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How to Design and Plan Your Finished Basement

basement finishing planning

Basement finishing can add a ton of value to your home by maximizing the usable square footage. However, there is a right and wrong way and it all starts with basement finishing planning. The wrong approach can cost you thousands in repairs and renovations. The right approach can add thousands to your future sales price.

Check out these tips to learn how to design and plan your basement finishing in Glen Burnie MD.

Check for Moisture Protection before Installing Drywall

The soil in the Glen Burnie area is largely comprised of sand and clay. This mixture yields a lot of water movement in the rainy months, which ultimately puts pressure on the walls of your basement. It’s important to have a properly installed vapor barrier on the outer walls before you install drywall in your finished basement. Not only will this direct water away from your property, but it will also protect the sheetrock from mold and water damage.

Depending on the age of your home, Anne Arundel County building codes require a waterproofing membrane for habitable rooms and subsoil drainage. Even if you have this protection, check your basement for any areas where water or moisture is present.

Basement Finishing Planning – Create a Versatile Basement Layout

Most basements start off as a blank slate. You may have a designated area for a laundry room or storage closet, but for the most part, it’s an open floorplan.

When you create the design for basement finishing, think about versatility. You may want it for a workout room now, but eventually you may want a second living room or a playroom for the kids. If you sell the home in the future, that versatility will translate to a higher sales price.

This doesn’t mean that you have to keep the basement open. You can still add a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, or any other element you like. Just try not to make the space so specific that it would be difficult to adapt to future needs.

Choose Durable Flooring Materials: Vinyl vs. Carpet

Concrete floors make a basement feel cold and unfinished. If you want that polished, inviting look, you need to consider your flooring options. Ideally you should choose a durable floor material that could handle heavy foot traffic (especially if the basement has an entrance from outside). Luxury vinyl planks are popular for homes in this area, but some homeowners prefer carpet because of noise absorption and softness. You can’t go wrong with either as long as you have it professionally installed.

Add a Bedroom If You Have the Square Footage

If there is enough space in your basement for a bedroom and a living area, you should definitely add a bedroom. You may not be able to label it as an official bedroom when you sell the house, but buyers can see its potential. Legal bedrooms must have certain sized windows, and not all basements allow for that. Nevertheless, you could show that your house has a mother-in-law suite, a downstairs office, a homeschool room – anything you want! And all it takes is a few extra walls.

Plumb for a Bathroom and a Kitchenette

As a standard home building rule, you should have a bathroom on every floor of your house. The last thing you want is for guests to have to trek up the stairs every time they need to use the restroom. Even if you can only fit a powder room in there, it gives your family and your visitors a convenient place to go.

If you’re running the plumbing for a bathroom, you might as well add a kitchenette to the basement. This could be used as a wet bar or as an actual kitchen area for a mother-in-law suite. It’s these extra touches that add tremendous value to basement finishing.

Close off the Laundry Area

If your laundry is in the basement, close it off in some way. This may involve designing an entire laundry room or just creating a laundry closet where the appliances hide. Most laundry areas aren’t that nice to look at, and they quickly become cluttered. This is a way to disguise the mess so you can better enjoy the basement.

Work with Licensed Contractors Who Specialize in Basement Finishing

When you’re ready to start your basement finishing planning, choose building contractors that specialize in basement finishing. You want a crew that is licensed, insured, experienced, and prepared to tackle any challenge that comes their way. J&R Pro Service offers basement finishing in Glen Burnie MD and surrounding areas.



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