If you've decided to remodel your basement, you may be wondering where to start. You may have limited experience with power tools and design and the idea of remodeling a basement may seem overwhelming to you. This short guide outlines the basic steps involved in a typical basement remodeling project.
The first thing you'll need to do is take an honest look at your basement. Does it leak? Does it smell musty? Is there a drain that backs up regularly in your basement? Does your basement have small half-sized windows? What issues does your basement have? Endeavor to fix these issues before you officially start on the next steps in the process of remodeling. Basement Leaks and flooding of any kind in the basement, for example, will need to be fixed before a remodeling project can be successful.
If you're putting bedrooms in your basement, it is recommended that half-sized windows be replaced with full-sized windows so that bedroom occupants can escape if there is a fire. Installing full-sized windows in your basement is a project that should be completed before you start framing walls.
After you've fixed flooding issues and addressed the need for full-sized windows in your basement, you're ready to decide where to put the walls and rooms. Typically 2 x 4 studs are used to frame the walls along the outside perimeter of the basement. Framing the outer walls will diminish the square footage of the basement slightly, but it will give your basement a facelift. Once you've framed the outside perimeter, you can then frame the internal walls to create the basement rooms. Be sure you accurately measure and frame out where the doors are supposed to go when you build the wall frames for your basement rooms.
Once you've framed the walls in your basement, you're ready to run electrical and plumbing to the various rooms you've created. Think about where you want electrical outlets and light fixtures. If you're hiring an electrician to do this work for you, be prepared to give him an overview of what you want. If you're planning on installing a bathroom, you'll need to think about how and where you'll drain sinks, showers, and toilets. Install pipes or hire someone to install pipes to the appropriate places if you intend to have a sink or shower in your basement. You may need a plumber to help you with pipe installation, if you've never done plumbing work before.
When the electrical and plumbing has been completed in the basement, you're ready to install drywall. It is best to do this project with at least one other person. Try to get the help of at least two other people when its time to install the drywall on the ceiling of your basement. Drywall takes patience and perseverance. Plan to spend some time on this part of your basement remodel.
You can hang the doors in your basement before or after you put up the drywall. It doesn't matter whether you do this project before or after the drywall goes up, but get someone to help you. It doesn't take very much time to hang a door, but having a partner is almost essential to doing it properly.
Once the drywall has been put in place, it will be time to go back and tape and spackle the joints and corners of the wall. This is a project that you should approach with extreme patience and the knowledge that it will probably take longer than you think it will. When the spackle or joint compound on the wall dries, you will need to sand it down and apply another coat of the spackle to smooth out the joints and corners even more. Then, you'll have to sand it again.
There are a number of ways to finish the drywall on the ceiling. Some home owners use tape and spackle their ceilings just as they did for their walls. Others make use of machines to give texture to the spackle on the ceiling. Giving the ceiling texture can make it easier to cover up drywall installation mistakes or problems with the drywall after it was installed.
Once you've spackled the walls and the ceilings, it might be wise to paint. Although in some cases, it may work out better to install carpets and floor coverings first, by painting the walls before installing floor coverings, you'll be avoiding the problem of spilling or splattering paint on new carpet or tile. If you decide to install the floor covering before painting the walls, be sure you use painters plastic and tape to keep from staining your new carpet or tile.
Finally, install floorboards and trim along the floors and around the doors. You're ready now to decorate and move in to your finished basement!