Space limitations give homeowners many ideas, such as basement walls renovation. The basement is used to add space to the house, making it more proper and spacious.
Instead of adding to the floor of the house, make use of the basement walls are more affordable. However, there are several things that you must be aware of when renovating the basement.
- The basement was more humid because it was not exposed to the sun.
- The basement cracks easily.
- Basement walls are prone to leaks and moisture.
Those few weaknesses do not make the basement unfit as a new and attractive place in the home. Pay attention to the dos and don’ts before renovating the basement wall and making it ready for use.
Table of Contents
- 1. Do’s: Create Permission (If Needed)
- 2. Do’s: Don’t Renovate before the Basement Is Dry
- 3. Do’s: Using Special Construction Materials for Basement Walls
- 4. Do’s: Loosening Cables and Pipes on Concrete Basement Walls
- 5. Don’ts: Forgot to Install Windows
- 6. Don’ts: Forget to Build a Floor Plate
- 7. Do’s: Using an Eco-Friendly Modular Wall System
- 8. Do’s: Using a Professional Finishing System after Basement Wall Repair
1. Do’s: Create Permission (If Needed)
In each region or country, there are different development regulations. Some areas allow landlords to renovate houses without requiring a permit.
However, some housing developers require the owner to make a permit before renovating some parts of the house, such as the basement.
The basement is associated with underground drainage and errors in building the basement can damage underground drains or cables.
If local authorities expect residents to make permits before doing basement renovations and you do not, then there is a fundamental legal problem.
You are required to pay a fine or dismiss anything that has been renovated. This basement permit is equally important to make it easier for you to sell your house.
Some prospective buyers do not want to purchase a house with a condition that does not match the description or with rooms that do not match the license.
2. Do’s: Don’t Renovate before the Basement Is Dry
Basement walls are easily damp because they are not exposed to sunlight and are close to drains.
Before completing any renovations, you should check whether the cement walls are dry or wet. You can perform a standard test with a plastic tarp.
- Tie the plastic tarp to the concrete basement walls using duct tape.
- Leave it for the whole day.
- After that remove the tarp and check for any condensation in the tarpaulin.
- If there is, it means that the basement walls have serious problems with moisture.
Nevertheless, not all damp walls are wet. If the basement wall is dry then you can use an additional layer so that later moisture will not damage the basement wall.
You can also reduce humidity by installing gutters or installing interior drains under the floor so that water does not seep onto the floor and is pumped out of the house.
3. Do’s: Using Special Construction Materials for Basement Walls
To build a basement wall, you should use the services of a professional constructor. Nevertheless, if you want to do a DIY project to make this, then prepare some of the materials below.
- You can prepare processed wood to be attached to the basement wall.
- Before sticking it to the basement wall, soak the wood using alkaline.
- Alkaline is proven effective at reducing moisture and rot.
- You can also use an anti-mildew drywall paint channel.
Rigid foam board is also highly recommended for lining basement walls because besides being cost-effective it is not easy to damp and not easily damaged by mold.
4. Do’s: Loosening Cables and Pipes on Concrete Basement Walls
Renovating the concrete basement walls is a little tricky. However, you must do this so that the electricity and water installations are safe and not damaged.
- Before doing basement wall renovations, check the electrical wiring inside the concrete wall.
- Do not forget to call in a licensed electrician to install the cables properly so they are not damaged before the renovation process begins.
- After you are done with the electricity, it is time to check the water pipes inside the basement walls.
- These pipes often cause leakage problems as well as damp walls.
- To protect this, create a new wall about 4 inches from the concrete basement walls.
- This method can reduce the size of the room but will keep the pipes safe and did not damage.
- Broken electrical pipes and cables will require additional costly renovations in the future.
5. Don’ts: Forgot to Install Windows
Based on the International Residential Code (IRC), you must install windows in the basement bedroom. The minimum window opening width is 20 inches with a minimum height of 24 inches.
The window in the basement looks like it sounds useless, but in fact, this window serves as an emergency exit when something happens that makes you unable to open the basement door.
For that, you have to make a path by the window that will go through to the top of the house.
Thus, there are two exits from the basement wall. The first is the door that connects to the interior of the house and the second is the window that connects to the outside part.
This window system is often called Modular Exit Window and ensures the safety of the basement occupants.
6. Don’ts: Forget to Build a Floor Plate
Usually, people build new walls directly over the basement concrete floor, but this method is ineffective and even damage the basement.
If the basement floor is uneven, to anticipate this, install the plate on the basement wall ceiling and the floor.
After that, install the walls based on the plates that have been installed so that the walls will be flat.
7. Do’s: Using an Eco-Friendly Modular Wall System
Some of the traditional methods above are effective in building solid basement walls, but if you do not have a high construction level, these methods will only waste time.
You can take two options next. The first is to use professional construction services. Of course, this step forced you to spend more budgets.
If you do not want to do this, you can use a more practical and inexpensive method such as using an all-in-one basement wall system.
Many basement wall systems by scientists are sold in hardware stores such as Smart walls from Home Depot and so on.
It features moisture-resistant insulation on the back and is well suited to the ceiling and basement floor.
Panel installation does not take long and you can modify it by using paint or other interesting wall decorations.
8. Do’s: Using a Professional Finishing System after Basement Wall Repair
You can do the previous process of basement wall repair by yourself, but for the finishing process, you should use the services of a qualified contractor.
This is important so that there is no damage to the plumbing or electrical installations and ensures that your basement is moisture resistant and mildew resistant.
You may insist on doing it all by yourself but of course, if there are other better ways, you should use it.
You can save the budget by doing other things yourself, but specifically for this one, contact a professional contractor.
They maintain a certification to establish a basement so that the finishing process will look tidier and can protect the metal from unpleasant things.
They will also check the previous construction and make sure that it is properly established.
Renovating basement walls is a daunting task, but worth your time and money. It is more cost-effective compared to construct a room or design a new floor.