If you are a handyman or a home improvement enthusiast and you would like to finish your basement, this article is for you. A finished basement can truly add value to your home. It may seem like a daunting and expensive task, but there are steps that you can take to make your project easier, cheaper and safer. If you do not plan carefully, you will end up with a finished basement that develops all sorts of issues. Even the most experienced home remodelers make common mistakes and end up with a basement that does not stand the test of time. To avoid damaging your home or lowering your home value, be sure to avoid these common handyman home improvement basement finishing mistakes.
Do not Install Wood on the Floor of your Basement
Yes, it seems like a cool idea. A basement with wood flooring would be comfortable and it would have a classy appearance. However, using wood to cover your basement floor is illogical. Why? It is because your basement has much more moisture than the rest of the house. This will cause the wood to grow mold that will be a challenge to remove. The mold will be a health hazard and may result in significant repair costs down the line. Carpeting is probably an ideal choice for basement floors.
Not Properly Ventilating your Basement
If you do not properly ventilate your basement, your basement will become musty and may even be unsafe. The air in your basement can become quite dirty. A great option would be to install an exhaust system. That system will help to adjust air quality by pushing moisture out. Another option would be to minimize the shrubs and thick plants around your basement walls. The shade will keep the soil wet and will produce moisture in your basement.
Using Fiberglass Insulation
Because your basement holds so much moisture, fiberglass insulation is probably your worst option. You will notice quite a bit of condensation behind your fiberglass and fiberglass commonly traps mold growth. If you do decide to use fiberglass insulation, be sure to properly seal it.
Using those pink fiberglass rolls to insulate your basement ceiling is a mistake as well. You should be using spray foam. Creating a spray foam barrier that is a few inches thick and is treated with a fire-resistant coating will protect any energy-related equipment in your basement and will seal all of the small openings in the ceiling.
You Begin Working on your Basement without Drying it Out
It would be difficult and hazardous to attempt to finish your basement without making sure you have removed as much moisture as possible. Just because you cannot see the moisture does not mean it is not there. Before you begin working, use a dehumidifier and make sure that all of your pipes are not leaking. In addition, you should have a functional sump pump to remove water. If you do not have a sump pump in place, you risk basement flooding.
If you do decide to finish your basement yourself, be sure to avoid the common handyman basement finishing mistakes above. Using the proper equipment and techniques will ensure that you have a basement that requires minimal maintenance and lasts for years.