5 Things to Consider Before You Start a Basement Remodel

Basement remodel under construction

Finishing your basement is a great idea. You just need to make sure you're remodel-ready.

If you're looking to add a basement office, expand your living area by creating a family room, or add a bedroom, remodeling is not only smart, it's an excellent investment in your home. In fact, finishing your basement provides an estimated 73% return on investment when it comes time to sell your home.

But that investment comes at a price, depending on how you approach the project. Whether you choose to DIY your basement remodel or select a contractor, your budget can vary widely. HomeAdvisor members report spending between $5,000 and $40,000, with an average cost of $18,544. Fixr.com puts the average cost per square foot at $90.

Before you invest all that money in remodeling and fixing up, make sure your basement is 100% ready. Basements are vulnerable to structural stresses and moisture issues that influence the home's air quality, so don't overlook potential repairs. No one wants to invest thousands of dollars on a project, only to tear it down and repair it later.

There are five things to consider before you can transform your lower level with confidence. Let's get into it.

Look for cracks

Closely inspect the foundation walls and floor for any cracks. If cracks are evident, make sure to tackle those first. Find out from an expert if there are signs of a failing foundation. Covering them up and leaving them for later is not a good idea.

Foundations need repairs for several reasons, mostly involving improper construction, drainage issues, hydrostatic pressures created by soil, and moisture expanding and contracting with seasonal changes.

The first sign you might need foundation repairs can be relatively minor - a window or door sticking, a small crack in the floor or wall, maybe some moisture gathering or condensing in a window.

As these problems worsen, this can lead to cracking, bowing, or leaning walls, as well as sagging or heaving floors, allowing moisture, foul odors, and other infestations into your basement.

Foundation problems rarely go away and almost always worsen left unaddressed.

Foundation repair solutions are unique to your home and its setting, ranging from anchors, braces, and carbon fiber straps for walls to push or helical piers for floors and footings.

After thoroughly inspecting your basement wall repair needs, Thrasher takes every step to educate you on our findings and our best recommendations for your home's unique needs.

Be confident in a sound drainage system

Waterguard system cross section being installed

Nothing soaks up water (and stores it for you) better than drywall, wood, and floor coverings. You don't want that musty, mildew smell in your new glamorous basement upgrade.

Thrasher has spent 45+ years waterproofing basements in the Midwest. We install the non-clogging WaterGuard(R) interior drainage system, making your wet basement a thing of the past.

Sometimes called a "french drain," these systems are installed below your basement's concrete slab floor around the perimeter. These drains rest against the inside of the foundation wall. They collect any water that seeps in and directs it to a sump pump pit where the water is then pumped out and away from your home.

Sump pump for the win

If you've ever had to clean up a flooded basement, you'd probably avoid any home without a sump pump. You couldn't understand why someone wouldn't protect themselves from flooding with a sump pump.

Sanidry Triplesafe sump pump system installed

We recommend our TripleSafe Sump Pump System - the best basement sump pump available to keep your basement dry year-round. Why is it called the TripleSafe?

  1. If Pump 1 fails: Pump 2 takes over
  2. If Pump 1 can't keep up: Both Pumps 1 & 2 operate - a combined total of pumping up to 6,200 gallons per hour
  3. If power/circuit breaker fails: Pump 3, a battery-operated 'UltraSump' takes over.

The TripleSafe sump pump offers the reliability and peace of mind you're looking for, solving the three problems of sump pump failure in one pumping system.

Mitigate mold and mildew

During periods of heavy or persistent rain, your soil can become saturated, creating hydrostatic pressure (or water pressure). This pushes moisture and water through your basement walls and floor.

Your basement walls, either concrete or block, is porous and can extract moisture from the soil. If you plan to finish your basement, we can restrict moisture and water vapors from entering your basement and add a layer of basement sealer to protect from mold at the same time with our CleanSpace(R) Basement Wall Vapor Barrier.

The CleanSpace is hung from the wall using specially designed plastic wall anchors. These wall anchors do not harm the foundation but provide a secure fitting to the wall.

CleanSpace can be installed at 32 inches from the bottom of the basement floor or full height, though full height CleanSpace offers maximum waterproofing protection.

The CleanSpace is then secured and sealed to the WaterGuard to prevent water from leaking into the home. The water collected is directed to the sump pump and then pumped out of the house.

Walls with waterproofing sealers and paint fail over time. As time passes, sealers and paint can crack and allow water to re-enter the space.

CleanSpace won't deteriorate, providing customers the peace of mind that their area will remain dry. After CleanSpace installation, the homeowner can finish the walls. Customers can complete the walls knowing their drywall and other building materials will remain dry from all future water.

You can eliminate the leading cause of basement odors - high humidity and other indoor air allergens - with the SaniDry(TM) Basement Dehumidifier and Air Filtration System. Our approach controls the relative humidity of your basement to prevent mold from growing.

Whether a dehumidifier will keep up and ensure mold won't grow in all seasonal conditions depends on how much water it will take out of the air.

The SaniDry Sedona has a whopping 100 pints per day capacity and will move over 300 cubic feet of dry air per minute around your basement or crawlspace. This high-performance fan, paired with a replaceable MERV 8 Filter, removes mold spores, dust mite droppings, dust, and other particulates with ease. It dries the contents of your home and building materials, making that damp feeling and funky basement smell go away.

Egress captures additional livable square footage

Are you adding a bedroom? Want to make your basement brighter? Look no further than the Thrasher Premier Egress System.

Thrasher is the premier waterproofing and foundation repair contractor in the Midwest, so it only makes sense to choose Thrasher for your egress window needs!

Proper window well systems maximize available sunlight and provide additional benefits such as easy escape in case of an emergency and entry access for emergency workers or firefighters. It should also protect from rain and debris. Proper installation and following permits and code regulations will result in increased home value.

When you're ready to begin remodeling, call Thrasher

Thrasher has more than 45 years of experience helping people fix their basements. Whether it's waterproofing, issues with mold and mildew, or more serious foundation repair, Thrasher has a reputation for providing high-quality, long-lasting solutions. We have access to more than 30 patented basement repair products designed to keep your basement clean, dry, and odor-free.

At Thrasher, we prioritize our customers' satisfaction above all else and want to make sure you are delighted with our basement repair services. That's why we offer a 25-year transferable warranty as well as a satisfaction guarantee, and efficiency guarantee, and a property protection guarantee.

See other tips for getting ready for basement remodeling in this fine article Six Tips for Basement Renovation https://www.proremodeler.com/six-tips-basement-renovation