Finishing your basement is a wonderful way to add value to your home, and add more usable space. While many homes do not come with a finished basement, many homeowners make the time and investment to complete this space. A finished basement is a big project, and requires a lot of planning and hard work if you decided to do it on your own.

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Here are some tips for finishing your basement.

Create your design carefully

It is important to really sit down and come up with a thoroughly designed basement plan. You may need the help of a designer, especially when it comes to things like making sure that your basement space is up to code. For example, you need an egress window or bilco doors so that there is a safe exit.

Prepare your basement

Before starting on any kind of basement finishing, you need to prepare your basement. You’ll want to be sure that any kind of moisture issues are dealt with. You don’t want any wet areas, leaky pipes, electrical issues, etc. Once you start putting up walls, flooring, and so on, it will be hard to deal with repair issues, and you could suffer setbacks if you were to have to take down drywall etc. You will also want to make sure things like pipes are insulated and that other areas are insulated for both temperature and sound dampening.

Allow for access

The basement is usually where you access things like the water heater, furnace, electrical panel, and more. When the basement is finished, homeowners still need access to plumbing and more.

Consider building materials like ceiling tiles and paneling in the event that you need to gain access for repairs or maintenance.

Provide lots of lighting

Basements are often naturally dark, so design your space accordingly. If your ceilings are on the lower side, it may be a good strategy to go with recessed lighting. Windows are often small in basements, so take this into consideration in your design. A cooler, darker space can easily make the basement less inviting if not planned well.

Choose comfortable flooring

Concrete floors can be a challenge for homeowners. Basement flooring is generally naturally cold and prone to moisture. There are products like dimple mats that you can place over the concrete to help with moisture issues and to provide better insulation. You will need to decide between a hard flooring versus carpeting, taking into account that you are placing it over a concrete surface. Again, a basement is generally cooler, plus concrete has a different feel from regular underlayment.