If you're lucky enough to live in an area where basements are a common feature, you could have a hidden treasure located just under your house! Whether your basement is currently unfinished or it's just being used for storage, those that put a little bit of time and energy into this area of their house will only end up reaping the benefits. Not only will finishing your basement increase the living size of your home, but it will also increase the value, making it a better investment for the future. Plus, the only limit to what the basement can become is your imagination: a home theatre, game room, bonus room for the kids, office space, or even an apartment for a member of the family, the possibilities are endless.
First is the enjoyable task of deciding what you want your basement remodeling project to be. Once you've made up your mind to install that bar and billiards table you've always wanted, it's time to get down to brass tacks and think about what your basement is currently missing and what features you'd ultimately like to add. If you're starting from scratch, you'll have to keep basics in mind, including electricity, plumbing, heat for the winter and keeping the space cool in the summer, if you need it. You'll also want to remember to have the floors and walls checked to make sure they are waterproof.
If your basement is already finished but in need of an update, important things to remember will be to have the electricity checked, especially if it hasn't been used in quite a while. If the space has only been used for storage or has been forgotten for a long period of time, it may not be a bad idea to have the floors and walls checked to ensure they are still waterproof before starting your home improvement project.
Possibly the most important aspect of updating your basement will be finding the right solution for your flooring. Since basement floors are usually made of concrete, they can be uncomfortable and cold, especially in winter. Some ideas to consider include floor heating, adding a layer of insulation under hardwood floors, or choosing an extra-thick carpet to keep you warm and comfortable.
Last but not least, some areas will require certain permits for some home improvements, including finishing your basement. You should be able to confirm what paperwork will need to be completed by contacting your local government or visiting their website.
Finding a home improvement contractor for your basement remodeling project should not be a difficult or intimidating experience for anyone involved. You are certainly under no obligation to hire the first contractor you meet. In fact, it is recommended that you receive three estimates on your project.
In choosing your contractor, be on the lookout for those that try to pressure you into features that you don't need or want. A good contractor will be one that listens closely to your wishes and will work to get as close as your initial plan as possible. He should be able to provide a written estimate and a written contract before starting and may even agree to take care of all necessary permits.
Large scale home improvement projects, like finishing your basement, can be intimidating, but the long term benefits far outweigh the relatively short amount of time spent on it. In the end, you will have increased the value of your home, so don't be afraid to start working on creating your new space!