rolls of waterproofing and insulation material

What Features Do You Want When Finishing a Rochester, NY, Basement?

More and more people are looking into basement finishing in Rochester, NY!  If you have an unfinished basement that you’re only using for storage, you’re really only realizing a fraction of the potential that space holds.  Many people have huge basements that could become an amazing addition to their home, but without proper finishing, that space is kind of being wasted.

There are a lot of different ways to finish a basement, depending on what you want to do with the space – but there are still some things that just about anyone would want to do to make their basement better.

These are some of the areas we recommend people focus on when finishing a Rochester basement.

Eight Must-Haves When Finishing Your Basement

1 – Knowledge of local building codes

Before even beginning a basement renovation project, you want to have a good grasp of your local building codes.  The last thing you want is to install upgrades that the city or county won’t certify!  Also, be aware that any changes to your wiring – and also possibly your plumbing – will generally require your home to be re-inspected.

A good Rochester basement finishing contractor will be familiar with these rules and can help you navigate the bureaucracy.

2 – Sealed and waterproof floors

We don’t generally recommend putting carpet down in a basement, because of how easily moisture can make its way down there.  It’s basically begging for mold problems in a year or two.  However, you can still do more with your floor than leaving it a plain concrete slab.  Finishing it with something like an epoxy resin will make it waterproof, while still quite nice to look at.

Or, if you must have padding, we suggest using rugs or carpet tiles which can be easily removed and washed, when needed.

Speaking of moisture…

3 – Seal your basement walls as best you can

If you’re going to turn your basement into a livable space, you want to do everything you can to keep moisture out.  This means carefully going around the edges – particularly where the edge connects to the exterior house – sealing everything to keep moisture from leaking in.

4 – Graded ground outside

Another important part of keeping your basement dry is to discourage rainwater or melting snow from getting inside.  The best way to do this is from the outside.  Have your Rochester renovation contractors change up your lawn’s grading slightly, so that it encourages water to flow away from the house and its foundations.

This is a good idea in any case, but particularly important when finishing a basement.  Otherwise, early spring can cause huge problems when all the snow starts to melt.

5 – Vapor barriers

Even if you’ve blocked off most ways that moisture can directly enter, don’t forget about vapor.  Water vapor can easily slip through microscopic cracks and holes in your walls and foundation.  Adding a full vapor barrier will do a lot to protect your belongings and upgrades.

With all those water-proofing features in place, you’ll have far fewer moisture issues in your basement.

6 – Baseboard heating

Heat rises, so whatever heating goes into your basement is going to go straight upward.  If you have ceiling- or wall-mounted heating vents, you’re not going to feel most of that heat.  It’s just going to make the ground floor extra toasty.

So, baseboard heaters are the way to go, in a basement.  That will help ensure enough heat stays downstairs that it’ll be pleasant to stay in.

7 – Drop ceilings

People often associate drop ceilings with workplaces, but they are a great choice for finished basements too.  Since the overhead area of a basement is usually just the “naked” underside of the ground floor and covered in pipes and wires, drop ceilings will cover up all these unsightly features.

They don’t have to look plain and boring, either.  There are plenty of colorful or textured options which can help your basement look nice.

8 – Recessed lighting

A finished basement often won’t have too much extra headroom for hanging lights, especially if you’re using drop ceilings to cover up all the clutter.  This makes recessed lighting the perfect option for lighting your basement.  It’s easy to install, and there’s no shortage of nooks and crannies that lights can be put into.

You might even think about colored lights if you want some extra mood in your basement.

Spartacus Can Make Your Basement a Wonderful New Living Space

Whether you’re making a ‘man cave,’ a game room, or looking to add additional bedroom space, finishing your Rochester basement could be the best possible upgrade to your home.  If your basement is currently going underused, contact our experts at Spartacus Construction to discuss your upgrade options.