Looking to remodel your Pennsylvania basement but not sure where to start? First, you’ll need to do some generic finishing work that every basement needs. Then, you’ll decide the type of room you’ll create in your newly finished basement. Here’s our guide to help you through both processes.
How to Finish a Basement in Pennsylvania
As mentioned above, you need to finish your basement before remodeling it into a new room. The cost of finishing your basement varies depending on size, dividing walls, and any HVAC, plumbing, or electrical work needed for your intended use. It could cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000.
Waterproofing and Insulating Against Pennsylvania Weather
Without proper waterproofing or insulation, basements would allow moisture from the ground to seep through and heat to escape through the concrete. Pennsylvania can become very cold during the winter, so insulation is essential to keep your basement warm and liveable. Once the ground thaws in March, you’ll need to ensure your basement is waterproof to survive the wet seasons and discourage mold or mildew. Foundation repairs and leak sealing may be necessary to waterproof your basement.
Framing Walls, Ceilings, and Flooring
After your basement is waterproofed and insulated, you’ll need to frame the walls for drywall and the ceiling for a conventional or drop ceiling. Not only will you frame your exterior walls but also your dividing walls if you plan on separating your basement into multiple rooms. You’ll also need to decide between a conventional ceiling, which looks nicer, and a drop ceiling, which is less expensive. Finally, you should cover up that concrete flooring with interior flooring. Be it tiles, hardwood, or carpeting, finishing your floors will make your basement truly livable.
Make Sure You Follow the PA Building Code
Throughout the whole process, make sure you are following Pennsylvania’s building code. In order to count your finished basement among the square footage of your home, you need a point of egress at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches tall. This can be a window or exterior door. Your municipality might have additional requirements to abide by as well, so check with your local zoning officer. Finally, if you are doing any electrical, HVAC, or plumbing work, you’ll likely need a building permit. Again, check with your local zoning officer.
Trendy Basement Remodeling Ideas
Once your basement is finished, you need to decide what to do with your new liveable space. Most people will turn their finished basement into a generic living room, perhaps with an additional bathroom if their budget allows for it. What if you’re looking for something a little more unique? Here are 6 trendy ideas to make your basement remodel a little more unique.
Basement Bar or Kitchenette
If you enjoy hosting parties or would like to cook some game-day snacks without heading upstairs, then a bar or kitchenette would be perfect for your basement remodel. Install a countertop, bar seating, a mini fridge or wine fridge, some cabinetry, and a sink and you’re ready to host some memorable parties. The plumbing for your sink might be a bit pricey but if you’re already planning on installing a bathroom, it may be less expensive.
Why pay for expensive gym memberships when you can workout at home? Free up some space in your garage by moving your home gym equipment to your newly finished basement. Install some mirrors or a TV on your gym walls and some foam floor tiles for safety.
Creating a kids’ playroom in your basement is a great way to free up space in your home and give your children a safe place to be rambunctious kids. You can install padded carpet squares or foam floor tiles to keep them safe while running around. A small indoor slide or jungle gym will make your basement an amazing playroom. Of course, you’ll want a toy chest to keep all of their toys organized as well.
Another space-saving solution with your finished basement is to move your laundry room downstairs. You can section off a dedicated laundry room with dividing walls and install cabinetry along with the plumbing needed for your washing machine. You can store your cleaning supplies, as well as linens that you don’t use as often.
The most expensive renovation you can make to your basement is turning it into an apartment or in-law suite. Although expensive, you can turn this space into an extra source of income by renting it out to a permanent resident or on a home-sharing app, like Airbnb. If you frequently host friends and family overnight, this can also be a good way to give them a little space of their own. You’ll need to install a full bathroom, kitchen, or kitchenette, and have enough space for a bedroom. It’s also a good idea to have a full-sized door, rather than the minimally required egress so that renters don’t have to walk through your house to the apartment.
Another expensive renovation to your basement would be a home theater. Creating a home theater in a basement is perfect for cinema aficionados to get the movie theater experience without leaving their home. You’ll need a movie screen and projector installed on your wall, quality surround sound speakers, and comfortable, theater-like seating to relax in. Mood lighting can also set the tone for your home theater. Lastly, you’ll want to consider a bar or kitchenette for easy access to movie snacks.
Get Started on Your Basement Renovation Today
Ready to start your own basement remodeling project? Contact the experienced renovation professionals at E&E Contracting today! We’ll help bring your vision to life, no matter how unique.