By Patrick Condon
When a family decides to finish a basement space, there are so
many factors to consider it can seem overwhelming. What does your family want to
achieve within the new basement? Are you looking for a play area, a family room,
a work-out room, home theatre, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, wet bar, etc.? Do you
have the square footage required to accomplish what you want? How do you get
started, and how long will it take? How much will it cost, and is it worth the
money? What if there's a huge beam in the center of you basement? Do you have to
have a building permit? Do you have to remove the items you currently have
stored in your basement?
If these questions make your head swim, try this approach: look
for the right team of design/build consultants to navigate you through these
People often know they want their basement finished, but don't
know how to put it all together, whether they have the necessary space, or even
how to get started. Specialty design/build consultants are able to assess your
needs and, after accurate measurements are taken, will design various blueprints
to fit your requests. From these drawings you can choose the ideas that best
suit your requirements and come up with a final blueprint. With this final
blueprint in hand, your designer/builders will be able to determine what the
cost of the basement finish will be, and provide a start-to-finish timeline on
when the project will draw to a close.
When determining whether finishing your basement is going to be
a worthwhile investment, you should consider several variables. Are there
comparable homes in your area with finished basements? How long do you intend to
live there? Will the homes there increase in value, and if so, how fast? With a
little bit of research you'll be able to answer these questions and decide if
finishing your basement is right for you.
Sometimes a basement has restrictions that need to be considered
during the design process. Such limitations can include steel columns or
I-beams, HVAC trunks, underground plumbing, water meters, sump pumps, window
wells, furnaces, water heaters, the height of your ceiling, and the existing
floor conditions. Your design/build consultants should be focused on making
these restrictions disappear into the architectural design of your basement
while accomplishing your goal for the space.
Safety is an important factor to consider when construction of
any kind takes place. Ensure all necessary building permits, applications for
variances, and building code inspections are complete. All building and fire
safety codes should be strictly followed, without exception.
For construction to begin, all items in the basement need to be
moved to another location such as the garage or a temporary storage facility.
This allows construction to be completed without damage to your valuables or
disturbance to the construction team.
After thoughtfully considering these questions, you'll be closer
to determining your family's basement needs and how to fulfill them. Gathering
all the information upfront will help you achieve those goals.
Condon is the President and founder of Finished Basement Company Inc.
Headquartered in Denver, CO, Finished Basement Company is a design/build firm
specializing in basement finish. Mr. Condon has handled every conceivable aspect
of basement finish during his 2000 projects. He can be reached at his web site: http://www.finishedbasement.com