If you're thinking about adding more room to your home, consider remodeling your basement instead. While it might be a dark cave at the moment, a bit of work can make your basement into a beautiful and functional living space that can greatly increase your home's utility and add to its value. A basement remodel can be extensive, and you will likely need to contact some professionals to help you complete the job. Here are some things to consider as you prepare before calling the pros:
Make sure it all checks out
Even the most unpleasant basement can be made into a beautiful living space, but you will want to conduct a home inspection ahead of any serious construction work. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a preventable issue undermine whatever work you have completed. One of the most common risks to look out for at this stage is moisture. Basements can often get damp as a result of moisture seeping in from the outside or condensation forming, and both issues need to be dealt with before you install drywall. To find out if your basement is at risk, tape plastic sheeting to the walls and floor. Check on the sheeting periodically and note if there are water droplets on either side. If so, you're going to need to eliminate the moisture before moving ahead.
It's also possible to have carbon monoxide build up in the poorly ventilated recesses of your basement, so be sure to contact a professional heating expert who can check your ducts and make sure everything is in working order.
Have a plan
Basements introduce organizational concerns that are not present elsewhere in homes. For instance, some rooms may require egress windows that allow people to escape the building in an emergency. If this is the case in your area, it will be necessary to position these rooms along the perimeter of your home. You'll also need to account for the lower ceiling height in most basements and the ways that this can be decreased further by ductwork and plumbing that often runs along basement ceilings. This can be a bigger issue than it seems because certain areas have codes related to ceiling height. If you are concerned about any dimensional elements, you should contact an architect who can help your draw up some blueprints and discuss the possibility of moving ductwork and other obstructions.