You've probably heard more than a few basement refinishing horror stories. From unforgiving local inspectors, to contractors who don't show up, to building materials that are sub par, there are nearly endless potholes and problems that can cause trouble than you might think. While these are extreme scenarios, there are other problems that may occur. It is much easier to anticipate some of the most common problem areas and take steps to avoid them as much as possible.
Detailed planning is critical to avoiding basement refinishing problems, especially when you are able to anticipate some of the issues that are likely to arise. For example, if your basement already has a problem with water seepage then you can reasonably expect to find additional damage underneath the surface when you start tearing things up during demolition. You can minimize the impact of these "surprises" by including some extra time and extra budget dollars that can be allocated as needed. Contractors call this "contingency planning" and it is a practice you should adopt right from the start because it will save you a great deal of frustration and heartache along the way.
Another important strategy for avoiding basement refinishing disasters is to hire the best contractor you can find to do the job. Look for one with a great deal of experience with remodeling basements because he or she will likely have encountered lots of different problems along the way and have a much better idea of how to solve them. Because of the contractor's experience, they will likely not be your cheapest choice. However, in this situation you should consider spending more on a contractor to avoid potentially higher expenses that can occur when a "disaster" strikes. The older your home and the more complex your basement refinishing project, the better it is to invest in the services of a highly experienced contractor.
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