6 Things to Consider When Finishing Your Basement in Edmonton
Finishing the basement is an easy way to add living space and value to a home. It’s such a popular option, many families include a finished basement in the original building plans. Others may not want to pay the extra cost now but want the option for the future. Is a finished basement the right choice for your family?
Consider the following points before you make your decision.
While finishing the basement will add to the overall cost of the home, there are several advantages. The additional 700 to 1,000 square feet of living space you’ll find in a finished basement might open you up to homes that are technically a bit smaller but more affordable.
For instance, if you’ve been looking at large family homes with 2,500 square feet of space on the first and second floors, you know those styles might come with a higher price tag. If you were to choose a more affordable 1,700 square foot home with a finished basement that adds 700 square feet, you may be able to get everything you want in a home at a lower overall price.
A finished basement will also add value to your home. While you’re living in the home, this value comes in having a guest suite for visitors or a cool place for your teenagers to hang out. If you want to sell your home in the future, buyers will be more interested in a home with a finished basement because of the extra space.
Think about why you might like a finished basement. With the possibility of one or two additional bedrooms, it’s a good choice for multi-generational families who need more than the standard floor plans. You might also want to finish the basement as an in-law suite so you can let your parents live with you as they become older. Others simply want an extra hang-out space. There will be a living room on the main floor, but it’s also nice to have a separate space that’s casual. A finished basement can also make a good playroom for the kids.
When you opt to finish your basement during the initial build, you’re able to design it in a way that will match the rest of the home. For instance, you’ll be able to use the same type of laminate flooring in the basement as you do on the main floor. It’s not always possible to get this type of streamlined look if you choose to finish it later on down the road.
4. Permits and Regulations
When you finish a basement, you must follow the current building codes and get the proper permits. Some homeowners are disappointed to find out the basement in their 50+year-old home can’t be finished because it doesn’t meet the modern standards. Including the finished basement with the initial build is easier all around because the builder takes care of getting the permits and following the regulations.
In general, it costs between $10,000 and $50,000 to remodel a basement, according to HomeAdvisor. The higher prices are for projects that include things like bathrooms, second kitchens, and extensive cabinetry. This also includes the cost of materials and labour.
Finishing the basement with the build of the home can be more affordable. Material costs can be lower since you’re able to buy in bulk with the rest of the materials in the home, and you don’t have any tear-down labour costs. You also have the cost wrapped into your mortgage payment. Rather than paying the full amount up front or taking a short-term loan, you simply pay a bit more each month in your monthly mortgage payment.
Most importantly, you should think about the timing of this project. By including it with your original build, you’ll be able to start using the space right away without feeling like you’re spending a lot of money. That’s a big convenience.
However, if you’re not sure you’ll use the space or you want to save money now, it is possible to finish the basement later on. Make sure to tell the builder about your future plans because they will specifically design a basement that is likely to meet the building codes for a future renovation.
How To Plan a Basement Renovation in Edmonton
While you can always contract out a new basement to any number of basement renovation companies in Edmonton, if you’ve got the time, the tools and the inclination to take on such an endeavor, finishing your own basement can be a rewarding and inspiring experience. It won’t be the easiest thing you can do for your home, but you might be able to build the basement of your dreams with a little ingenuity and perseverance.
Step One: What do you want out of your basement?
Most homeowners are likely using every nook and cranny of their homes. And if you’ve lived in your home for more than a few years, you’re probably asking more of your home than you did when you first moved in. The good news is that finishing your basement in Edmonton can give you more room for the stuff and people that reside within, which means that the only limit is your imagination. Whether you opt for additional living space or you just want a reliable place to do laundry, it’s up to you.
Step Two: Create a detailed plan.
Once you’ve decided on what you’d like to do with your basement, it’s time to create a plan. You won’t be able to finish a basement or start in on any of your ideas until a plan is ready, so don’t forget that plan. To be useful, your plan should show exactly how everything fits together, including any new walls, floors, fixtures or furniture that will be added. Be careful not to skimp on your electrical or plumbing needs — you won’t want to go back in and rip out things if you neglect to plan for them in the first place. It’s also a good idea to check in with a local building inspector to ensure that everything’s up to code.
Step Three: Check for signs of moisture.
One of the most important steps to finishing a basement is to check for signs of moisture before any work starts. Excess moisture could point to a problem with your foundation or walls, though if you do find anything you’ll need to call an expert in to take a look. But time spent here is better than finding out you have a problem after all the work has been done, and it’ll also give you the opportunity to install a sump pump or other protective measures to help avoid future issues.
Step Four: Conduct an inspection of the basement.
Before you can think about finishing your basement in Edmonton, you’ll also need to conduct a thorough inspection. In addition to verifying the integrity of supporting posts, ceilings and other components, you’ll want to have a professional come and take a look at plumbing and wiring. This kind of work is likely too advanced for a typical DIYer, and it can also be unsafe if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Step Five: Decide on your basement insulation.
Whether you’re considering spray foam, sheets of extruded polystyrene or the fluffy pink stuff, the type of insulation you use may affect how your walls need to be constructed or how comfortable it is during the colder months. Insulation is also important when it comes to moisture and mold, so getting the right insulation for your intended use really matters.
Step Six: Frame the walls with studs and select a drywall.
Before you can add the finishing touches like floors, fixtures and furniture, you need to seal your foundation walls and build out the structure of your basement. Because the basement area is prone to moisture, it’s a good idea to go with moisture-resistant drywall, particularly if you’re building a bathroom, laundry room or a utility room that may contribute added moisture to the area.
Step Seven: Lay down your basement flooring.
After you’ve completed your framing and drywall, there’s not much left to do before finishing your basement in Edmonton. But before you lay down your flooring, make sure you repair any cracks in the subfloor. Both carpet and faux wood flooring need a solid base, and remember that hardwood isn’t great for basements because of potential moisture issues. Instead, go with vinyl or laminate.
Step Eight: Price out all your finishings and finalize your order.
Now that your basement has completed walls and a floor, it’s time to bring in all your finishings and furnishings. While the cost for finishing a basement can run well into five figures, doing a lot of the work yourself will save a huge chunk when it comes to that final bill. That said, there are always unexpected expenses, so leave yourself a buffer for things like vents, windows, lights and other decorative items.
Step Nine: Get professional help.
If any point you find yourself in over your head, don’t be afraid to seek out professional help. Some aspects of a basement remodel can be outright dangerous, and if you’re out of your element, it’s best not to push it. A pro not only brings experience, but they can help you finish up faster if time is a concern.
A finished basement can increase your enjoyment of your home and increase its value. Come tour our showhomes to see what a finished basement from Sterling Homes looks like and talk to your Area Manager about your ideas for a finished basement.
About the Author:
At Sterling Homes, our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable homeownership without compromise. Over the last 70 years, Sterling Edmonton has quickly become one of Edmonton’s most popular builders. We bring more than seven decades worth of exceptional customer service, superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship to the greater Edmonton area. As a member of the Qualico Group, Sterling Homes focuses on greater Edmonton’s finest family communities, while being able to offer some of the region’s most family friendly prices thanks to volume purchasing power for materials, trades and land. This has not only made Sterling one of Edmonton’s bestselling, move-up builders, but also one of the industry’s most respected home providers.
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