One of the best ways to transform your home's living space is by maximizing the use of its basement. Here's how to get started with basement conversions.

Basement Conversions: A Practical How-to Guide

American homeowners love to spend on home improvements, splashing well over $400 billion each year on these projects.

In most cases, home renovations are meant to make the home more comfortable. That’s especially because Americans are increasingly spending more time at home, especially after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Besides boosting comfort, the most popular home upgrades can also enhance your property’s value. Many can also boost your home’s overall visual appeal.

If you’ve been thinking of doing a home remodel this year, one project you may want to consider is converting your basement. Basement conversions are primarily meant to increase usable living space. 

Given how huge this project is, you need to prepare it well. In this guide, we tell you all you need to know about basement conversion, so you can go about everything right during your project.

What Are The Benefits Of Basement Conversions?

As we’ve already pointed out, a basement conversion is a massive project. Besides remodeling your entire home, converting your basement will most likely be the biggest project you undertake to upgrade your home. 

That makes the basement conversion cost one of the highest of all home upgrades. 

But the project is well worth it. That’s because you get additional space that you can use as you please. Some popular basement conversion ideas include transforming the space into a home gym, extra bedrooms, a playroom for the kids, and so on.

The added space means that you no longer have to worry about selling your current home and looking for a bigger one. 

Another benefit of converting your basement is that it increases your home’s value. When the time comes to sell your home, you can use your converted basement as a selling point, especially if you have an armored basement. Buyers will compete to get the home, and you can expect lots of great offers.

Getting It Right During A Home Conversion Project

Now that you’ve seen what impact a basement renovation can have on your property, it’s time to look at how to go about the project. Remember, you’re about to embark on a complex project, so you need to consider all the possibilities in advance. Follow the following steps to get things right:

Pay Attention To Your Levels 

Any space that’s 6.5 feet or more below ground level should be considered a basement. Some homes have semi-basements, which refer to spaces roughly 3.25 feet below ground level.

Note that things are a little different when it comes to homes built on a slope. For instance, your home may have a basement that’s entirely underground on one side and enough space for an entrance to the basement on the other as the slope graduates. 

By taking a careful look at your levels, you get to know how you’ll approach your basement’s design

Determine How Low Your Basement Can Go

A well-designed basement should have ample ceiling height to make sure that people can move about freely. Make sure that even your tall family members can move around without bumping their heads on the ceiling. 

Where the ground your property sits on has a high water table, it’ll have an impact on how low your basement contractor can dig. Where you’re dealing with clay and bedrock, excavation can pose considerable difficulty and cost more. Considering these factors helps you plan the job well.

Seek Permission From Authorities

If your home already has a basement, the municipality may not ask you to get planning permission to proceed with the project. Nevertheless, inquire with your contractor just to be on the safe side.

If your project alters your home structure’s current appearance, then you most definitely will need to seek permission before you embark on the project. Communicate with your contractor on how to go about getting the necessary permission. 

Note that building codes differ from municipality to municipality. Read the rules and make sure you’re following them as you plan your basement layout.

Talk to your local building permit officials and let them know about your basement project. They should be able to give you a list of the various permits you need so you can proceed legally.

Create A Budget

Expect to spend anywhere between $12,000 and $70,000 on your basement conversion project. The best way to make sure that you don’t experience financial stress during the project is to carefully devise a budget. 

Remember to plan for all the expenses that you expect the project to have. Be sure to plan for unforeseen costs as well, which are bound to happen in any construction project. You always want to make sure you can comfortably meet any surprises head-on, so your project doesn’t stall.

Alert Your Neighbors

Part of being a good neighbor is avoiding upsetting other residents in your area. Be courteous enough to let your neighbors know that you’re about to embark on a construction project. Let them know when you plan to start the project, as well as the expected duration of the project. 

Informing your neighbors of the project helps smooth things over in case there’s noise during your project or potential clutter.

Work With Professionals

The final step in planning for your basement conversion is to talk to a competent design-build contractor. This is the professional who’ll take charge of the project and help bring your vision to life. Take the time to interview a few contractors and hire the one that you feel you can trust to do a great job. 

Get Your Basement Conversion Project Right

Basement conversions are complex projects that need enough planning to be successful. Follow the tips we’ve shared in this guide to keep your project within the set budget, timeline, and rules.

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