Basement remodeling is a huge undertaking that requires thorough planning, especially at the initial stages. However, that is not to say it is impossible to turn your basement into a kitchen, home theater, family room, or laundry room.
However, you need to pay attention to possible pitfalls. Homeowners are often oblivious to them or imagine that they are not a big deal. Here we’ll look at some of those mistakes you need to look out for in your basement home renovations project.
Forgetting Important Elements of The Layout
Basements are not usually considered functional living spaces, like say the living room or the bedroom. By default, they tend to be cold, dark, and plain. Your layout should incorporate important aesthetics and functional elements. But you also want to include the essentials such as the water heater, sump pump, and electrical wiring.
One way to approach your home renovation is to decide how you are going to use the room. The next step is to determine the essentials you need to make the space conducive for everyday living.
If you are trying to turn the basement into a bedroom or kitchen, adding lights may turn out to be a complex undertaking. But the same space may be more suitable for a home theater which does not require lots of natural light.
There are two elements of renovations that homeowners tend to forget:
- Soundproofing: It is not an option or an afterthought in basement remodeling projects. The location of the room amplifies humming and vibrations which travel upward into other parts of the house.
- Stairs: During renovations, it is easy to forget about the basement stairs. They need to have enhancements in functionality and aesthetics. Otherwise, they will compromise the overall design. Stairways tend to be narrow, steep or may have a poor orientation. The most convenient time to fix the stairs is when you are renovating the rest of the space.
Using Wood Flooring and Studs
Another critical factor when it comes to basement remodeling is understanding how moisture will affect your renovation project. Basements are prone to accumulation of moisture, humidity, and excess flooding. Their proximity to the ground allows water to move upwards as it evaporates. The walls also facilitate condensation.
If your home renovation project aims to turn the space into a bathroom or kitchen, you will need walls. Walls help to insulate and control the temperature. They also add to the room’s aesthetic appeal.
Unfortunately, basements are susceptible to moisture. Using wood materials will result in rotting, warping, and molding. It is advisable to use metal studs, instead of wooden ones, to prevent structural issues in the future. Also, consider vinyl flooring, which is better at resisting the effects of flooding and moisture.
Complying with Regulations
If you are doing home additions in Northern, VA, you will need permits for plumbing, electrical, as well as a finished building license. You cannot afford to ignore the local code. Otherwise, the penalty could be costly should the inspector disapprove of your renovation.
- Emergency Escape and Rescue: Most local codes, including for Fairfax, VA, require that you built an egress to allow for emergencies. In Virginia, the escape can be an opening, such as a door or window. The egress should be at least 5.7 square feet. It should be accessible from the inside without the need for a key or tool.
- Electrical Outlets and Lighting: The local codes also have requirements for electrical outlets and lighting. Each room and hallway should have at least one switched light. You will have to place the outlet according to the layout given in the regulations. Before you commence with renovations, you should evaluate whether or not you can meet these regulations while making the most of your space.
Basement remodeling can be a huge undertaking because of the nature of the space. You can avoid costly mistakes by taking the time to plan and understand the possible obstacles you could encounter. While you can build and apply for a permit, the local authority recommends that you consult home addition contractors in Fairfax, VA.