Basement remodels are a smart way to expand your home’s living space as they are fairly easy to tackle and more cost-efficient than building beyond your home’s footprint. Power and plumbing is already in place and it won’t change your home’s profile. The versatility of a basement space means it can be anything from your new family room, home theatre or guest bedroom. In every basement reno, the most important stage is the planning and pre-construction phase. So before you start, make sure your remodeling checklist includes these steps and considerations.

Brainstorm ideas for your space

Consider what your family may need the space for. How you convert your unfinished basement will depend on how much space you need for say a family room, game room or multipurpose room. Think about adjacent spaces upstairs for noise and flow, how furnishings can fit and your lifestyle demands.

Devise a floor-plan

Commit to paper a detailed plan of what you want the finished basement to look like. It will be easier to make adjustments on a floor-plan than after the walls go up. Assess your furniture placement, lighting requirements and consider the various possibilities. Windows will add more natural light to a relatively dark space and new ceilings and floors can provide extra comfort and a more finished look.

Set your budget

Whether you can fund your renovation through savings or borrow and set up financing, determine this detailed budget as early as you can. For future work, plan to rough in all your connections and installation and cost out replacing or expanding windows before the walls go up. Leave your furnishings and decorating budget expenses until the end and don’t forget to include a contingency amount.

Check for moisture

Never start work until you are absolutely sure the space is dry. Basement moisture can ruin floors and walls and encourage mold. Make sure to tackle moisture problems in the interior and exterior of your home. Opt for building materials like DRICORE SMARTWALL®, an all-in-one framing, insulation, drywall, and vapour barrier wall panel system.

Get all the required permits

It is critical to examine the structure of your home and elements such as posts, ceilings and floors and how sewer lines can pose challenges. You will most likely need to pull permits for framing, electrical, and plumbing. Check with building inspectors or consult a contractor who can provide a thorough inspection and recommendations.