Evaluating a Basement's Potential

If you're considering remodeling a basement take a look at this checklist to help you determine how you can use the space to the benefit of your family life.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

Evaluating a Basement's Potential

In many homes a basement can be found space that’s ripe for remodeling to expand the living area in space that’s already under roof so an addition isn’t necessary. If you have a basement and want to tap its hidden possibilities get started by evaluating the space and how you want to use it. Snoop around and look for signs of moisture and condensation, water marks and signs of seepage on the floor and walls. If you find moisture marks take steps to eliminate them before going any further; at the ceiling look for pest infestation in the exposed joists.

Use an online design tool or clipboard with notepaper to walk around the basement and create a rough sketch marking the locations of the following. Then use this checklist as a guideline for what to consider and the scope of the work involved.

  • stairs, windows, doors, and support poles
  • heating and cooling systems like a furnace, heat pump, hot water heater
  • utility area with clothes washer, dryer and wash tub

Some of these upgrades are easy for a do-it-yourselfer, others are not. If you don't have the time, or inclination to do a job yourself, click here to get to Home Advisor, a free online referral service connecting homeowners with local prescreened contractors who specialize in finishing basements.

You'll find job costs of 8 of the most popular basement improvements at Pricing Out Basement Fix Up Projects.

More related articles are the Basement Worksheet and Stages of a Basement Remodel.