Remodeling or renovating your basement is one of the best ways to efficiently use all of the square footage your home has to offer. Most basement renovations are used to create kids play rooms, guest rooms, game room/ bar areas and in a lot of cases the space is used as a place in the home where the family can retire to and relax after a long day of activities. If you have an unfinished basement in your home, you have a great opportunity to add value to your home in the form of added living space.
Probably the greatest benefit of remodeling a basement is the fact that it's a great way to add living space to your home at a fraction of the cost of actually adding more square footage to your house. Adding another room to your home will require building permits and structural work while renovating a basement will not require any structural work whatsoever and no building permits in most cases. Any way you look at it, remodeling a basement is just a great way to reclaim space in your existing home that you're not currently using.
Step 1: Before You Call a Contractor
Whether you're adding a home theater, a game room or an entertainment area, basement renovations have become the most rewarding home renovation project for many homeowners. But before tackling a basement project, there are several considerations a homeowner and potential contractor must consider prior to proceeding.
For example, the basement should be checked for possible water leakage, a potential moisture problem, mildew buildup, mold, a cracked foundation, damaged joists and adequate head room. If you've already had your basement inspected and you've been given the stamp of approval than you can forego all of this but since most basements aren't designed to be living spaces, it's important to make sure that a basement is up to code prior to making any renovating or remodeling plans.
Perhaps the biggest concern when it comes to basement renovations is the threat of excessive moisture in the basement. Excessive moisture can lead to mildew and possibly mold. Mold can have some pretty serious health complications so if you have a moisture concern when it comes to your basement, it's best to have it checked by a professional. A simple test that you can conduct to check to see if you might have a moisture problem is to take a plastic trash bag, lay it on your bare concrete basement floor and seal around all the edges by applying strong tape. Leave the trash bag on your floor for a couple of days and after a couple of days go ahead and peel it off of your floor. If you see any condensation or moisture underneath the trash bag when you remove it, you have moisture getting into your basement.
Step 2: Hiring the Right Renovation Contractors for the Job
Unless you're planning on remodeling the basement yourself, chances are you're going to need to hire some contractors for the job. When hiring contractors it's important to find the right one for the job. Below are a few tips to help you ensure you hire the right contractor.
- Make sure the contractor is insured and bonded. Liability insurance in particular will help insure your home against any potential damage the contractor may cause.
- Make sure the contractor has a license. Hiring a contractor without a license may save you some money in the short term but it is sure to cost you more in the long run.
- Check references. When it comes to hiring contractors, there's very little you can do to ensure the contractor is capable of good quality work. One thing you can do is ask for and check references to find out what type of work the contractor has done in the past.
- Do your own research. Of course no contractor in his right mind will share negative references with you so it's important to do your own homework. Check online for reviews and feedback from other customers to make sure you're dealing with a quality contractor.
Finally when it comes to renovating your basement, we strongly recommend you utilize the TrustedPros database of contractors where you will find several qualified contractors for your renovation and you'll also find authenticated reviews from other homeowners so you know you're getting honest and real reviews. You'll also be able to see uploaded photos from previous basement renovations so you can get a real good idea of exactly what the contractor is capable of. Any way you look at it, TrustedPros has the details and information you need to help you make a well-informed decision.
Step 3: So How Did It Go?
When it comes to basement renovations the only limit is your imagination. Did your experience and outcome match your vision? If so a large part of the outcome probably came about by picking a good basement renovation contractor - so tell your story to others!
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