Learn What You Should Consider In Terms Of Basement Waterproofing And Conversions

Whether or not you should do a basement conversion with waterproofing in your home is probably something that you think about quite a bit. It might even be a frequent topic of conversation you have with other homeowners and those that you live with. On the one side, a waterproofed and converted basement gives you extra usable space without moving into a bigger home or building a home extension. On the other hand, waterproofing and converting a basement not only costs money to do but will also result in higher utilities every month later on.

One of the most alluring aspects to waterproofing and converting your basement is the sheer number of possibilities in terms of using the space. Some homeowners simply enjoy the extra storage room for personal possessions, while others might create an office space in which they run a business from. A hybrid garage/laundry space is an effective use of such space that serve practical daily uses. Health-conscious families can enjoy a home gym or fitness space, whereas you could choose to create billiard space, game room, or home cinema to spend time relaxing with friends and family in. You might even be able to create a small flat that you let out for extra income. Depending on your available space and budget, you might even be able to install a sauna and/or indoor pool.

Cost is usually the biggest downside of a basement conversion. Depending on the state of your current home, you might be looking at a combination of earthworks, waterproofing, and improved ventilation.

Ventilation can not be overlooked. A basement isn't suitable for long-term use or occupation if the air is stale and its walls are covered with condensate and even mold. Improper and/or insufficient ventilation is often a trigger for these hazards. A basement's ventilation system must be accounted for in the design and budget stage. For that matter, you need to keep in mind that extra home space will also require electrical connections, plumbing fixtures, heating, possibly air conditioning, and maybe even television and Internet capability. All this has to be planned out, and it's likely to result, in some cases, in higher monthly utilities, especially for heat and electricity.

Other than cost, the one thing that might scare you the most about converting your basement is seeing it possibly get flooded by groundwater or rainfall. If you are going to prevent flooding, as well as high levels of humidity, in your basement, then you need to arrange for high-calibre waterproofing. The specific hydro-geological conditions of your home and property might only be truly measured by landscaping experts, soil testers, and architects. Adding such specialists to a project can add to the overall project expense, and you might have to pay them just to find out that the project simply isn't worth it. Then again, they might also be key to designing a dream basement that is dry and cool to spend time in.

Another factor to consider is the financial impact of waterproofing and converting your basement. On top of the initial expense and possibly larger utilities down the road, you might have to pay for licenses, fees, and permits from your municipal government just to be able to do such work. Some neighbourhoods might even have bylaws, restrictions, or covenants that restrict what you can and can't do. Also, you need to balance the possibility of higher home value when you sell later versus higher property taxes until then.

The first step in this process is figuring out a realistic budget that you can afford or are willing to commit to. The second step is drawing up a list of the specific features that you would like your waterproofed and converted basement to have when it's all said and done.

Consult at least three contractors or builders for quotes and assessments. You shouldn't have to pay for these, nor should you trust their quotes and figures unless they come out and physically inspect your property directly. As you deal with more and more quotes/contractors, you will get a feel for realistic prices and who you might feel comfortable with.

Ideally, you will find someone that can do the work for 85% of your budget or less, so that you have room for the nearly inevitable problems and cost overruns.

Author's Bio: 

Adam Davidson is an experienced basement waterproofing expert running his own business - Davidsons DPR, with over 25 years experience.