Things to Consider When Finishing Your Basement

Things to Consider When Finishing Your Basement

Finishing your basement is a big milestone for a lot of home owners. Adding useable space to your residence adds both comfort and property value when done correctly.

Depending on the square footage you have available and your intention for the space, there are a lot of points to take into consideration before finishing your basement. There isn’t a cookie cutter approach to take, but there are some essential things all homeowners must consider before moving ahead.

We’ve put together a list of some things to consider when finishing your basement:

Basement Waterproofing

Fixing a leaky basement when it is already finished can be very costly. This is why basement waterproofing is a crucial step to take before hand. Although you can still do external waterproofing if your basement is already finished, it is still advisable to do internal waterproofing while your basement is unfinished.


Designing how to utilize all of the space effectively in your basement needs to be taken into consideration. Will your basement be for leisure? Will it be a basement apartment? Do you have furniture already that will be moved into the basement or will you buy new furniture? Do you need a washroom or kitchen in the basement? Where is your furnace located? How many outlets will you need and where?

Answering some of these questions ahead of time will make your life easier when it comes time to draw out the layout of how your finished basement will look.

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One of the questions in the above point was, do you need a washroom or kitchen in the basement? If the answer was yes, it will be important to plan out how your plumbing will look like before any floors, ceilings or drywall goes up. Do you already have rough-ins for the necessary plumbing? This will also affect how the layout of your basement will look like.

Hiring a licensed plumber to consult on how you can add your bathroom and/or kitchen is a good idea to ensure it is planned out ahead of time.

Who Will Do the Work

Things to Consider When Finishing Your Basement

Are you the handy type of person or will you be hiring someone to do the project for you? Even if you are handy, you may still need to hire some trade professionals to take care of certain aspects that require licenses to complete, like electrical as an example.

Whether you are going to hire specific people for specific tasks or hiring someone to do the entire project, it is always good to do your research ahead of time. Referrals from friends and family is a good place to start, but there are also a lot of resources online to help you make an educated decision. Try sites like Homestars or Better Business Bureau to read reviews from other consumers.


Last but not least, analyze your budget before making any decisions. Knowing what you have to work with will allow you to know which direction to take in terms of contractors and specific finishes of your new basement. Thinktankhome.com wrote an article on basement remodelling budgets and suggested to budget 10% – 15% of the value of your home to finish your basement. I would try to shoot for 10% – 12% to allow for some unexpected costs so you do not over spend on this project.

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