Why Is Finishing a Basement Such a Big Deal?

If you are lucky to have a dry basement in your Gainesville Virginia home that is unfinished, you might as well be sitting on a gold mine when it comes to additional living space. It may be difficult to see past the limitations of your basement, but the truth is that it does not have to be limited to a dungeon where you keep all your storage boxes and utilities. A few creative basement ideas should help you tap into all that extra footage and add a beautiful addition to your home. Even so, you must understand why basement remodeling is not always a simple project.

Photo of a home theater installation completed during a Gainesville VA basement remodeling job

First things first

Although there are many ways to turn the basement into one of the more inviting rooms in your home, you need to first ensure the space is actually livable. There is a world of difference between your basement and other upper level rooms in your home, and they come with their own unique challenges. As such, it is important to understand these challenges if you are going to be realistic about any changes you may want to make.

There are a number of things you want to think about: whether the basement has moisture problems; whether it has provisions for heating and cooling; whether it has ducts and pipes below the ceiling joists that may need relocation; whether it is radon-free, and whether you have sufficient ceiling height.

How will you use it?

Once you have determined that your basement can be finished, the next step is to decide how you are going to use the extra room. There are numerous things you can do with your basement, including turning it into a family room, children’s playroom, additional bedroom, game room, home office, music or art studio, home gym or anything else that may tickle your fancy, as long as it’s practical. One of the more ambitious basement transformations out there is turning it into a swimming pool.

The number of possibilities is almost limitless, and you can even combine two or more ideas if you have the space. When choosing what to do with your basement, keep in mind that your design ideas may need to comply with specific building codes. For instance, if you choose to turn the space into a bedroom, you may need several means of egress, so you would need windows that are large enough to fit through in case of a fire.

What about all the stuff that’s down there?

Typically, an unfinished basement becomes the storage area for all the stuff you accumulate. This means that all this stuff needs to go somewhere else when you remodel your basement. You may need to still commit some of the basement room for storage purposes rather than using it all up as finished space. However, you can also find more creative ways to create storage areas in your house. For instance, you could build shelving or small closets under the stairwell, have shelves along the walls enclosed behind small doors, or use stock cabinetry as storage chests and bench seats.

What are your flooring choices?

Recent basement finishing job completedFlooring choices for the basement are limited simply because the room is below ground level. While a carpet may be your first choice for covering the floor of your cool basement, you do not want to have to deal with mold and mildew. This may occur if you have a water problem, in addition to the hassle of a perpetually wet or damp carpet. If this is the case, you should look for basement waterproofing options to solve that problem. However, this does not mean that carpets are not suitable choices for all basements. If you are sure you have a dry basement, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get a carpet.

Fortunately, even with a basement floor that is sure to get wet, there are good flooring options to choose from. You could go with a sub-floor specifically designed for basements. These are designed to form a barrier to any moisture that might permeate the concrete slab underneath. An all-in-one floor is another option – it combines a finished floor surface on top of plastic sub-floor tiles. Stained or colored concrete is yet another option that ensures you never have to worry about mold, and you can combine this with in-floor radiant heat for a design that is both comfortable and attractive.

Let us help

There are many more considerations you need to make for your basement remodeling, including your ceiling options, window and lighting options as well as all the building codes you need to adhere to. As such, it is always advisable to work with experts who understand all the unique challenges that come with finishing a basement. Home Pros is a team of remodeling contractors that specialize in basement remodeling and service all of Prince William County, Virginia. Contact us today for all your basement finishing queries for your Gainesville VA home.