Our modern world after the COVID-19 pandemic is no more the same carefree space as it used to be. It is now subjective, and the attention to detail is the tip of the iceberg. Such times demand preparedness, and basements offer exactly that. 

Those houses that come with a basement are actually the most sought-after real estate projects among realtors and residents alike. Basements are rare to have in a house because of the fairly high budget that it requires. Although a one-time expense, basements not only provide extra space but also are a standout feature to have in your house. 

So basements also have the good, the bad, and the worst. Wondering whether your house deserves a basement or not, give this article a read and then formulate a decision. 

Basements at Their Best! (Pros)

Basements at Their Best

Let us start with some of the features that make basements the needed and most-important additional features of a house. 

  • Extra Functional Space
  • Multipurpose Area
  • Ideal for Rental
  • Utilizes the Land
  • Best for Emergency Shelter
  • Extra Functional Space

One of the most striking features of having a basement in the house is all the space that you can make the best possible use of. Having an extra functional space is not going to affect anyone at the end of the day and is one of the few things that people don’t say they need but appreciate nonetheless. 

In order to have this extra space that is operational and functional, you do not have to sacrifice the outdoor or indoor of the house. This one is a floor that is of the same width and length that is of your house. 

Multipurpose Area

We are damn sure that every house in your home in Capital Smart City has a purpose. Such as, you might have a master bedroom and the other one a living room. So, these rooms do not have the liberty to be adaptable, but the basement is different. 

The basement in your house is one of those areas that are the most adaptable. In order to satiate all of your household requirements, basements can serve the best multipurpose area. So you can either convert this area into a home cinema for all the cinema buffs, or you can transform your basement into a storage area to match all the growing demands of the growing family. 

Ideal for Rental

Are you a retired couple that has all the house to their own use? Basements can turn out to be a potential business idea. You can make good use of the above floors and can rent out the basements for someone else. 

Utilizes the Land

If you are looking for ways to increase the functional capacity of your house, consider adding a basement. Basements do that for your house. They are the best possible use of the land at its full capacity. 

Best for Emergency Shelter

If corona has taught us, one thing other than the use of masks is that having an extra room in your house to store stuff is highly important. Whether you want to keep your accessories or important stuff safe in the premises of your house or you want to skip all the dangerous things happening in your region, basements can serve as the perfect emergency shelter. 

All the Bad Things about Basements (Cons)

Bad Things about Basements

Here are some of the cons of basements that you need to be mindful of for better and more informed decisions regarding your house structure.

  • Expensive to Construct
  • High Noise Levels 
  • Pest Infestation Risks
  • Prone to Flooding
  • Expensive to Construct

Those houses that have basements come with extra square footage and thus extra money. But if your house does not have a basement but you want one, then remember that they require a lot of additional construction money. 

In order to construct a basement, the developers have to dig deeper, and thus the money for excavation is justified. It’s like adding a whole new floor, and that requires a lot of labor work as well.  

High Noise Levels 

So a common perception about having a basement is that it is the quietest room in your house. But trust us, that is so not the case. As basements are underground, the acoustics, echoing and amplifying everything, are multiplied. They are not the ideal places for a nap or snooze because of the high noise echo levels. 

Pest Infestation Risks

Another thing that can cause you to not have a basement in your house is pest manifestation. Because of the dampness and moisture, basements are often riddled with pests that are just looking for a favorable habitat to thrive. You might also have to start with its fumigation, so extra money for that as well. 

Prone to Flooding

For people who are habitant of those areas which are always on high alert for flooding, then basements are not a good option for you. Because they have a high chance of flood, thus, make sure to do your research before spending all those extra bucks on the addition of a basement in your house. 

How Do I Waterproof My Basement?

Waterproofing a basement typically involves addressing both the exterior and interior of the basement. Some steps you can take to waterproof your basement include:

Exterior Waterproofing:

  • Inspect and repair any cracks or damage in the foundation.
  • Install a drainage system, such as a French drain, to divert water away from the foundation.
  • Apply a waterproofing membrane or sealant to the exterior of the foundation.

Interior Waterproofing:

  • Install a sump pump to remove any water that may enter the basement.
  • Seal any openings or cracks in the walls and floors with a waterproof sealant.
  • Install a vapor barrier on the walls and floors to prevent moisture from seeping through.

Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels low.

It’s important to note that it’s always best to consult with a professional contractor before starting any waterproofing project, as the best solution may vary depending on the specific conditions of your basement and the local climate.

How Do I Insulate My Basement?

Insulating a basement can help to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer and can also help to reduce energy costs. Here are some steps you can take to insulate your basement:

  • Identify where the drafts are coming from: Look for gaps or cracks in the walls, floors, or ceilings that may be letting in cold air.
  • Choose the right insulation for your space: Options for insulating a basement include fiberglass batts, blown-in cellulose, or spray foam insulation. Be sure to choose an insulation that is appropriate for use in a damp space.
  • Insulate the walls: If the walls are accessible from the inside, you can add insulation to them by cutting them to fit between the studs and then securing them with wire mesh or insulation hangers. If the walls are not accessible from the inside, you can insulate them from the outside by attaching insulation to the foundation.
  • Insulate the floors: If the floor above the basement is uninsulated, you can add insulation between the joists to help keep the basement warmer.
  • Seal any gaps or cracks: Use caulk or expanding foam to seal any gaps or cracks that may be letting in cold air.

Lastly, it’s important to properly ventilate the space to avoid any moisture build-up.

It’s always best to consult with a professional contractor before starting any insulation project to ensure that you are following the best practices for your specific situation and to avoid any potential hazards.

How Do I Prevent Mold In My Basement?

Mold can be a common problem in basements due to damp and humid conditions. Here are some steps you can take to prevent mold growth in your basement:

  • Control humidity: Keep humidity levels in the basement below 60% by using a dehumidifier and ensuring proper ventilation.
  • Fix leaks: Any leaks or water damage in the basement should be repaired as soon as they are discovered to prevent mold growth.
  • Clean regularly: Keep the basement clean and free of debris that can hold moisture.
  • Check for condensation: Look for signs of condensation on cold surfaces such as pipes, walls, or windows, and take steps to reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
  • Insulate properly: Insulating walls, floors, and the foundation can help to prevent moisture from penetrating the basement.
  • Use mold-resistant materials: When finishing your basement, use mold-resistant materials such as drywall with mold inhibitors.
  • Consider a sump pump: A sump pump can help to remove any water that enters the basement, which can prevent mold growth.
  • Keep an eye on your basement: Regularly check for signs of mold growth, such as musty odors, discoloration, or visible mold, and address any issues as soon as they arise.

It’s important to note that mold remediation can be a tricky process, and it’s always best to consult with a professional if you suspect mold growth in your basement.

How Do I Choose A Basement Flooring Material?

Choosing the right flooring material for your basement can be a challenge due to the potential for moisture and dampness. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a flooring material for your basement:

  • Moisture resistance: Look for materials that are resistant to moisture, such as vinyl or ceramic tile, as they can withstand dampness and humidity.
  • Durability: Choose a material that can withstand heavy foot traffic and any potential wear and tear.
  • Insulation: Some flooring materials, such as carpet or cork, have insulating properties that can help to keep the basement warmer.
  • Easy to clean: Consider materials that are easy to clean and maintain, such as tile or laminate, as basements are prone to spills and dirt.
  • Aesthetics: Choose a flooring material that complements the overall design of your basement and the rest of your home.
  • Cost: Take into consideration the cost of the flooring material as well as the cost of installation.

If you’re planning on turning your basement into a living space, it’s also important to consider the comfort and warmth of the flooring material.

Some popular basement flooring options include:

  • Vinyl plank or tile flooring
  • Engineered wood flooring
  • Laminate flooring
  • Concrete or ceramic tile
  • Carpet

It’s always best to consult with a professional contractor before making a final decision, as they can help to advise you on the best options for your specific situation and budget.

How Do I Safely Install A Basement Egress Window?

Installing a basement egress window can increase the light and ventilation in your basement, as well as provide a means of emergency exit. Here are some steps you can take to safely install a basement egress window:

  • Check local building codes: Before starting the installation, check with your local building department to ensure that you are in compliance with any codes or regulations that apply to egress windows.
  • Determine the appropriate window size: Egress windows must be large enough to allow a person to escape in case of an emergency, so be sure to choose a window that meets the minimum size requirements.
  • Choose the right location: The window should be located on a wall that is easily accessible from the basement, and that is not obstructed by any other structures.
  • Excavate the opening: Carefully excavate the area where the window will be installed, taking care not to damage any structural elements of the foundation.
  • Install the window well: A window well should be installed outside the window to allow for easy access and to keep water and debris from entering the basement.
  • Install the window: The window should be properly sealed and secured to ensure that it is weathertight and that it can be easily opened in case of an emergency.
  • Finish the installation: Once the window is installed, you’ll need to finish the interior and exterior of the opening; this can include framing, drywall, and paint.

Lastly, it’s important to test the window to make sure it can be easily opened and closed and that it is weathertight.

It’s always best to consult with a professional contractor before starting any window installation project, as they can ensure that the installation is done properly and that it complies with all relevant codes and regulations.

How Do I Prepare My Basement For A Renovation Project?

Preparing your basement for a renovation project can be a bit more involved than preparing other rooms in your home due to the potential for moisture and dampness. Here are some steps you can take to prepare your basement for a renovation project:

  • Check for moisture and mold: Before starting any renovation work, it’s important to check for any signs of moisture or mold. If there is mold present, it should be properly removed before proceeding with the renovation.
  • Address any water issues: If you have water leaks or seepage, be sure to address them before starting the renovation to prevent further damage.
  • Make sure the space is properly ventilated: Basements can be prone to dampness and mold, so it’s important to ensure that there is proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Remove any debris or items that are not needed: This can make it easier to move around and work in the space during the renovation.
  • Plan out the renovation project: Create a detailed plan that includes a timeline, materials list, and budget. This will help you to stay on track and ensure that the renovation is completed on time and within budget.
  • Hire a professional contractor: If you are not comfortable or have no experience in renovating, it’s best to hire a professional contractor who can help you to plan and execute the renovation project.
  • Protect your belongings: Cover floors, furniture, and other items in the basement with plastic sheeting or drop cloths to protect them from dust and debris during the renovation.
  • Check for any structural issues: Before starting any renovation work, it’s important to check for any structural issues, such as foundation cracks or unstable walls, that could cause safety hazards during the renovation.

By preparing your basement for a renovation project, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly and that the end result is a functional and beautiful space that meets your needs.

How Can I Prevent Water From Entering My Basement?

Preventing water from entering your basement is crucial to keep your home in good condition. Here are some steps you can take to prevent water from entering your basement:

  • Inspect your foundation: Look for any cracks or damage in the foundation and repair them as needed.
  • Ensure proper grading: The soil around your foundation should be graded to slope away from the house to divert water away from the foundation.
  • Install gutters and downspouts: Make sure your gutters and downspouts are properly installed and in good condition to channel water away from your foundation.
  • Check window wells: Make sure window wells are properly sealed and that they have a drainage system to prevent water from seeping into your basement through windows.
  • Seal any openings: Use a sealant to seal any openings or cracks in the walls and floors of your basement to prevent water from entering through them.
  • Install a sump pump: A sump pump can help to remove any water that enters the basement through cracks or leaks.
  • Check your plumbing: Make sure your plumbing is in good condition and that there are no leaks or issues that could cause water to enter your basement.
  • Apply a waterproofing membrane: You can apply a waterproofing membrane or sealant to the exterior of your foundation to create a barrier that prevents water from seeping into your basement.
  • Consider a drainage system: If you have a persistent water problem, a drainage system like a French drain can be installed to redirect water away from your foundation.

It’s important to note that it’s always best to consult with a professional contractor before starting any waterproofing project, as the best solution may vary depending on the specific conditions of your basement and the local climate.

How Do I Insulate My Basement Walls?

Insulating your basement walls can help to keep the space warm in the winter and cool in the summer and can also help to reduce energy costs. Here are some steps you can take to insulate your basement walls:

  • Determine the type of insulation: There are several options for insulating basement walls, including fiberglass batts, blown-in cellulose, or spray foam insulation.
  • Check for moisture: Before installing insulation, it’s important to ensure that the walls are dry and free of any moisture or mold.
  • Choose the right insulation R-value: R-value is a measure of thermal resistance and insulation with a higher R-value will provide better insulation.
  • Decide between interior or exterior insulation: You can insulate your basement walls from the inside or from the outside by attaching insulation to the foundation.
  • Install the insulation: Once you’ve chosen the insulation and the location, you can install it by cutting it to fit between the studs and then securing it with wire mesh or insulation hangers.
  • Seal any gaps or cracks: Use caulk or expanding foam to seal any gaps or cracks that may be letting in cold air.
  • Properly ventilate the space: It’s important to properly ventilate the space to avoid any moisture buildup.

Lastly, it’s important to consult with a professional contractor before starting any insulation project to ensure that you are following the best practices for your specific situation and to avoid any potential hazards.

Keep in mind that insulating your basement walls can have a big impact on the energy efficiency and comfort of your home, but it’s important to take the time to properly prepare the space, choose the right insulation and install it correctly.

How Do I Finish My Basement On A Budget?

Finishing a basement can be a cost-effective way to add living space to your home, but it can also be a significant expense. Here are some steps you can take to finish your basement on a budget:

  • Plan ahead: Create a detailed plan that includes a timeline, materials list, and budget. This will help you to stay on track and ensure that the renovation is completed on time and within budget.
  • Prioritize: Decide which elements of the basement are most important to you and focus on those first. You can always add additional features later as the budget allows.
  • Do it yourself: If you have some DIY skills, consider taking on some of the work yourself. This can help to save on labor costs.
  • Choose cost-effective materials: Look for materials that are both affordable and durable, such as laminate flooring or engineered wood.
  • Consider a partial finish: Instead of finishing the entire basement, consider only finishing a portion of it. This can help to reduce costs and allow you to spread the renovation over a longer period of time.
  • Use existing utilities: If possible, use existing plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems to save on installation costs.
  • Be mindful of lighting: Take advantage of natural light, and choose cost-effective lighting options such as LED light bulbs and energy-efficient fixtures.
  • Shop around: Compare prices of materials and labor from different sources, and try to negotiate for better deals.
  • Get multiple quotes: Before hiring a contractor, it’s always best to get multiple quotes to ensure that you’re getting a fair price.

Lastly, be realistic about your budget and don’t overspend; it’s better to have small savings than to go into debt.

Keep in mind that by planning ahead, prioritizing, and being mindful of your budget, you can finish your basement without breaking the bank.

What Are The Building Codes For Basement Renovations?

Basement renovations are subject to various building codes and regulations, which can vary depending on the location and scope of the project. Some of the most common building codes for basement renovations include the following:

  • Egress windows: Building codes typically require that basements have at least one means of emergency egress, such as a window or door that leads to the outside.
  • Minimum ceiling height: Building codes typically require that basement ceilings have a minimum height of 7 feet.
  • Fire safety: Building codes typically require that basement renovations include fire-resistant materials and smoke detectors.
  • Plumbing and electrical: Building codes typically require that all plumbing and electrical systems in the basement be up to code and that they are properly installed and grounded.
  • Structural integrity: Building codes typically require that any structural changes to the basement, such as adding walls or framing, be done in a way that does not compromise the structural integrity of the building.
  • Accessibility: Building codes typically require that renovations be accessible for people with disabilities.
  • Insulation: Building codes typically require that basements be insulated to a certain R-value.
  • Ventilation: Building codes typically require that basements have proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Radon gas: Building codes may require that basement renovations include radon mitigation systems.

It’s important to note that building codes and regulations can vary depending on the location and the scope of the project, so it’s always best to check with your local building department to ensure that your renovation project is in compliance. Hiring a professional contractor who is knowledgeable about the local building codes can also help ensure that your renovation project is done safely and in compliance with local regulations.

Basements – A Yes or a No

Well, now that we have provided you with all the basements FAQs and pros and cons of having a basement, it is high time for you to draw a conclusion on whether you want one or not. So whatever you decide, we wish you the best of luck!

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