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Top 10 DIY Basement Remodeling Mistakes People Make

 

A basement renovation has special requirements that differ from other areas in your home. Be careful to avoid these common mistakes when refinishing your basement.

 

Finishing a Flood-Prone Basement

Some basements are more prone to floods than others. If yours is one of the former, you may want to reconsider finishing it at the risk of facing a disaster a few months down the road.

 

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors may be the best option for your floors upstairs, but it’s all wrong for the basement. Here’s why: basements are more susceptible to floods, and any floor made of natural material, like wood, laminate, bamboo or cork, will get ruined from the excess amount of water. (Not to mention, the floors will feel a lot colder on your feet all winter!)

 

Improper Wall Materials

It may not occur to you, but the walls in your basement can get ruined from a flood, too (and the moisture is the perfect breeding ground for mold). Be careful not to use materials that get damaged by water. When refinishing the walls, completely waterproof materials are the way to go.

 

No Drainage

All basements should have access to drainage to help clear the water after a flood. When renovating the basement, many people are guilty of covering up the existing drain. Be careful not to do this or you could find yourself having to tear up the floors to get rid of excess water.

 

No Backup Sump Pump

A backup sump pump system will provide emergency service during a power outage, which could occur at a time when your basement is prone to a flood, like after a storm. Without it, you could be at a higher risk for a flood in your newly renovated basement.

 

Improper Ceiling Insulation

Fibre ceiling insulation can cause mold behind the rim joists, which is the wood frame that supports the floor above. Avoid this by opting for spray foam insulation instead.

 

Unsafe or Nonexistent Handrails

When refinishing the basement yourself, it’s important to put safety first and foremost. Don’t forget to install safe and secure handrails leading down the stairs.

 

Unprofessional Molding

One of the first indicators of a DIY finished basement is visible in the baseboard molding. Make sure to nail the molding at multiple points into the frame so that it is secure against the wall.

 

Improper Placement of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It’s important to place these detectors in the basement to protect against fire or carbon monoxide leaks. Since heat rises, make sure to place them on the ceiling for best results.

 

Not Hiring a Professional

If you weren’t previously aware of many of these common mistakes, it may be wise to hire a professional to renovate your basement.

 

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