Choosing My Contractor

Choosing My Contractor

Common Problems With Finishing A Basement

Diego Rojas

You need more space, but you don't want to move. Luckily, you have all that space in the basement that you can turn into something useful -- or can you?

Building Codes

Always check your local building codes before beginning work because they may render your project unbuildable. For example, some localities require two ways to exit a finished basement. If there are no windows and no way to build in an egress window, you may not be able to get permitting.

Ceiling Height

Basements usually have low ceilings, meaning they do not reach the standard eight-foot height. If you plan to do drop ceilings or float a wood floor, you may not have room, especially if you are tall. You won't be able to use some gym equipment in a low-ceiling basement, meaning anything that puts you above floor level and has you bouncing, such as a treadmill or trampoline.

Water Intrusion

Basements are notorious for staying damp. Make sure to seal all areas where water can seep in. If you're going to put up paneling or wallboard, create some space between the concrete and the wall material by using furring strips, but first, waterproof the wall with some sort of waterproof material or sealer.


Adding a bathroom to a basement may not be a simple task. If the main drain for the house runs aboveground, you'll need some specialized equipment and a pump, to make the water flow upwards into the drain.

The Utility Room

There are building codes that cover how far away structures have to be from heaters, boilers, hot water heaters and other utilities, and the law may prohibit putting anything in that area. It's best just to leave the area alone if possible, but check the codes to see what your options are.

Electrical, Heating, and Cooling

These are things that should always be handled by a professional for many reasons. For example, if you have no window in the basement, you will need to create air flow for any heating or air conditioning installation. Only a professional can do the necessary calculations and proper installation to ensure your safety.  Electrical wiring has to be installed so that it is not in contact with a damp, outside wall or floor, so it may have to be run through some sort of conduit to prevent electrical shock.

Usually you can work things out to have a useful basement space, but you may not be able to have everything you want. An experienced contractor can tell you what you can and can't do and how it needs to be done.

For basement finishing, contact a company such as Hopley Builders Inc.


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About Me
Choosing My Contractor

By the time I finally finished saving money for my new home, I knew that I wanted something special. I didn't want to buy a starter home, and I really didn't want to deal with fixing up an older place. Instead of scouring the market and dealing with real estate agents, I decided to work with a general contractor to start building a place of my own. However, I didn't choose my contractor willy nilly either. I spend hours interviewing and researching various construction firms until I found the business I wanted to work with. This blog is all about working with contractors, so that you can make better construction decisions.