How we plan your basement renovation and remodeling!

Basements are a great way to add value to your home and make the most of your available living space with Exercise Area | Entertainment Area | Kitchen | Bathroom | Apartment

Basement Finishing or Remodeling?

"What are the requirements to meet city building codes when finishing your basement?"

Most people are familiar with basement finishing or remodeling, but what exactly are the requirements involved when planning to finish basement construction or create a second dwelling? To understand this, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of home construction and what the original home builder usually leaves undone. As you’re probably aware, the structural elements of the walls, concrete floors, heating and cooling, plumbing, and electrical utilities of the home’s basement are put in place for finish construction but may need to be relocated when closing walls and ceilings. Building a second dwelling for tenant occupancy has several principal factors that must be strictly enforced to meet the code by the city building code department during the project.

“Building with homeowner’s safety in mind is a top priority when finishing a basement. It’s important to realize that all the home’s upper-level utilities, such as gas pipes, electrical, and water lines, run through the basement, presenting a high risk of improper installation. Basement building is much more complex than the upper levels of the home and requires the professional touch of a carpenter.”

“Here are four popular aspects of a basement finishing project:
1. Kitchen Installation- Consider adding a kitchen for your family’s use or if a second dwelling tenant occupancy is in your plans. If so, fire rating will be our top priority during the design and construction when building the walls and ceilings to meet building code regulations.
2. Bathroom Installation- Rethink the bathroom’s purpose during design and construction. Will it be for basic functionality or a cozy relaxation spot for you, with a spa-like atmosphere as the goal? This mainly depends on the size and style of the shower that will be built.
3. Floor Insulation- A raised insulated subfloor is crucial for your daily use of an entertainment area, bedroom, or exercise area. Followed by one of our top-quality Life-Proof Vinyl Laminate plank floorings for the best comfort, this is an ideal solution to keep off damp concrete.
4. Building Permits, Fees Required- Our team will apply for all necessary building permits on your behalf and arrange any visits required by our engineer, architect, and city building inspector between any required basement finishing installations with city inspections.”

How to Insulate and Ventilate Your Basement:

As with most below-grade structures, moisture is the primary concern with basements. It’s essential to insulate and ventilate your basement correctly to maintain a healthy and comfortable living environment. To prevent drafts and moisture from seeping in, it’s necessary to insulate your basement walls and floors appropriately. Additionally, you should install appropriate R-value panels or batts for your climate and budget between studs or joists of the walls and ceilings. To ensure proper ventilation, consider installing a dehumidifier to keep the air dry or vents/fans to circulate air. Moreover, it is necessary to make sure that HVAC systems are circulating air in basements. Proper insulation and ventilation will keep your basement warm and dry, reducing energy costs.

However, additional health and safety concerns exist, particularly in basements due to the “stack effect” phenomenon. Warm air in homes rises and exits through the roof’s upper reaches, creating low pressure that draws air from lower areas of the house. Addressing health and safety concerns such as proper ventilation is crucial. Adequate insulation and air quality are essential for a comfortable and healthy basement.

Types of Basement

Here are some other types of basement that you may not have heard of
  1. Full: Not to be confused with ”finished”, a full basement refers to the space being big enough to stand in. This type of basement can be used for living space or storage and typically increases the value of a home.
  2. Partial: A partial basement is one where only a portion of the basement is a space big enough to stand in. The rest might be similar to a crawl space.
  3. None: Structures with no basement at all can be built on a slab foundation (like a garage), directly onto the ground (like a shed), or sit on stilts/pylons (like a cabin or mobile home).
  4. Walk-out: A walk-out basement is exactly what it sounds- a basement with its own entrance that you can walk out of. These are most often seen in homes that are built into a hill- whether natural or artificially landscaped. Due to their aesthetically pleasing design, this type of basement can add significant value to a home.
  5. Walk-up: A walk-up basement is different from a walk-out basement in that most walk-up basements contain dug-in stairs that go from the ground level down to the basement level as an entry/exit.