METCALF MOVING BLOG
Tips to Turn a Basement Into a Living Space
Basements in homes can run the gamut from little more than a crawl space to a full-size extension of the house above. However, most basements are designed for storage, meaning they often don’t come with all the same features and amenities as the rest of the house. That said, even if your basement needs work, you can easily transform it into a living space. Here are some tips on making it happen.
Inspect the Current Conditions
Unfortunately, basements are often neglected, meaning they can have various problems to address before you can start renovations. These issues can include:
- Cracks in the foundation — These cracks will only worsen over time, so you must fix them.
- Leaks — Water can seep into the basement or drip from leaky pipes.
- Pests — Spiders, mice, and other pests may be living in your basement home before you start converting it into a livable space.
Overall, it’s best to get a sense of what’s going on so you can plan accordingly. In addition, you should have a professional inspector look at any issues requiring additional upgrades.
Consider Environmental Hazards
Did you know that most basements in the US have relatively high radon concentrations? Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive element that tends to collect in basements. If you plan to spend more time down there, you should invest in radon mitigation systems.
Other environmental hazards can include water leaks and mildew, so you have to consider how to address these problems and prevent them in the future. The answer may be as simple as sealing any doors or windows, or you might have to do some substantial renovations overall.
In many cases, the only way to get into the basement is through the house. However, if adding another entrance/exit is possible, you can make the basement even more accommodating. Plus, if you host people or are planning to rent space (i.e., on Airbnb), having a dedicated entrance can add incredible value. That said, if the cost is too high to justify, consider adding more privacy with extra walls or barriers.
Also, check with your municipality; most require an egress window in a livable basement. Egress windows are large, standard-looking windows that open all the way in the event of an emergency, like a fire.
Don’t Forget Pest Control
Even after your renovation, pests will likely seek shelter in your basement, especially during inclement weather. So, you must be proactive by placing pest control traps and spraying common entry points. While you may not be able to prevent all pests from gaining access, you shouldn’t have to worry about coming across dead bugs or other pests regularly.
Pay Attention to Flooring and Insulation
Basements are typically cold and drafty because they have concrete floors and little insulation. So, if you want a fully-furnished basement, you need to consider upgrading the flooring and adding new layers of insulation. Before worrying about other fixtures like lighting, walls, or even bathrooms, you must handle these elements first.
Ready to Move Into a Home With a Basement? Let Us Help!
Even in the most basic of homes, having access to a large basement expands your options significantly.
Contact us when you’re ready to make a move. We can handle all logistical details. Don’t settle for a home you don’t love!