What Things Do I Need To Consider When Making a Basement Renovation in My Home?

There are some big considerations that you should take into account when you consider making a basement renovation.  Notable among those you must make sure the space is large enough, waterproof, of sound construction, graded properly and accessible with regard to plumbing and electrical wiring.  All of these issues will be discussed below in greater detail, but for the average home in Toronto a basement is typically a standard inclusion with most homes, so the height and grade have already been assessed.  For those details you may just want to make sure the foundation has not shifted over time before beginning your basement renovation. Probably the most important consideration that you must examine is if the basement is water tight.  This is of the utmost importance because the problems that can be created by even the smallest amount of moisture left unattended can result in several thousand dollars in damage later on.  There are also possible health concerns with dwelling in an environment that has mold or mildew growth.  The best plan is to have a certified inspector test your basement for any and all moisture prior to beginning your basement renovation.  This small expense will prevent you from having to redo all the work you paid for when underground foundation and construction issues are found to yield water. Many basements are of decent size for but the floor to ceiling height may not be within local regulation.  When that is discovered, some frustrated homeowners throw up their hands and say, “Well that’s that.”  Do not give up so easily.  There are workable solutions that can increase the distance from your floor to ceiling and allow you to complete the basement renovation.  One such solution is called “underpinning” which is a process that increases the ceiling height by lowering the floor.  This is accomplished by digging out small sections of the floor and filing them with cement.  The process can be tedious and is best left to folks like The Reno Pros who have the right tools and experience to keep all load-bearing structures secure.  Underpinning can be a long process that is costly, so it is prudent to consider how badly you want to renovate the height of the basement. Another potential trouble spot for basement renovations is the property grade.  A foundation and basement built on any sort of grade can increase the likelihood of water entering the home, especially through ground and sub-level cracks and leaks.  Toronto is a northern city prone to snow and ice which effectively cracks cement and foundations over long periods of exposure.  To combat these issues, it is best to hire a professional that can test below the surface of walls and floors with special instruments for water.  These individuals can view the inside of your pipes and drains with small cameras to detect the presence of clogs or cracks, which will help you resolve issues before you begin a full-scale basement renovation. Last but not least, bringing in plumbing and electrical inspectors to ensure your pipes and wiring are safe and accessible is a major pre-emptive measure that cannot be overlooked.  It will save you project time and money if you can tailor your designs to pre-installed wiring specs and you can build your new lavatory around pipes that are already in place.  No one (except maybe an untrustworthy contractor) wants to deal with the price of moving the plumbing from one wall to another if it does not have to happen.  This is also important when considering your ceiling.  Most basement renovations include finishing the ceiling with drywall or a suspended ceiling.  Knowing the difference between them in case you want to go back later can adjust some wiring is very important. Overall these points of consideration will go a long way in helping you determine if you want to proceed with your basement renovation and to what degree you can afford.