Nov 05, 2021 : A Guide to Planning Your Basement Remodel

Is your home starting to feel a little cramped, and do you need more living space for your family? If you want to add more rooms to your home, then it’s time to learn how to plan a basement remodel. 

This unfinished space gives you the option to expand your living area when you are ready – which means it isn’t necessary to move into a new home. 

No question learning how to plan a basement remodel is a big project. But it’s worth the investment because of the long-term benefits you will be able to enjoy for years to come.

What Goes Into a Basement Remodel?

So many details need to be considered as you prepare and execute your basement remodeling plan. Not only do you need to consider structural elements, but it’s fun to pick out the finishes and decorative details that turn your house into a home. 

With careful thought and planning, you can understand how to plan a basement remodel for the perfect renovation project to fit your unique needs. Our vast experience in the industry here at Magnolia Home Remodeling Group has taught us a thing or two. Here are a few details you might want to incorporate into your basement remodeling plan:

  • Set Some Goals: What are you trying to achieve with your new basement design? Evaluate how you will be using the rooms so you can create a floor plan that is the perfect fit for your family’s needs. For example, maybe you are looking to add more bedrooms. Or, you might prioritize a large family room, play area, or man cave for media and entertainment. When you know your goals, then it’s easier to design an ideal floor plan that will create the perfect finished basement you will love in the future.
  • Consider the Space: Before you can design the floor plan, you need to look at specific details in the available area. For example, how much square footage is available? What are your priorities? Where do you want things to be? Working through these critical details in the planning phases will save you time and money once construction starts. For example, if you place the bathroom or wet bar on existing plumbing, then you can avoid extra costs for additional piping and more.
  • Functional Details for Basement Renovations: It’s fun to think about a game room or a new home office downstairs, and many people enjoy the process of choosing colors and materials. But don’t overlook some of the most important functional details, such as working around columns, waterproofing the basement, and ensuring the correct HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems. Professional contractors can help you finalize the plans for these critical details. 
  • Multi-Use Floor Plan: Another thing to consider is that your basement can be a multi-use space. For example, you might design a floor plan with multiple bedrooms, a family room area, and cold storage space. The possibilities are limitless when you are devising plans for a finished basement!

Common Mistakes

Without careful planning and researching how to plan a basement remodel, you might run into common mistakes during the renovation process. While certain errors are unavoidable, there are things that we at Magnolia Home Remodeling group know you can do to minimize the risk of some of the most common issues. 

Here are some of the common mistakes you should try to avoid:

  • Water Issues: Basements can be prone to mold, dampness, and rot. Whether you have a leaky water heater or leaky windows when it rains, these issues can leave moisture behind in the basement floor and basement walls. Don’t just build over the dampness! Instead, fix the root issue to prevent problems in the future.
  • Too Many Small Rooms: If you have an unfinished basement with a lot of open space, you have endless possibilities to create a comfortable, functional living area. Building a lot of small rooms can make it feel confining and claustrophobic. Make sure to keep a portion of the basement open. You might use movable partitions (like sliding barn doors) to create multi-function options in the open space.
  • Materials Selection: Organic materials, such as wooden studs and wood subfloors, might work great in the areas of the home that are above ground. But these materials can be problematic in the basement due to the moisture conditions mentioned above. Make sure to choose materials that are engineered to withstand water issues. Your contractor can assist in helping you select the right materials.
  • Ventilation Priorities: Air quality can be an issue in the basement, especially since this area doesn’t get as much ventilation as other parts of the home. Choose an HVAC system that optimizes air quality with good filtration. For example, you might consider a dehumidifier feature to pull out unnecessary moisture (and prevent mold and rot problems). It’s also a good idea to install a radon mitigation system to protect your family’s health.
  • Not Enough Lighting: Since the basement is below ground, it’s hard to bring in natural light – even during the brightest times of the day. Don’t pinch pennies when planning the lighting. Plan for quality electrical lighting that brightens the rooms and makes the basement feel warm and inviting. Adding good lights is the best solution, so your basement feels less like a dungeon.
  • Poor Soundproofing: It’s annoying to hear footsteps from upstairs. Make your basement more relaxing with good insulation and soundproofing. Not only will these solutions minimize the noise you hear in the basement, but you can turn up the downstairs home theater system without bothering family members upstairs.

Other details need to be considered when learning how to plan a basement remodel to ensure the success of your project. For example, it’s essential to check building codes and have the necessary permits in place before beginning construction. Our team at Magnolia Home Remodeling Group can assist with every detail, ensuring a successful outcome for your project.

Know Your Budget Before You Start

How much do you want to spend on basement remodeling? The price of this project varies depending on the square footage, how much work needs to be done, and whether you are upgrading the basement or building out an unfinished basement.

It’s important to consider your budget as you are preparing for the renovations. For example, you might have fun brainstorming basement ideas and learning how to plan a basement remodel, only to discover that these details are too expensive for your budget.

Budget considerations need to focus on the amount of money you can afford to spend. How will you be financing the project? You might have money set aside in savings, or many homeowners get a 2nd mortgage or home equity line of credit to pay for the renovations. Locking these financing details into place right now gives you a budget goal to work towards as you hire contractors and choose the materials for your basement renovations.

Additionally, don’t forget about the other costs after the renovations are complete. Just because the lights are installed, walls are painted, and flooring is done doesn’t mean that your new basement is ready to use. You need to find furniture and other nice features to create the basement of your dreams. Consider setting aside a portion of your budget for a pool table, wet bar, or other features that make it a fun and functional space.

Contact a Trusted Remodeling Contractor

If you have questions about how to plan a basement remodel, then reach out to the experts here at Magnolia Home Remodeling Group. We have years of experience in the industry and offer personalized services for every family.

Our goal is to create the ideal basement renovations to meet your goals, giving you excellent value and results for the money you invest into your home improvement projects. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how to plan a basement remodel. 

Magnolia Home Remodeling Group provides a supportive environment where you can learn about your options without a high-pressure sales pitch. Our team is ready to move forward with the project on your timeline, accommodating your schedule and goals for basement renovations and other home remodeling projects. Call us for more information.

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