust out of cutting the trim pieces.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Place in the finishing touches. Last you’ll install the flooring finish as well as the baseboard and any staying trim. Remember which you can use pretty much any material you would like for your flooring finish. Your decision will be a matter of your finances, what you like and what you will use the basement for.

If it is a playroom, you will likely need something which’s easily cleaned. When it is a home office, hardwood is surely an alternative. Some really pleasant basements actually have different floor finishes in various areas: something readily cleaned up in a craft area and something gentle and comfortable in a sitting area.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Whenever your new basement is all finished, and until the kids maintain it as their very own, you will be prepared to party like it’s 1999!

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