Most of us are desperate for more space in our home. We love our neighborhood and schools, so moving is out of the question. Although we don’t always see ourselves as “basement people,” we realize it’s time to address our lower level once and for all.
- The kids are growing and we want to reclaim our “adult space” and get the toys out of the living room.
- We want our house to become the go-to place in the neighborhood so we can keep an eye on the kids (and their friends).
- We need to prepare for aging parents and want them to feel comfortable and have as much independence as possible while under our roof.
Regardless of the reasons, finishing (or renovating) the lower level of our home is something almost every homeowner tackles at some point. The trick is to do it the right way.
Here are 3 tips to do just that:
Timing is paramount. Don’t start a renovation until the floorplan is finalized and the materials are chosen and ordered. Too often homeowners will be in a hurry, and will rush their contractor to get started which only causes more stress, delayed timelines and often costly re-work.
Clear documentation with your contractor is key to ensuring you’re both on the same page and that your expectations are in alignment from the start. Disagreements usually ensue when there’s a disconnect between what the homeowner thought was included, and what the contractor actually intended to provide. Ensure your contractor provides a detailed “Scope of Work” outlining exactly what will (and will not) go into your project.
Long-term planning is critical. Most of us plan to stay in our homes for 10 to 15+ years and our family dynamic will change dramatically. When creating your new space, you want to be thinking of not only your current needs, but also how the space needs to grow with your family in the future.
For example, toy containment may be the focus when your kids are young, but where will they play their video games and hang out as teenagers? Will you eventually want a nice bar and pool table when the kids are out of the house? If so, you may want to rough in the plumbing for the future sink and ice maker now.
Taking time to design, plan, and document your project BEFORE the first hammer is swung is key to the success of any renovation project. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and tackle that basement and reclaim the space you deserve…it will be the best decision you ever made.