Some Tips for Renovating Your Basement

after photo basement - Allard Project with yellow chair and grey sofa

Now that you’ve looked through our article, 10 Basement Renovation Ideas, we hope you’ve starting dreaming about what you want for your basement renovation. Because guess what? It’s time to plan your project! You’ll need to make sure you consider every element before you make any moves, or buy any products. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re planning the perfect basement renovation.

Maximize the natural light of your basement

Have you ever felt claustrophobic in a basement? One of the most important aspects during your basement renovation is making sure there are enough openings for natural light to come in. This creates a much more inviting space. The larger the windows, the more it will feel like it’s a comfortable part of your house. Contrary to what many might think, it’s quite possible to enlarge a basement window, at a reasonable cost and without much complexity. We’re talking about $750 per window and $750 to cut into the foundation. If you’re thinking of enlarging or adding windows, consider installing large window wells to get the most light possible. Large windows will also provide you with natural warming during winter. All of this makes your atmosphere more pleasant.

Consider installing windows in the main living space to maximize the amount of outdoor light coming in, rather than putting them in the storage or furnace areas.

Allowing natural light into your basement will create a more inviting space and give off a more comfortable atmosphere. However, they’re much more important when it comes to safety, as they double as emergency exits if ever a fire or a crisis hits. So, if you have bedrooms, an office, or any other kind of room in your basement, to comply with rules and regulations, you’ll need to make sure the windows are big enough to let people in and out.

What about an areaway?

If your land permits, why not go ahead and excavate to install a patio door or french doors? I will create an incredible effect! This improvement will also allow you to take full advantage of your basement while enjoying the convenient outdoor access.

Choose the right type of ceiling

You’ve probably already visited homes with beautiful basements, but they might have had unfinished ceilings. There’s an infinite number of wires, pipes, ducts, etc. to hide, making ideal to opt for a finished ceiling when renovating a basement.

Typically, plasterboard or gypsum sheets are used if the ceiling’s height is less than 8 feet high. Though, when finishing your basement, be sure to opt for a solution that always allows access to plumbing! If the height of your ceiling is greater than 8 feet, a suspended ceiling may be the best option. There are so many different suspended ceiling styles on the market – making it easy to match one with the look you’re planning for your space. They can be found with a metallic finish, as perforated panels or even as textured gypsum panels. While you’re at it, consider ceiling soundproofing before closing everything up.

Choose your floor according to use

Of course, picking out your basement’s flooring depends on how you’ll be using the space. Several materials are available including vinyl, linoleum, hardwood, carpets, laminate, and ceramics. If you opt for a game room, a gym mat or carpeting might be the right choice for your comfort. If you want something more practical, vinyl is easier to clean.

However, you can also choose the same type of flooring that you use in the rest of your home. Installing a sub-floor before picking out your flooring is a great option as it’ll avoid your basement from being excessively humid. Wood floors may potentially cause more problems if you have high humidity levels in your basement, as they can curl.

Think about plumbing

Before you begin your renovation, it’s important to envision your basement. This way, you’ll know if you need to add or remove a bathroom.

First and foremost, you should find the main drainage pipe in your home’s plumbing system and then see if the main drain is situated underground or at ground level. If it’s underground, you’ll just have to build the new bathroom close enough to the plumbing system to avoid having to create plumbing extensions and breaking down the concrete slabs. On the other hand, if your main drain is at ground level, you’ll have to invest in a grinder pump system. As gravity causes the water to flow downward, this system would be necessary to make wastewater rise.

Multiply the lighting sources

As basements tend to lack natural light, it’s important to find an adequate lighting solution for your space. Not only will it light up the room, but it will also make the space feel bigger.

If you check out Multi Lighting‘s website, you’ll notice an impressive number of light fixtures that could be perfect for your basement. The most popular type of lighting for basements is recessed spotlights as they take up no space, are rather affordable, and can light up a room quite effectively. You can also put in dimmers so your space can adapt to different moods and needs. Other great options are suspended ceiling fixtures or overhead lights. LED lights are a great option if you are looking to get substantial savings while purchasing light bulbs. They don’t produce heat, and they have a much longer life expectancy. 

If you want to create an unusual design that will dazzle you constantly, then architectural lighting is the way to go. You can, for example, integrate colour LED strips in a dropped ceiling, wall sconces or recessed luminaires on the walls of the staircase.

Don’t forget to add lighting sources in your basement for a more luxurious atmosphere.

Need ideas or inspiration for your basement reno project?

Do you need a little more inspiration for your basement renovation? Get some basement ideas from real renovation projects our contractors have completed by taking a look at our Reno-Inspiration page! With each project, you’ll find details along with their price tag. It’s a great way to get some inspiration while thinking about your budget and the type of project you want to do.

Ready to take actions?

Call us, or fill out a form, our Renovation Advisors are here to help! They can help you with your project at no cost, by rallying up three Verified Contractors to compete on your project. You’ll get fairly priced quotes, all at no cost, and no obligation to you!

Happy Renovations Start Here!