The Remodeling Process

Basement remodeling can be daunting. A project often includes new or re-routed ventilation, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical work. Rather than hire specific contractors in each of those trades, many homeowners prefer to engage one contractor to handle every aspect of the remodel. A remodeling project will include most of the following steps:

Demolition. This is the first step after the design is completed and all the necessary fixtures, furniture, and other materials have been purchased. When knocking out significant parts of the basement, make sure support posts are not inadvertently harmed.

Subflooring. Basement floors are usually hard, cold concrete, and flooring cannot be simply thrown in without proper planning. A subfloor needs to be laid to improve insulation and make new tile or carpeting more comfortable.

Wall framing and layout. Concrete or cinder-block basement walls are not very attractive, and a basement without insulation will be uncomfortable. New walls may be necessary to add a closet to a new bedroom or a storage space to a mixed-use room. Properly framed walls will offer an attractive, finished look, which will be essential in making the new space feel like part of the home. Framed walls can contain extra room for insulation, plumbing, and electrical wiring.

Utilities. Wiring for new electrical features, cable, or telephones should be taken care of before the walls are closed up. New plumbing for a bathroom or wet bar should also be arranged at this stage. In many cases, the new design requires redirecting existing plumbing.

Walls and ceilings. Drywall is the most popular option for covering the walls, because of its durability and solid appearance. Other options for different budgets and tastes include paneling the walls or crafting them from hardwood. Drop ceilings provide an inexpensive and easy way to retain access to plumbing and lighting on the ceiling, but this gives the room an industrial look that could be seen as a disadvantage. Drywall ceilings will offer more head room and provide a more professional finish. With drywall, vents and other ceiling structures can be boxed out to maximize ceiling height.

Finishing touches. Install tile, wood laminate, hardwood, or carpet flooring at this stage. Trim and baseboards should also be installed, along with any new lighting fixtures. Finally, the walls and other surfaces are painted.