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Basement Design And Basement Finishing Tips For Your Ideal Finished Basement

Basement design and basement finishing requirements are often ignored at the new home design and build stage. These simple and cost-effective basement design and finishing tips will help You in finishing a superb basement that your family can enjoy and that will add increased purchase appeal to your home.

Basement Design & Basement Finishing Needs When Designing & Building Your Home

Finishing your basement is an easy, fast, and cost-effective way to typically add 30 - 90% extra living space to your home. If you are thinking about building a new home, a small amount of planning and a little extra investment at the design and build stages can ensure that you'll have the option of adding a superb finished basement later.

Basement Design Tips - Talk with your architect and builder, let them know that you will eventually want to finish your basement and that they should take these simple and inexpensive measures into account when designing and building your home:

  • Basement Design Tip 1 - Prevent Water Seepage
  • Basement Design Tip 2 - Increase Your Finished Basement Height
  • Basement Design Tip 3 - Plan Your Finished Basement Support Structure
  • Basement Design Tip 4 - Plan Your Finished Basement Access
  • Basement Design Tip 5 - Plan Your Finished Basement Windows
  • Basement Design Tip 6 - Arranging Your Basement Utilities
  • Basement Design & Basement Finishing Advice For A Superb Finished Basement

    If you've already moved in, it's highly likely that Your builder didn't exactly plan for Your ideal finished basement when Your home was built. In most cases You can still finish a superb basement that will add a lot of extra living space, improve Your family's lifestyle, and add value to Your home.

    Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tips - Whether you plan on finishing your own basement or calling in a basement design or basement remodeling professional, consider these simple tips for achieving Your ideal finished basement:

  • Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 1 - Prevent Moisture, Mold, and Mildew
  • Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 2 - Finishing Your Basement Ceiling
  • Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 3 - Framing And Finishing Basement Room Walls
  • Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 4 - Finishing Basement Doors & Stairs
  • Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 5 - Finishing Basement Windows
  • Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 6 - Protect Your Investment

  • Basement Design Tip 1
    Prevent Water Seepage

    Prevent water building up and soaking through your basement walls. Your finished basement will be contained within cold concrete walls on a cold concrete floor. Excess moisture due to natural water ingress, and also condensation, can cause mold, mildew and odor. To minimize water ingress through the basement walls they should be sealed on the external surface with a quality concrete sealant. Then backfill around the wall with gravel to allow easy drainage of external water to the footer. A series of 'drainage tile' pipes should be used to route the water from your footer to your sump pit, where it can be discharged to a drain via your sump pump.

    Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 1
    Prevent Moisture, Mold, and Mildew

    When finishing or remodeling your basement, first paint the interior surface of the basement wall with a high quality waterproof and mildew resistant basement wall paint. When framing your walls make sure to include a 1-2 inch air gap between the frame and the concrete basement wall, and place a moisture barrier on the outside of the frame (facing the concrete). When insulating the frame, make sure that the moisture barrier on the insulation faces the interior of the room. A moisture barrier should also be placed on the concrete floor before laying your basement flooring. All water pipes should be insulated - insulate hot water pipes to conserve energy, and insulate cold water pipes to prevent condensation problems. Make sure that your cold air returns are correctly placed to allow sufficient air circulation and you should then have no problems due to moisture.

    Basement Design Tip 2
    Increase Your Finished Basement Height

    Build Your basement walls a foot higher than the typical 8ft standard height. Even with HVAC ductwork and piping hanging below your basement ceiling rafters, you should then still be able to install a standard 8ft tall ceiling. The extra basement ceiling height may be achieved by extending your concrete or block basement wall upwards, or by simply adding an extra 1 foot tall section of wooden frame on top of the basement wall before building the first floor platform.

    Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 2
    Finishing Your Basement Ceiling

    A suspended tile basement ceiling is usually best. Do not install a solid drywall ceiling when finishing or remodeling Your basement! Suspended tile basement ceilings are easier to install, surprisingly cost-effective, and their removable tiles allow continued access to hvac ducts, plumbing and wiring. Easy access to these important systems in your basement ceiling will be important over the years, and with the wide range of suspended ceilings available you will not need to compromise on the quality of décor in your finished basement.

    Basement Design Tip 3
    Plan Your Finished Basement Support Structure

    Carefully plan Your basement support beams & pillars. Most new home builders place support beams and pillars without any regard to your potential basement finishing plans. As a result, many finished basements feature too many inconveniently positioned support posts that could have been avoided by simple planning at the basement design stage. If your architect correctly sizes the steel beams that support the first floor, you will usually be able to minimize the number of support posts needed. You should also carefully plan your future positions for internal wall framing at this stage. Wherever possible, position the support posts to reside within your basement room wall frames, so that they cause minimal inconvenience in the finished basement.

    Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 3
    Framing And Finishing Basement Room Walls

    When framing internal walls to form separate rooms in your finished basement you should allow for seasonal rise and fall of the basement floor. This may be achieved by firmly attaching the wall frame to the basement floor, and leaving a gap between the top of the frame and the basement ceiling rafters. Pre-drill the wall top-plate with clearance holes and partially drive in long nails to secure the frame to your rafters. The resulting joint will then allow the floor to move vertically without stressing your new walls or overlying structure. Include sound insulation in the wall cavities, usually R11 fiberglass batts will suffice. Also install sufficient electrical outlets, and phone and cable points, just as you would on the main floors of your home. Make sure that all electrical outlets in your finished basement are GFCI protected. If you correctly framed along your external walls with moisture barriers, you should be able to use standard drywall on all wall surfaces. However it is worth considering the water/mold-resistant drywall intended for bathroom and kitchen use, especially for your framed exterior wall surfaces.

    Basement Design Tip 4
    Plan Your Finished Basement Access

    Many homes have a single staircase leading down to the basement from a first floor room, but many local building codes insist on you having at least 2 exits from your basement before allowing you to finish it. If you plan for this at the building stage you can make Your basement a walk-out basement and/or add a second exit with stairs leading up to your garage. If you're building on a hillside, a walk-out basement is your most cost-effective way to gain 30 - 50% extra living space on a typical 2-storey home, (or up to 90% on a ranch style home). You gain an entire extra floor with natural lighting, virtually for free. If you're building on a flat lot, add an access door with stairs leading up to your garage. The most effective basement access designs will allow you to go straight up to the garage and continue on straight out through the garage side door. This layout allows simple entry and exit to the basement, especially useful for bringing in large items, like replacement water heaters or furniture.

    Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 4
    Finishing Basement Doors & Stairs

    When finishing Your basement access points you must take into account their intended use and your local building codes. You should use a Steel Door for the exit to your garage, but you should also consider using steel doors to separate the individual rooms in your basement. Steel doors are fireproof, insulated to minimize heat loss, seal out drafts, and will not warp or bow. You will probably want to carpet the basement stairs that are accessed from the inside of your home. The basement stairs leading up to your garage can also be carpeted, but choose an inexpensive dark colored stair carpet that will wear well and clean easily. Over the years your garage basement staircase will be trodden by plumbers, electricians, cable/telephone technicians, DIY spouses, excited children etc. - all wearing boots and shoes, not carpet slippers. Also bear this in mind when selecting your basement flooring. Inexpensive tiling with easily moved rugs is much easier to maintain than fitted carpets.

    Basement Design Tip 5
    Plan Your Finished Basement Windows

    Forget those commonly used glass block windows. Use your extra ceiling height and install real windows that you can look through and open. Even half-height windows will allow significantly more natural light into your finished basement, and make it feel more like any other above-ground room in your home.

    Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 5
    Finished Basement Windows

    Properly seal around your basement windows with a quality caulk to prevent drafts and water ingress. Make sure the windows are at least 6 inches above the finished grade, or dig a window well below each window and 6 inches to each side of it, then line it with gravel for efficient drainage.

    Basement Design Tip 6
    Finished Basement Utilities

    Carefully position your furnace, water heaters, electric panel, telephone/cable, sewer clean out, water meter, and sump pump pit. Do not break up the useful space in your basement by arbitrarily positioning these important utility supplies. Position your furnace and water heaters closely together, with simple access to the basement exit, then arrange the rest of your basement layout around them. This will maximize useful space in your basement and when you eventually need to repair or replace the furnace or water heaters you will cause the least disturbance to your finished basement. If possible position your electrical panel and cable/telephone wiring together, close to the furnace. Your sewer and water supply pipes will most often be required on the front basement wall, facing the street. Position your sump pump pit close to your water meter and always leave clear access around your sewer clean out. The clean out should not be too close to the sump pit to prevent any potential contamination of the ground water. Preferably place all these utilities with direct access to your finished basement exit, via the garage or walk-out door.

    Basement Finishing & Remodeling Tip 6
    Protect Your Investment

    By properly finishing or remodeling Your basement, you can quickly and cost-effectively extend the living space in your home. Typical finished basements include home theaters, gyms, workshops, playrooms, office space... Every finished basement also needs an area for storage, this area is typically in an unfinished part of the basement, but it makes sense to take all steps necessary to prevent moisture, mold and mildew in your storage area. You must also protect your entire basement, and all your valuable belongings, from the potential for flood damage - even an unfinished basement requires proper protection and backup protection. Always install a high quality ac powered sump pump and check it for correct operation from time to time. If your builder skimped and put in a cheap sump pump, your basement and belongings are at risk, so replace it immediately. Even the best sump pumps can stop working, so you will also need to install a high quality reliable backup sump pump. A well designed water powered backup sump pump is the most effective way to ensure protection for the vast majority of finished basements, when the main sump pump fails or loses power. The best backup pumps are essentially maintenance free and will kick in automatically when required, during a power failure or due to breakage of your main sump pump. All Basementsaver backup sump pumps come with easy to follow installation instructions and can be quickly installed by anyone with even moderate DIY capability. You should easily be able to fully protect you basement very effectively for a few hundred dollars - avoiding the pain, the misery, and the huge expense associated with flood damage and clean-up.

    Avoid Unnecessary Pain & Cost - Put The Best Backup Sump Pump System In Your Basement

    You really do NEED a backup sump pump in Your finished or unfinished basement, and now Basementsaver makes it as inexpensive and easy as possible for You to self-install the RIGHT backup sump pump technology that will fully and reliably protect the significant investments that You have down there.

    Do Your research on this site to find out which backup sump pump is best for Your basement. Then Protect yourself with a Basementsaver - every backup pump unit comes with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee and a separate industry leading 2 year (ac or dc electric pumps) or 5 year (water powered pumps) warranty!

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    Basementsaver Advice Column

    Things You Need To Know About Floods & Backup Sump Pumps

    Avoid Unnecessary Pain & Cost!
    Flooded Basement
    Put A Basementsaver Backup Sump Pump In Your Basement!

    Take a moment to stop and think about everything that You are storing in Your finished or unfinished basement - It Needs To Stay Dry!

    Even a small basement flood can be a disaster! There's the dirty water, the foul smell that penetrates your entire home, and the mold that often follows as it takes days or weeks to fully and properly dry out.

    The mess caused is truly horrible. Consider the hassle and expense of clean-up, often the damage or complete loss of irreplaceable personal treasures, and the huge monetary loss associated with everything else that is ruined.

    Every day our plumbers hear pain in the voices of people who thought it would never happen to them - and it doesn't have to happen to You.

    You may have bought extra insurance to reimburse any potential loss. But the cost of that adds up over time, and it can't take away the horrendous experience you'll go through during and after the flood.

    Basementsaver Backup Pump Customer Support
    Basementsaver Pumps Customer Service
    Basementsaver Backup Pumps come with a 30 day Satisfaction Guarantee and a separate 2 Year Warranty. If You ever need help Basementsaver is here for You.

    The nearest thing to 100% 'foolproof' emergency backup basement flood protection is the ultra-reliable Basementsaver WP and New HP line of water powered backup sump pumps. These are very cleverly designed yet mechanically simple devices, made of high quality materials, with very little that can ever go wrong.

    WP and HP-Series pumps are easy to install correctly and are truly maintenance free. The average person with moderate DIY skills and a limited set of tools should have no problem following my fully illustrated Easy Installation Instructions. Just install your pump and run a 30 second test on it once every 6 months or so for your own peace of mind. I proudly put my name and personal reputation, as well as an unbeatable guarantee and separate 2 Year Warranty, on every unit.


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