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Eight Steps and Fixes to Make Before Finishing a Basement

Before you finish a basement, talk with a contractor about the waterproofing measures or repairs needed to keep your work safe.

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When you’re trying to turn your basement into an entertainment space, it can be tempting to jump straight to the part of the process where you start purchasing furniture for your home. Before you start browsing catalogs, however, it’ll be in your best interest to make sure your basement is not only equipped for game night but also watertight. 

To start preparing your basement for use, you should:

installed basement waterproofing

Apply for the Right Permits 

You should not begin to work on your home until you have the right permits on hand. Permits issued to you by your state or county allow you to maintain your home as you so choose and in accordance with current coding legislation. Should coding legislation change in the next few years, you can cite the paperwork you procured before you started working as evidence that you did not modify your home unlawfully, and that you may sell a home that is not up to current variations of code. 

Clear Away Any Unwanted Debris 

It can take some time for the necessary paperwork to come through. In that free time, you can start clearing out debris from your basement to better prep it for the work to come. 

Note that during this stage, you can also contact a local contractor to schedule a home inspection. During a home inspection, you can walk through your basement with an experienced professional and determine whether your home is at risk for water damage. If it is, then this is the ideal time to invest in repairs and those waterproofing measures that will help protect your belongings later down the line. 

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools on Hand 

As soon as your paperwork comes in, you can begin gathering tools to fill out your toolbox. While you do not have to try and take on the task of finishing your basement on your own, it can still benefit you to have what supplies you need on hand. At a minimum, you’ll want to know what kind of insulation, drywall, flooring, and paint you want to work with as you start to make progress. 

Establish New Outlets and Light Sources 

With the preliminary steps out of the way, you can buckle down and get to the hard work. Before anything else, you’ll want to make sure all your light fixtures and outlets are where you want them. You can move exposed wires behind your walls and install new outlets with assistance from an electrician in your area. 

Discuss Insulation with Area Professionals 

In the face of basement damage, you may be tempted to take on some repairs without professional help. For example, installing insulation throughout your basement before you finish your basement off can seem like an in-and-out job. The work you’ll need to do, however, is often far more complicated — not to mention costly. It’s in your best interest, with that in mind, to let professionals insulate your unfinished basement. 

Insulation does more than help you control the temperature in your home. When applied appropriately, insulation can help you lower your electric bills and prevent unwanted water seepage. There are several types of waterproof insulation that you can have installed in your basement, though you’ll want to keep an eye on that insulation over the years to ensure it remains in good condition. 

Only once the drywall has settled should you go about painting your walls — work that you can take on without professional guidance — but even then, you may prefer to wait until you’ve finished the rest of your basement off before committing to a specific color palette. 

Prepare for the Future 

Before finishing your basement entirely, reach out to the professionals serving Denver, CO to discuss the waterproofing measures that can protect your hard work. Services provided by area contractors include the installation of: 

An interior drainage system – If you’re facing a wet, leaking basement, you need a way to keep it and any future furniture and belongings dry. The best way to do that is arrest this water right away with an interior drainage system.  

A sump pump system – Once the leaking water is collected by the interior drainage system, it needs somewhere to go. It is directed to drain into a sump pump system, which then pumps this water out of and away from your basement. 

A vapor barrier – Vapor barriers are typically used for crawl space encapsulation projects, but they also have other practical purposes in the basement. These thick and durable barriers line the basement walls to help prevent moisture and gas intrusion. And if any water leaks inside the walls, it will automatically run behind the waterproof vapor barrier and down into the interior drainage system. 

A dehumidifier – If you’re still concerned with any lingering moisture in your basement and the rest of your home, an energy-efficient, self-draining dehumidifier will help keep those moisture and humidity levels in check while also cleaning and filtering the air and preventing mold growth. 

Line Your Floor 

With your insulation and drywall in place, you can go about covering your floor with the material of your choice. If you’re concerned about significant seepage, even with your waterproofing measures in place, then it may be in your best interest to invest in tile or laminate flooring. However, if you’re looking to make your space more comfortable, you can instead opt for carpet or some combination of the aforementioned materials. 

Bring Home Your Furniture and Accessories 

Finally, with all the hard labor out of the way, you can go about accessorizing your basement as you see fit. You can even turn this area into a fan cave or office, or whatever you can imagine. Trying to fix your basement on your own time can be an emotional and financial drain. You have the option to reach out to local contractors if you want a little help protecting your basement from unwanted leaks. Contractors serving Colorado Springs, CO, can walk you through the process of identifying any signs of leaks or damage in your basement. In turn, these parties can provide you with a free quote on the services you might need to either repair your space or waterproof it in the future.