Man finishing a basement floor in his home

How to Finish a Basement

For most homeowners finishing a basement is the ultimate home improvement project. Not only will it increase the much-needed space in your home, it will also add to your home's appeal and value. But finishing a basement can feel overwhelming, especially when you don't know where to begin.

Read on for some dos and don'ts to consider.

Dos of Basement Finishing

If you are thinking about finishing your basement, then here are some dos to help make the process easier.

Have a Detailed Plan

A detailed architectural plan can minimize errors, prevent costly mistakes, and help the project flow smoothly. Think about how you want to use the basement, what you want it to look like, and how you can incorporate everything into a more cohesive space. 

Measure the basement while marking permanent structures like duct work, pipes, and beams. Consider flooring, lighting, furniture, and storage solutions. Write down all your ideas, or create a Pinterest board, to help you narrow down the possibilities.

Create a Budget and Stick to It

Before starting any work, create a budget that you can afford. Include costs for plumbing, electrical wiring, and finishing materials like drywall, flooring materials, and tiles. By doing this, you'll prioritize what needs to be done and what things can wait. Consider adding 10% for unexpected things that always seem to pop up.

Have a Clear Timeline

Work out how long the project is expected to take and create a timeline. Include everything from starting the initial demolition, to hiring contractors, to completing the construction. Create a list of things that need to be done and tick each thing off as they are completed. This will help you visualize the progress and motivate you to work more efficiently.

Perform a Radon Test

With basements being in direct contact with the water and soil surrounding the home, it is essential to consider the presence of radon gas. Radon gas occurs naturally in the soil and may lead to lung cancer if not addressed. You can easily test radon levels with specialized test kits to check for unsafe levels. Consider contacting a licensed professional to install a radon reduction system if the levels are high.

Don'ts of Basement Finishing

While there are many do's to consider, there are also a few don'ts that you should also be aware of.

Don’t Underestimate the Project

Don't mistake basement finishing for a simple job. Keep in mind that there are some complex tasks involved, including electrical, plumbing, drywalling, and more. It's essential to consider getting professional help for some task. Hiring a professional could reduce the risk of injury and accidents.

Don’t Change Plans

Changing plans after the project kicks off will cause delays and increase costs. To avoid this, take time to create a comprehensive design plan with all your ideas before starting the project.

Don’t Forget to Pay Attention to Details

Like any room in your home, your basement should look great. Take the time to consider flooring, paint colors, wall decorations, and more. Pay attention to small details, such as the transition of colors or the type of materials used

Don’t Be Afraid to Express Yourself

Your basement should be your haven. Don't limit yourself by thinking that it has to be dull. Create a space you will enjoy spending time in by installing furniture, decorations, and artwork. It's your space, so use it to show off your personality.

Murphy Door — Use a Hidden Door to Create Storage Solutions

One option to consider is adding flush mount hidden doors to create different sections within your basement. A Bookcase Door is the perfect way to get the sleek finished look you crave while hiding much needed storage behind. Is a pool table on your "Must Have" list? Our Pool Cue Door stores pool cues and accessories while serving the same purpose. Or consider adding any of our hidden doors to leave easy access to furnaces and water heaters for maintenance and repairs. 

Murphy Door offers a wide selection of customizable options to section off any space in your home. Visit us online today to browse our wide selection of quality products or contact us to learn more about our products and services.

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