Converting a Basement to Living Space
Increase Your Living Space
One of the most efficient ways
to gain extra living space is to convert a basement
to living space. Finishing a basement into useful
living space is one of the most popular DIY
projects. Unfinished basements are turned into all
sorts of living space usage such as recreation
rooms, offices, workout rooms and craft shops.
Converting a basement to useful living space is the
most inexpensive way to increase living space.
If your home has a basement
with a ceiling that is approximately seven feet
high as measured from the concrete floor to the
floor joist above and with good access from above
you can convert the space to living space.
Many basements are quite large and can be
made into several rooms.
If the basement is damp and
cold there are several things that can be done to
remedy the problem. Consider installing a wood
subfloor on top of the concrete and installing
carpeting or wood flooring on top of the new
subfloor. This involves sealing the concrete floor
before installing the sub floor to reduce moisture
penetration through the floor.
If the exterior walls are
concrete and mostly above ground level they can be
insulated with 1½ inch rigid foam insulation to
prevent excessive heat loss through the concrete
Building basement interior
walls are quite easy as they are not load bearing
walls. They can be built using either 2 by 3s or
standard 2 by 4s. The wall studs can be spaced
either 16 inches or 25 inches on center. I
recommend 16 inches on center for a more solid wall
for hanging wall objects.
Before going too far with your
basement project determine the heating and
electrical needs. If the house has a hot water or
forced hot air heating system they can be altered
to provide heat to the newly finished basement.
Running additional electrical circuits is a
straight forward task.
The area will need proper
lighting and ventilation so don’t forget to add
additional windows if necessary. Adding windows is
an easy task providing there is enough space above
ground level to accommodate them. Adding a
dehumidifier will probably be necessary.
Converting a basement to living
space is an inexpensive way to increase your homes
living space and a finished basement will increase
the value of your home. Before you start, have a
complete plan on what you intend to do. And
remember, it does not have to be done all at once.
A progressive step by step process can space out
the expense to suit your budget.
How to Insulate a Basement
Concrete Slab Floor