Unlike many other types of home renovation and remodeling projects, the basement requires especially close attention. While newer houses are built with the idea of basements being used as living space, older homes were not designed with the intention of using the basement in this way. That is why if you are remodeling, you need to take special care and plan well.
1. Your Getaway Plan
God forbid something like a fire or earthquake should occur, but planning for the unexpected is the best way to ensure your family’s safety. Emergency exits are crucial, especially in a basement which is meant to be enclosed all the time.
According to some leading specialists, the best plan is to have one main door for exiting, and have windows that are at least large enough to fit an adult that are not too far off the ground. In order to develop effective emergency exit routes, you may need to cut into the foundation and build a “window well.”
2. How High Is It?
It is important to accurately measure the height of the ceilings in your basement to ensure that you have enough space to walk around without having to duck all the time. In addition to checking the ceiling height, you need to account for lost space from walls, flooring and insulation.
Also when you are checking the height, you need to account for ceiling space, ductwork, pipes, and wiring. In order to maximize on space if the ceilings will be too low, you can try to reroute pipes, wiring, and ductwork through small rooms on the edges of the basement or relocate them inside walls where possible.
3. Where Will the Water Come and Go?
A basement remodel normally includes a plan to install a kitchenette, full bathroom, or at least a half bath. These are important features to pay attention to since they will all need to have piping installed for water, drainage, and waste.
The best option when installing any or a combination of these features is to determine where you would like the drainage pipes to lead to and determine where to install them to minimize how much floor will need to be removed. It is usually best to cut out slabs of concrete from the floor and have the lines buried to minimize the risk of rupturing the lines.
You will either need to install them at a slant, so they can naturally drain, or install a sewage ejection pump to ensure the cleanliness and effectiveness of these pipes.
Basement remodeling can give you a significant amount of additional living space with careful thought and design.