So you purchased your dream home, which is great. But there’s just one thing that didn’t make it onto the list of must-haves: a better basement. Whether the basement in your new home is ugly and outdated, it’s not even finished, or it just doesn’t have the features and layout you’ve envisioned, the time to make changes is now – before you move in.
You understandably want to transform your Portland basement into a fully-functional area of your home. But where do you start? How can you budget for it? What is the typical timeline? Will it get done in time for your move? We can answer all those questions and more.
Determine a Budget and Timeline
Whether you plan on a DIY basement rehab project or you’re hiring a contractor, coming up with a plan beforehand is crucial. You have to consider the scope of the project, including where you want to spend your hard earned money and what details you want that will make the result truly unique.
Unexpected problems, delays and changes can increase costs very quickly. Padding your budget and timeline to account for these snafus is a wise move. Be sure to build some contingencies into your estimate to cover unplanned circumstances and emergencies. Come up with a reasonable project timeline so you can plan for timely completion.
DIY or Professional?
Before you begin your project, the biggest question is: will you do it yourself or hire a contractor? This will depend on your budget, your abilities, the supplies and equipment you have on hand, and your availability. If you are unfamiliar with home renovations, let the pros handle all the heavy lifting and details. You can always put on the finishing touches yourself later if you choose.
It’s also a good idea to hire a professional to inspect the area first and see if there are any moisture or mold issues that must be addressed first. If you like DIY’ing things, you can handle some of the tasks, such as painting, hanging shelves, installing light fixtures, placing floor tiles, hanging doors, and caulking.
Just keep in mind you have to consider compliance with building codes, HOA regulations and safety. Have an electrician check all the wiring and connections before beginning. You never know if the previous owners took shortcuts and did some of the work themselves. It’s better to start fresh and know that you’re doing things above board.
Hire licensed inspectors to visit your basement throughout the process to make sure everything is progressing nicely.
If you are moving into a brand new construction home, you can be pretty sure the basement will be a safe, dry space to renovate the way you want. But if you’re moving into a 100-year-old home, you may have a much more complex basement renovation ahead of you.
Check out the headroom first, as older homes typically have lower ceilings – not like today’s modern homes of eight feet or more. Next, check out the existing floorplan to see where appliances and fixtures are placed. Maybe the furnace is in the middle of the room. Maybe you have to move heating ducts and plumbing systems, or maybe you will have to add electrical outlets.
Look at the floors. Are they level? Are the windows and walls watertight? Are the drains and sump pumps in good working order? If not, address these issues now before you progress.
And lastly, think about whether you have the rime, resources and budget to handle the Portland basement rehab on your own from start to finish. Be realistic about your abilities. Are you likely to run out of steam halfway through and have to live with half-installed drywall or a jumble of floor tiles for years?
The whole reason you’re renovating the basement in the first place is to make it more homey. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If this seems too challenging for you, hire a professional.
Plan Things Thoroughly
Whether you plan to convert the existing basement into a game room, movie theater, extra bedroom, home office or gym, you have to come up with a solid plan ahead of time. A movie theater will need a state of the art audio visual system with mood lighting and seating, which are very different requirements than a home office, for example.
If you’re planning to make an extra bedroom, you won’t want to have a furnace or water heater crammed into the back of your closet, inaccessible and in the dark.
When increasing living space, don’t forget that your storage space will also be impacted. You may still want to set aside a portion of your basement for storing seasonal items such as holiday decorations, lawn equipment and patio furniture.
Make It Comfortable
Above all, you want your Portland basement to be comfortable and cozy, no matter what the purpose is. Add noise proofing if you’re converting the basement into a music room. Add rubber flooring if you are converting it into a home gym, or wall to wall carpeting for a bedroom. Consider the purpose and build the room around those needs.
Don’t forget about lighting. Track lighting can brighten up windowless spaces. You can add to the ambiance of the room with recessed lighting and dimmer switches. Put task lighting near areas of focus, such as over desks or near exercise equipment.
Keep furniture colors neutral, with modular sofas and bold accent pieces rather than dark and heavy pieces. The point is, you have endless possibilities when it comes to rehabbing your Portland basement!
Call Portland Move
For more tips and pointers for rehabbing your basement, call us at 971-265-6410. We would be happy to supply you with a free quote on your Portland relocation so you can enjoy a seamless process from start to finish.