How many times have you dived right into a project before later regretting the fact that you didn’t set aside some time to better educate and prepare yourself for the decisions that you would likely have to make? The chances are high that you’ve experienced this exact scenario at least once or twice. With some home improvements, it might not mean much if you “mess up,” but with a kitchen renovation or a basement remodeling, the stakes are much higher, as not only is a considerable investment usually required, but the changes made during projects such as these can have a big impact on your home and lifestyle.
When we assist homeowners on basement remodeling projects in Toronto, we look at the project from every angle and make suggestions based on our experience that we believe are in the client’s best interests. After all, our goal is to ensure that your requirements are met and that you are satisfied with the end result. To that end, we’re going to talk through some of our top basement remodeling tips during this post.
Boost Your Chances of Enjoying a Successful Basement Remodeling With These Tips
Basement remodeling is unlike most of the other home improvement projects that take place above ground and presents a number of unique challenges, many of which aren’t overly obvious to the average homeowner and may only be discovered when it’s too late if you’re not careful. Take note of the following points to give your basement remodeling project the best possible chance of succeeding:
- Two Simple Questions – Before any work is carried out in your basement and even before you get too far into the planning phase, there are two very basic questions that need to be asked. Are there any issues with water and dampness in the basement? And does the basement possess water resistant insulation? One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners and inexperienced contactors make is to progress too far into the renovation, maybe even to the point of installing high-end features and completing the project, only to later suffer continuous issues with moisture. These issues, should they be present, are the first thing that should be addressed.
- Pay Special Attention to the Floor – Under qualified contractors and unassuming homeowners only pay attention to the walls when looking for signs of moisture in the basement, but careful attention must also be paid to the floor. Basement floors in Toronto often suffer from moisture related problems in the summer, when the outside air is warmer than the air inside the basement. If the outside air is able to make its way inside your basement, it will no longer be able to hold moisture and this will typically result in condensation along the floor of the space.
- Don’t Try to Do Too Much Yourself – Every homeowner in Toronto wants to get the best deal they can when their home undergoes a basement remodeling, but you have to be realistic, otherwise it can end up costing you dearly in the long run. Just because you have painted the odd room and have put up a shelf or two does not mean you’re qualified to tackle a full blown basement renovation on your own. You can end up doing more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing and unless you’re a basement remodeling expert, we strongly recommend hiring one. You can then consult your contractor and ask them if there are any tasks that you are able to take care of in order to reduce the overall cost of the project.
- Invest in Quality Lighting – The lighting in any room is an important (and often undervalued) feature, but it’s especially important in a basement. There’s often very little or no natural light whatsoever to illuminate the room, so artificial lights become essential to creating the right atmosphere. One of the most popular choices is recessed lighting, which is able to offer the required amount of light without taking up a great deal of space, although the suitability of this option does depend somewhat upon the height of the ceiling. If recessed lighting can’t be used, consider using a combination of wall sconces and table or floor lamps.
- Remember the Exits – It’s very important to plan at least one safe exit route out of the basement in the case of an emergency, as this is a requirement of most building codes. This could mean integrating a window well into the design of the basement by cutting down the foundation, but by talking to your basement remodeling contractor at the start of the project, you can ensure that this is taken care of and won’t become an issue further down the line.
- Identify Hazardous Materials – If your property is old, it is quite possible that the basement area currently contains hazardous materials. For example, asbestos was typically used to seal seams in ductwork found in this part of the home and lead paint was also often used. To ensure your own safety and the safety of anyone that is likely to use the room once the basement renovation has been completed, suspected hazardous materials must be tested, and if found to be dangerous, removed and replaced. Your contractor will be able to advise you with regards to this process and ensure everything is taken care of.
- Think About Sound Proofing – If you’re planning to use your renovated basement as an entertainment centre and a reasonable amount of noise is likely to be produced, you might want to consider soundproofing it to ensure that other parts of your property aren’t affected. Without this, any sound that is transmitted from a TV set or a music player will go straight through wood and right into the drywall above it.
Interested in having your basement renovated but not sure of the best way to proceed? No problem, simply contact our Toronto based team for a free consultation. We’ve been through the whole process from start to finish hundreds of times before!