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When planning a basement renovation, there are various factors to consider. Not only will renovating your Basement provide you with a comfortable space to spend time with family and friends, but it will also add value to your home. Designing the ideal Basement, like any other home improvement project, is a task that requires thorough planning and preparation. This guide will help you through each step of the process, from visual planning to hands-on labour, to ensure you don’t miss anything while planning your Basement Renovation project. 

Here are a few things you should consider during the planning phase:

Assess Your Space

Before considering the placement of decorative items, paint colours, or flooring, you must first evaluate your current space. Decide what elements you want to add to your Basement and where you want them to go.  Think about how you and others would like to use this space.

Afterwards, look over the items you want to retain, the things you must keep, and the items you wish to donate or dispose of. It may appear unnecessary at first, but it will save you a lot of trouble once the project’s construction phase begins.

Remember the things you will need to keep, regardless of how much space they may take. The heater/AC unit and associated ductwork, water heater, electrical panel and wiring, pipes, support columns, and beams are some of these items.  If you decide to relocate these items, consult with a professional to ensure that you select a logical and realistic location.

For instance, you must account for minimum space requirements and the fresh air intake for heaters. Before completing the floor plan, consult with your local code officials to ensure that these requirements are met for all units.

Now that you’ve visualized your space and gone over the items you’ll keep or decide to throw, you can move on to the next step in your Basement Renovation project.

Check the Basement Waterproofing

The next step is to determine whether or not your Basement is waterproofed or dry. If the answer is a “yes,” you will need to address this before starting the basement renovation.

The following are major signs that you may have a waterproofing problem:

  • Stains or watermarks on the floor and walls
  • Excessive efflorescence on walls or floors
  • Musty or mouldy scent
  • Mould growth on stored items 
  • Rotten wood framing members, particularly those in contact with masonry surfaces
  • Walls or floors with cracks

If any of these indicators are present, be diligent in resolving the issues before proceeding to the project. You can save time and money if you do it before the renovation.

When dealing with water problems in your Basement, it is best to consult with a professional. Don’t settle for mediocre work. Remember that doing a thorough job now can help to prevent future problems. Be wise in picking the professional that will fix your water problems.

Drafting a Floor Plan - tremblay renovations

Drafting a Floor Plan

Spend as much time as you need when resizing walls and rearranging furniture on blueprints to get the exact arrangement you want. On paper/screen, changing window placements and baseboard height is much easier than in practice! So take as much time as you need to draft til you’re satisfied with the results.

A drawing or 3D rendering will help you visualize and understand the dimensions of the space and will be far easier for you to make some changes before construction begins. Remember that a basement renovation involves much more than just wall placement. There should be safe egress in the case of a fire or other emergency, sufficient natural light ratios, sound attenuation between floors, and so on.

Setting the Budget for a Basement Renovation

Once you’ve narrowed down your preferences for your basement renovation, you’ll need to set the budget. Your budget will be determined by the amount of money you currently have (and are willing to spend on the project) and the project’s expense demands. 

Simultaneously, it is critical to be realistic. A $10,000 budget will not be enough for a complete basement renovation that includes waterproofing, foundation repair, plumbing installation, electrical work, high-end finishes, and so on. You should allocate enough funds to complete the project the way you want, especially when doing it for the first time – it is worthwhile.

It is essential to understand what cannot be skimped (such as plumbing, electrical, insulation, and moisture barriers) and some leeway (like with finishes). Your basement contractor will assist you in identifying materials and finishes that are both attractive and long-lasting without spending a lot of money.

Don’t forget to include a budget for appliances, furniture, and accessories in addition to the construction budget. A new laundry room will almost certainly require a new energy-efficient washer and dryer, whereas a media room will need couches and lounge chairs.

Adding Egress

Having an egress isn’t an issue in newer homes because they have a second entryway. This step is more applicable to older homes that never had a secondary passageway built. Depending on how your space is being used, you may be required to provide more exit points than just two. Adding an egress to your basement renovation will ensure your family’s safety in any case of emergency.

Identifying Problems

Some basements experience some problems, such as low ceilings, obstructed ductwork, or wrongfully placed supporting posts that can restrict the renovation process. As previously stated, you may also encounter pressing issues such as pooling water,  dampness, cold air, water damage, or an insect or rodent infestation. Nobody wants these problems in a basement where they want to spend time.

Your basement renovation contractor will inspect the space and propose solutions that will ensure the project’s success, regardless of the circumstances. When you are aware of the issues ahead of time, you can develop a plan to ensure that there are no setbacks that will cause the project to be delayed. Planning and careful inspection are critical for avoiding uncertainties once the project begins.

After you’ve completed all of these planning steps, you’re ready to begin your basement renovation project. Tremblay Renovation is a leading home renovation contractor providing innovative renovation solutions to Ottawa homeowners for more than three decades. You can count on us to design the perfect renovation plan under your budget.

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Bryan Tremblay is the proud owner of Tremblay Renovation Inc. since 1989. Bryan was born in northern Ontario in a small French community, and he is proud to offer his services in both French and English. Being from the North, Bryan loves to spend time in nature. After moving away from the North, he needed a place to do just that. So he built a cottage for his family and friends from scratch; That is where he spends most of his weekends.

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