The decision for a homeowner to consider basement remodeling may be due to many factors. An increase in the size of the family, a new home business or the desire to have a rental space available are just a few reasons why homeowners would want to renovate for increased space.
Originally, the home may have been spacious. However, over the years it may have evolved into a shelter where the occupants feel like they are living in a submarine. It is not that the home is entirely without space but the living conditions are cramped and there are few places to put any more shelves.
When the search for new space becomes unbearable there are a few options available to a homeowner:
- Selling the House: Buying a bigger home is a popular option for attaining more space. The drawback is that, in many instances, the location is sacrificed and this means leaving friends, neighbours and conveniences like schools and recreational amenities. In addition, a newer, larger home in as good shape as the present one may be too expensive so the sellers may be leaping from a small, well-appointed to home to one that needs expensive upgrades such as bathroom and kitchen remodeling.
- Vertical Addition: Another way to gain space is to literally "raise the roof." Adding another story to the home can double the floor space but it is very expensive. The roof has to be dismantled and removed before the new addition can be built. In addition, the walls and foundation may need to be strengthened to handle the extra weight. However, one of the biggest drawbacks is the amount of time that will have to be spent in another location waiting for the improvements to be completed. This is because of safety concerns and no building inspector will allow a family to live below such a large construction job.
- Room Addition: Adding onto the side or back of a home is a popular way to gain space. Although not as expensive as going up it is a large investment. In most cases, a new foundation will have to be poured and utility lines and pipes installed. In other words it's like building a new, little house onto the present one.
- Giving Up the Garage: A double-car garage can have as much as 350 to 400 square feet of insulated space complete with electrical services already installed. The only problem with this idea is that garage space is a selling feature for a home. This is especially true in Canada where almost every area of the country has cold winters and most home buyers will want a garage.
- Basement Renovations: Renovating an empty basement is an inexpensive way to gain space and an option where the homeowner can contribute to the work.
Basement Remodeling Tips
1. Dry Basments
Most Canadian basements have at least part of the foundation underground. Because of this moisture can get in to the basements through stress-fractures that are present in many concrete walls. Hiring an inspector to check out the basement is a great investment in time and money. Cracks that are not noticeable to a novice can be found by a professional, basement repair service. These people have the high-pressure equipment that can seal these cracks permanently. In addition, they will also check out the ground water around the home and suggest methods for better drainage.
2. Radon Gas Prevention
Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that occurs as the decayed product of radium. It is also poisonous and can cause harm to the occupants of a home. Even if the basement is not to be renovated radon gas emissions should be checked out by a qualified inspector. This inspection will advise the homeowner how to protect the home against the leakage of radon gas through drains and cracks.
3. Planning is the Key
Usage: Planning begins with the decision for the primary use. This will bring to the forefront what will be needed in terms of utilities and special hook-ups for other uses such as an entertainment center. These cables can be installed before the walls go up.
Timeline: Every remodeling job requires a timeline. Remodeling in the warm weather means that the furnace can be off and the area can be opened up for better access.
Budget: The cash flow for a basement renovation does not need to be concentrated. The project can be spread over months or a few years and paid for along the way. For those in a hurry, and are seeking a loan, make sure all costs are included so that there are no shortfalls.
4. Who Is the Contractor?
If there is no hurry for the basement remodeling to be completed a homeowner with handy skills can plan the project and contract out the carpentry, electrical and plumbing. However, hiring a contractor is always a good way to go because not only is he or she responsible for the job but also may be able to get the subtrades at a better rate. The homeowner can participate in the project by doing the clean-up, insulation and painting.
Canadian homes with central heating will already have the ductwork or hydronic pipes in place so a heating contractor may only have to extend these services to get a good amount of heat into the new renovations. Other options like pellet, wood, propane or natural gas stoves can also be a heating option as well as providing ambience to the space.
Basement remodeling projects are expensive and should have the experience and skills of a qualified contractor even if it is just to oversee the project. Consult our Contractor Directory for a basement remodeling contractor or simply post your project online.Posted by: TrustedPros