Your current basement may be partly finished, dark, and unattractive. But, with proper planning, a remodeling and finishing project can bring life back into your basement space. A finished basement can increase your property’s value and add living space to your home. 

When done right, your basement can become your new favorite room. Before you jump into a home improvement project with both feet, take note of these mistakes that you need to avoid:

Overlooking Moisture Problems

Since basements are located below ground level, they are more prone to moisture and flooding. During heavy rains, the ground around your home gets saturated and the water can enter your basement through foundation walls, cracks, and joints between walls and floors. Basement floods are also caused by plumbing leaks or broken gutters and downspouts.

Excess moisture in your basement can bring you a lot of trouble. Before starting your project, inspect the entire basement area for any structural damage or leaks. Look for stains and cracks that need to be addressed immediately. Install a waterproofing system to lead water away from your house. In order to achieve a perfectly dry finished basement, never ignore moisture problems that you might encounter.

Ignoring Strong Musty Smell

Basements that are only used as storage space have a lingering funky smell that makes them unbearable to spend time in. If space smells and feels wet, there might be mold in your home. Mold has an earthy scent like rotting wood, so be sure to find the source of the unpleasant smell. 

When you have excessive mold spores in your basement, it will cause various health issues, throat and skin irritation, asthma attacks, and more. Tackle the smell and mold growth with the help of a professional basement contractor. They will not just find the root cause but also conduct mold remediation to ensure your project’s success.

Creating Many Small Rooms

Most basements have a low ceiling height, so space might be a little too stuffy for other people. The key is to have a good design that can make the room look bigger. Avoid having a cluster of small rooms and pick an open-space layout. Additional drywalls and partitions will make your basement too cramped or claustrophobic.

Keep your basement floor plan as open as possible by only installing half walls or movable partitions. An open concept basement creates the illusion of having more usable, livable floor space.

Using the Wrong Materials

When you choose the materials for your basement, you need to pick the right ones that are suitable for a below-grade space. Avoid materials that absorb moisture because basements are naturally humid and prone to flooding. Try to skip hardwood flooring and similar materials that promote mold growth. 

Aside from wood, drywall is another material that you need to consider. Most standard drywalls have a paper coating where mold can survive. Make sure you use below-grade drywall to avoid mold growth from happening. If you are unsure of what materials to use, hiring professionals for your basement remodeling project is the best way to go. They can find 100% inorganic and waterproof materials that can go against basement moisture conditions.

Putting Safety on the Back Burner

One of the most common basement remodeling mistakes is not prioritizing safety. Basements are prone to water emergencies, and it pays off to place safety first over anything else. In creating a basement layout, make sure to plan for the drainage that can keep water from leaking into the house.

If you are planning to supervise during the remodeling period, be sure to wear safety gear like a hat, gloves, and protective mask. Never be complacent and only remove the protective gear when you’re leaving the worksite.

Forgetting About Basement Stairs

Never disregard a stairway upgrade even if you already have a set of basement stairs. Most of them are too narrow or too steep, so might as well update them during your basement remodeling project. Give your basement staircase a wonderful makeover by applying carpet, installing vinyl, or adding a long-lasting stain finish. 

Skimping on Lighting

Your lighting choices in the living room won’t be the same as the ones in your basement. The lack of windows makes the space much darker and gloomier, which is why you need to make a finished basement more welcoming with a great lighting design. Don’t skimp on electrical circuits and install recessed lighting, task lights, and wall scones to fill in dark areas and brighten the space.

Disregarding Ventilation

Due to lack of ventilation, poor air quality becomes a major concern in basements. The best way to control basement moisture levels is by adding a portable dehumidifier and installing a reliable HVAC system. Prevent indoor air pollutants from building up into higher concentrations by using air purifiers with a HEPA filter. This technology can reduce airborne particles and remove the musty odor in your basement space.

Forgetting About Comfort and Practicality

No matter what basement feature you envision, you should always keep function and comfort in mind. A basement remodeling project is a huge and expensive undertaking, so make sure that you will enjoy it for a very long time. 

Plan things properly, choose the right materials and work with a professional basement remodeler who will take your ideas into consideration. Don’t miss out on the fun of having a basement that provides comfort and functionality for you and your family!

We Specialize in Basement Remodels

Get the basement of your dreams with the help of Pittsburgh Basement Remodeling! We can help you avoid making these critical mistakes and save yourself time and money. Contact our team today for a free estimate.