8 Things to Consider Before Renovating Your Basement

Transforming an unfinished basement into a usable space is a huge endeavor. When you consider all of the different tasks that need to come together for the project to be a success, it may feel overwhelming. But an unfinished basement could actually be costing you money each month in energy costs, not to mention foregoing valuable space in your home that could add additional value to your home.

Renovating your basement requires a significant amount of strategic planning. To help you cover all the basics, we’ve listed a number of things below to consider before starting your basement renovation project.

Building Permits

Your basement will need to be inspected by your municipality. Each municipality has a different set of rules and guidelines about making changes to a building. Before you begin any modification of your basement, it’s imperative that you get the necessary building permits. We stress this point at the beginning because many homeowners are unaware of the different permits that are required, and it may end up being a very expensive oversight.The permits you need will depend on what you’re planning to change in your basement. For example, if you’re going to anything that affects the plumbing, you need to ensure that you have permission to do so. You can find out what permits you need by calling your city. They can also provide details on the submission process and how long the wait will be.

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Create Design Plan

Spend some time thinking about the design you want for your basement. Incorporating the right basement ideas can be a difficult task to do, particularly with so many options available. Many homeowners struggle with this because they don’t know where to begin when it comes to design. Hiring professional designers to help you develop the best design for your basement will be a tremendous benefit. Depending on how you want to use the space, they have a broad understanding of the layout and will be able to give you modern basement ideas. Other things you should consider as you create your design plan are the type of finishing materials that you would like for your floors and countertops, what color of paint you’d like on your walls, and other features that will make the room more functional.

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Check Foundation

The condition of your foundation is critical to the structural integrity of your entire home. A foundation with faults will create a big problem for you, particularly when it comes to moisture seeping into your basement. Cracks in the foundation could be due to improper curing or setting. Whatever the cause, these issues need to be tended to before you begin finishing your basement. Failure to do so can result in very expensive repairs. So fix any foundational issues before your basement work to prevent the problems from getting worse.



Water can be a big problem for any basement. Before you embark on a basement finishing project, make sure that you have adequately protected the floors and walls of your basement from moisture. Waterproofing is critical to every basement. Don’t underestimate the potential problems that moisture can create for your basement.

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Look for Moisture

You want to make sure that moisture is not going to pose a threat to your new basement, so look for signs of moisture particularly in the foundation, around windows, on the floor, and other areas in your basement. Moisture tends to leave telltale signs wherever it is. So check for stains on walls and floors, and if you see any, this is an indication that there may be underlying moisture issues.

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Lighting Options

There are many different types of lighting options on the market. Consider how you intend to use your bathroom space and use that as a guide to determine what the appropriate lighting option will be for you. For example, if you plan to use your basement as a home theater, you’re not going to want to install bright lighting. It would better suit your basement to go with more subtle lighting. On the other hand, if you plan to use your basement as a family room, basement apartment, or home gym, you want to install brighter lighting in your basement. Think about installing recessed lights in your ceilings for additional lighting. Other options include LED, incandescent, or fluorescent lighting.

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Window Installation

Basements are typically dark spaces, and installing windows is a great way to invite natural light into the area. If you’re going to have a bathroom in your basement, you need to install egress windows in order to be compliant with building codes. In general, think about incorporating larger windows to brighten up your basement space. Another benefit of larger windows is that they provide an emergency exit in case there is a fire.

Flooring Options

The type of basement flooring you select for your basement needs to be the right choice based on the function of your basement. Some of the options include concrete, tiles, laminate wood, and carpet. Keep in mind that your flooring doesn’t have to be uniform across the entire basement. You may decide to go with one type of flooring in one area in your basement and another type in a different area. An example of this would be having tiles in the bathroom or mini kitchen area and carpet in the rest of the basement. There are also other features available with some floor options like heated floors, which go a long way in keeping the room warm in the winter months.

Contact Us

The planning stage is critical to the success of your basement finishing project. It may be tempting to rush to the exciting parts of the project, but making sure you have done all the necessary steps is best. One way to ensure your basement project goes off without a hitch is to hire professional basement contractors to help you create your dream basement. At Harmony Basement, our goal is to deliver a finished product that will amaze you. Our basement contractors are happy to work along with you to make your vision a reality.

Call us today to find out more about our basement renovation services!