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Your basement is brimming with potential to become a livable space that can fill a unique need for your family. With the right type of remodeling project, your basement can be transformed into a bedroom, a game room, an in-law suite, a home office or so much more.

Before you can remodel this often neglected or underutilized space, however, there are a few steps to take in order to get yourself and the room ready for the project.

What Comes First in a Basement Renovation?

How much preparation you have to do on your basement in Delaware before it’s ready for an upgrade depends on its current use and condition. If your basement is unfinished—which means open ceilings, concrete walls and exposed pipes and beams—you must plan to insulate the walls, install a flooring and add a ceiling just to make the space habitable. If your basement is already finished, you may be using it as storage or for another purpose, in which case your job is prepping it for a makeover

Here are several tasks to include on your basement remodel checklist that must be finished before you can start the onsite transformation:

1. Clean and Declutter Your Basement

Before you begin your basement remodel in Delaware, you should clean the space. Remove any trash, boxes, old materials, broken furniture or whatever else you have stored in the basement. You can also use this as an opportunity to go through this collection of stuff and decide what to keep and what to dispose of. Ultimately, you want your basement space to be clear and open, so as not to impede your remodeling team while they’re trying to work.

2. Check the Foundation

Another important pre-construction task for basement finishing and/or remodeling is assessing the state of the foundation. Basement walls and floors can collect cracks and leaks as a result of stress or settling. If left unattended, they can weaken the concrete and eventually cause serious foundation issues. Other indicators of foundation problems include: cracked, bulging or curved outside walls; bowing or slanted floors; soft concrete; stuck windows; or doors that won’t latch properly. Now is the time to evaluate the foundation and complete repairs.

3. Identify Potential Code Violations

Depending on when and how your Delaware home was constructed, your basement may not be up to code. Even a basic basement remodel often includes adding a proper fire escape and egress windows, as emergency escape and rescue openings are required in New Castle County. You may also need to pull permits for your project depending on the scope of work. If finishing your basement will involve electrical and plumbing work, for example, there are several rules and regulations to follow and you’ll need to plan to schedule future inspections. Fortunately, if you have hired a professional remodeler to assist you with your basement project, they’ll know what permits are required and how to bring your space up to code.

4. Moisture and Mold Evaluations

The next step is to perform a moisture test to help you decide if you need to first waterproof your basement before remodeling. For example, did you find cracks in the walls, ceiling and floors when assessing the foundation? Is there wet soil beneath the basement? Are there areas where mold and mildew are growing? Depending on the answer to these and other questions, you may need to perform some tasks to waterproof your basement. A few ways to do that include adding a better draining system; applying waterproof coating or paint to interior walls; regrading the slope of your lawn; adjusting your sprinklers; and redirecting downspouts away from your foundation. These projects should be finished before adding insulation and sheetrock.

5. Refine Your Vision

There are numerous ways to use a finished basement. Which one is right for your home and family? Do you need another bathroom or powder room, a laundry room, a bedroom or a multifunctional space? In-home wet bars are also becoming a popular option for basement remodels. You don’t want to just shoot from the hip when renovating your home, as that can undermine the efficiency and value of your project. Develop a vision and specific project priorities. You can generate finished basement ideas by talking with a remodeler or browsing Houzz, Pinterest or similar websites.

6. Hire a Team to Design Your Basement Remodel

Remodeling your basement in Delaware is a major project, especially if your vision includes a bathroom, kitchen space or wet bar. With such a big investment on the line, you want to ensure it’s done correctly the first time. To that end, it’s time to hire a remodeling team to design plans and construct your basement renovation or upgrade. A local contractor will be able to secure the right materials, pull the proper permits, develop plans, and oversee the actual construction to convert your basement into a new space that is at once beautiful, comfortable and functional.

Starting Your Basement Remodel in Delaware

Finishing or remodeling your basement can add significant value to your home in New Castle County, not to mention giving your family extra space to evolve and live more comfortably. At Bromwell Construction Company, we know how rewarding basement remodeling can be when done correctly.

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