What would be the top 3 fears/concerns of homeowners who are interested in renovating their basement?
3 problematic in scope of work:
Water back up, damaging everything. (backwater valve & sump pump).
Framing walls to tight to joists , causing damage to the house. (build with floating walls).
Hearing everything come through the ceiling. (sound proof joist).
3 problematic in dealing with trades:
Dealing with contractors. The cheapest isn't the best, so isn't the most expensive. Lining up the framer to the finisher.
Tracking funds, and draws.
Getting the contractors to do the job quick, as well as any call backs so other trades aren't held up.
First of all we have to make sure that the area of the basement is not wet (leakings from exterior walls). Then you start with your layout. If supporting walls are in the way we need an engineer and his opinion if we are to move them, usually their services are not expensive.
Your position of your new WC and laundry have to be close to main drain or otherwise it will be hard to get the right slope for draining without making a lot of mess cutting the basement concrete
Your electrical have too be up to code just for you and your contractor to have a piece of mind and be 100% safe.
Another good thing is the insulation you are planning to use on your exterior walls. I suggest to my clients spray foam. It is more expensive but it is better than everything else.
The other thing is to make a good communication with your contractor about the way of paying.
Finishing I will agree with the previous contractors.
Good luck with your project.
While I agree with everyone else, finding the right contractor is the biggest problem. There are a lot of bad ones when it comes to basements. Find the right one and all your fears/concerns/problems will be handled for you, so you can enjoy your basement.
Is it possible to remodel a basement and stay on budget? Of course, just stay informed and be realistic
What will I find when we gut the basement? You can excpect to find a few things in your basement that might need special attention but dont panic just make sure your contractor is qualified.
What kind of permits are needed? Always check with your municipality but normally tou need electrical, Hvac and structure.
Basement is a big investment. I 100% agree with all the other contractor here about electrical, plumbing and Structural being your worries but the key is not that.
The key to your dream basement is hiring a good Contractor with at least three references. Do your home work and to be 100% safe go and see one of the references work that has been done. Also get 3 quotes, try not to get more than 4 quotes. More than 4 and it will start to get confusing and DO not use the cheapest price.
The reno men
The others have answered your basic question.
Structural, means to look at your foundation to ensure there are no issues such as cracks, leaks, and relatively level and plumb walls. The "level" pertains to the concrete floor. After that, consider what you want to do. You will need power and plumbing ... and heat.
Decide how you might want to develop the area and make sure each room has what is required. (power outlets, lighting, heat ... window - if it is a bedroom). The flooring can be adjusted to accomadate not-so-level areas. Walls can be made to make seperate rooms, ... this is where the planning comes in. Also make sure there is proper access the the furnace, power (breaker box) and water shut off.
Once the thinking and planning are done, it's a relatively easy project. The biggest fear, in my mind, is knowing that it may cost more than you thought. If you really want to develop the basement area and are limited (dollar wise), do it in stages. Do the exterior walls first with adaquate insulation and drywall and electrical. Then you can modify the inside walls as you see fit. You'll enjoy the whole process.
Take your time and do it properly. A good job will add value to your home plus make you proud.
I would say your top concern should be finding the right contractor to do your project. There are too many contractors that don't take pride in what they do nor do they know their obligations to advise potential customers of the proper process.
Get references and check them out thoroughly and do your homework. If you don't get the feeling you can trust someone, find someone that makes you feel comfortable. Also, don't base your decisions on the cost of the project. Certain projects do have average costs to complete so again, do your homework.
Thanks for your insight and responses.
I have to agree with Kevin. Finding the right contractor is the most important part of your renovation. You must check out the company and be thorough. Ask for references and follow up on them. DO NOT give any monies up front or to reserve a start date. Get a complete and detailed contract with a payment schedule clearly outlined.
An extremely common problem is homeowners choosing their contractor based on the cheapest price. This almost always leads to the issues you read about in these forums and see on TV. Reputable companies who have been around for a long time have overhead, period. You may pay a little more but in the end, your result is a professionally finished basement completed to code.
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