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Are you ready to finish your basement? You may want to add more livable space to your home, or you may want to move and increase your home value before listing. Regardless of your reasons, thinking through your basement finishing project and making thorough plans is essential. Here are ten basement finishing tips and tricks to decrease stress and ensure your basement finishing gets off to the right start.

#10: Clean Out the Space Before Construction

The first thing you will need to do before finishing your basement is to clean out the space being renovated. You will need to move all items, including furniture, boxes, and exercise equipment, out of your basement. Depending on the amount of stuff you have, you can store it:

  • In your garage
  • In upstairs rooms
  • In upstairs closets 
  • In the utility room – make sure that there is space for you or a contractor to move and work around the electrical and HVAC system.
  • Off-site – a storage unit, storage pod, or the home of an excellent friend or family member

Remember that finishing a basement takes time when you pack things away or move stuff upstairs. Also, remember that construction is dusty, and items stored in the basement utility room will get covered in construction dust. 

Tip #9: Check for Safety

There are a lot of things to check and do before you can put up walls. The most important thing is ensuring your basement is safe for residents and visitors. Get your home’s ventilation system checked by a professional to ensure you won’t have carbon monoxide buildup below grade. Many Utah basement finishing contractors detect radon buildup in Utah basements. If you plan on having bedrooms in the basement, testing for radon and installing a radon pump if levels are high may be a good idea.

Your basement will also need egress windows installed, which are windows that allow individuals a safe escape in an emergency. 

Tip #8: Remember to Insulate

Insulation can provide you with a lot of energy cost savings in the long run, and it’s wise to insulate your basement well before putting up drywall. Insulate pipes, rim joists, and exterior walls to preserve heat and prevent potential condensation. 

Tip #7: Check for Moisture and Fix Leaking Problems

Before finishing your basement, you will need to check for moisture, even in Utah. Ensure all water pipes are in working order and no condensation builds up on the foundation walls. If needed, make changes to your home’s exterior to ensure water flows away from basement floors. Caulk small cracks and consider waterproofing exterior walls and floors.

Tip #6: Get the Proper Permits and Follow Codes

Following city building codes and pulling the proper permits is necessary when finishing your basement. Not only does it ensure that the work done on your basement is safe, but it also guarantees a higher list price when you sell your home. Basements not finished using proper safety codes can be hazardous and will be a red flag to future home inspectors. If you are completing your basement on your own, you can go through the proper permit process in your city. If you hire a general contractor, they will take care of the permits.

Tip #5: Inspect and Install Plumbing and Wiring

Make sure that you plan for plumbing and wiring before construction. Check on your existing wiring and plumbing options and upgrade when needed. Make sure that your electricity and wiring will support your lighting plans for the basement, including canned lights, theater lighting, and other special lighting needs. For safety, ensure a qualified electrician and plumber perform work and upgrades.

Tip #4: Design the Space to Meet Your Needs

Designing your basement is fun and exciting, and you can create exactly what you want with proper planning. Some of the most popular basement ideas are:

  • Home theater
  • Entertainment room
  • Home gym
  • Extra or guest bedrooms
  • Library
  • Game room
  • Basement apartment
  • Kitchenette or kitchen
  • Den

You can also plan for helpful storage solutions, outdoor entryways, and more as you design the space that best supports you and your lifestyle.

Tip #3: Finish Your Basement at the Right Time

The best time to get construction done on your Utah basement is during the summer months when the weather is less likely to slow or halt progress. However, summer is also one of the busiest times for construction, so make sure you start early and plan ahead – hire your general contract in late winter or early spring to begin floor plans and permit pulling, and order materials earlier if you are doing part or all of the construction yourself so you aren’t slowed down unnecessarily by delayed shipments and unavailable materials. 

Tip #2: Stick to Your Budget

Utah basement finishing costs can be high. Make sure that you budget for your basement finishing. If you complete it yourself, write up an itemized budget that breaks down the project into different areas, such as permitting, contractor work, materials, etc. If hiring a general contractor, have a budget in mind and clearly communicate what it is. Then work with your contractor to design your basement based on your budget.

Tip #1: Hire a General Contractor You Trust

Basement finishing can be expensive, overwhelming, and time-consuming when you take it all on yourself. Consider hiring part or all of your basement remodeling project to save time, money, and sanity. Aspire Construction has some of the best Utah basement finishing contractors to design and create the space you want. They complete your project on time and within budget and communicate clearly with you throughout the process. If you wish to finish your basement or remodel your space, Aspire Construction can help. Contact us today to get your project started.