Turning an unfinished basement into livable space is a big project with even bigger rewards. The space is already there, like a diamond in the rough. Here’s a few things to think about when considering your basement finishing project.

#1 How Finished Is “Finished”?

For some, a basement finishing project might mean nothing more than adding some lighting and electrical outlets and installing a workbench. And for others, it might mean building walls and a ceiling, installing a full wet bar, and building a small acoustically-correct home theater. We can help you decide what that means for your project.

#2 How Much Lighting and What Kind?

Once you decide what you’re going to use the basement for, then it’s time to plan the lighting. Your lighting can be more subdued if you’re going to use the space as an entertainment area, bar or den. However, you might want some bright track lights over your workbench. And if we’re going to install drywall over exposed studs or add framing over concrete walls and the ceiling, will you be using recessed or surface lighting or maybe a combination of the two?

#3 LED, Incandescent or Fluorescent?

With many options available, you’ll choose between hot, warm and cool incandescent lights, compact fluorescents or LEDs, which save energy. Consider LEDs with remote control if the basement will have multiple uses.

#4 Drainage Requirements

If you decide you want a small wet bar and food prep area in your basement finishing project, we’ll determine if there is somewhere in the basement where we can tap into the house’s drainage system. We may need to lift both liquid and solid waste to connect to the main house drain as it goes to the street. And do you have enough of a water infiltration problem to warrant a sump pump? As your basement finishing contractor, other considerations come into play if you would like us to build a full bathroom with a shower in your basement.

#5 Installing Windows?

Not all finished basements have windows, but most do. If you decide your basement finishing project is going to need the installation of windows, will they be big ones or small ones? Will they be able to be opened and if so, how? Double or triple pane storm windows? And will you have window wells? Another item to consider is egress windows. Can people get out of the basement safely in an emergency? When working with our basement experts, we’ll let you know if you’re required by local building and safety codes to have egress windows.

#6 Should We Incorporate Extra Food Storage?

If your kitchen is lacking adequate storage space, you might want to consider adding storage space in the basement for nonperishables and foods you’ve preserved. Do you want to make the new basement pantry a simple nook with a few large shelves or do you want to make it a full walk-in pantry?.

#7 Does It Have or Need Direct Access to the Outside?

In some cases, building and safety codes have changed since your house was built. And if you embark on a basement finishing project you might want to install a door that leads directly outside. This is something we’ll discuss before we start your basement finishing project.

#8 Flooring Options?

What kind of flooring does your basement currently have and what do you want the finished space to have on the floor? Maybe you’d prefer to have real or laminate wood flooring. You might decide you want tile in the bathroom and food-prep area to make cleaning up easier, and carpet everywhere else. Also consider in-floor heat if you’re concerned about cold floors.