We love finished basements, and it’s not uncommon for clients to question whether or not a basement is “finish-able.” After all, this extra square footage can add a ton of living space and increase your home’s value (but please note that some finished basements count towards your home’s official square footage, and some do not. Ask your Realtor for details). While not all basements are created equal, many have great potential.
Here are a few things to consider:
-Is it a walk out basement, or is any part of it above ground? Many township codes require egress windows for a finished basement.
-What are the basement’s moisture levels? Will it need to be dehumidified?
-If you have fuel-burning equipment in the basement, be sure to have a pro check the ventilation system. A carbon monoxide build-up could be dangerous.
-There is no such thing as too many back-ups when it comes to sump pumps! Carefully consider the home’s history of water issues before finishing a basement.
-Many codes call for 7′ or 7’6″ of headroom in the basement in order for it to be finished. Older homes tend to have basements with lower overhead, so be sure to consider your municipality’s code.
Your best bet is to meet with a reputable contractor to discuss options and compare prices. He or she will be an expert in understanding township requirements, ensuring that your basement meets all necessary standards, and pulling permits (when applicable).