Designing a Finished Basement – Don’t Forget Your GC!

A newly finished basement provides a brand-new space for lounging, entertaining, and family gatherings. A finished basement can function as a fully-equipped bar, personal gym, or a home theater. It’s important to understand the steps involved in finishing a basement and how a general contractor can assist with this home improvement.

Finishing a Basement – What’s Involved?

The process of finishing your basement is easier to understand when it’s broken down into phases.

Consultation and Design

finished basement

When first meeting with your general contractor, bring your ideas, inspiration, a preferred timeline, and a budget. These will allow the contractor to draw up designs that fit your wants and needs. When designing the space, think about how you’d like to use your finished basement. Will it be for hosting guests and spending time with family? Would you like a bathroom, a bar, or office space? The possibilities are endless, and you can be creative with the customization.

This is also the time to ask your general contractor questions. Your contractor is the expert and should be available to walk you through the project and address any questions or concerns you have. Communication is key when working on a home renovation.

Preparation Stage for Finishing a Basement

clearing out basement

Before starting the work, your contractor will need to obtain the proper permits according to local construction/building codes. Good contractors know the regulations well for their service areas and understand how easy or difficult obtaining permits could be.

After securing the proper permits, remove everything stored in your basement to clear the space for inspection and construction. Your general contractor will then perform an inspection of your basements’ structures, HVAC systems, plumbing, wiring, and moisture levels to get a good understanding of the condition of these components. The space will then be prepped to prevent damage to your home and excessive debris.

Basement Remodel Construction

Depending on what renovations you’ve chosen, construction time will vary. During this stage, stay in close touch with the foreman of the project to receive updates or changes to the schedule. After the renovation is finished, your contractor will do a final inspection in order to make sure the work was completed properly and everything on your checklist was completed.

Depending on a variety of factors, your remodel timeline may change and the costs may increase. It’s always a good idea to cushion the timeline with an extra week or two and add about 25% to the overall budget for wiggle-room.

Finished Basement FAQs

If you’ve never tackled a home renovation project before, you’re bound to have plenty of questions. Here are some frequently asked questions on finishing a basement:

How Long Will Finishing My Basement Take?

finished basement timeline

This answer depends on the size of the remodel, design, and finishes you choose. A finished basement can take between a few weeks to a month or two. Be upfront with your contractor about what you want done and they should provide a pretty accurate timeframe. Consider renovating when you aren’t extremely busy and will not be as disrupted by the construction.

How Much Will Finishing My Basement Cost?

Similar to the timeline, the cost of finishing your basement will vary depending on the design. Costs can run from a few thousand dollars up to around $50,000 or more. Choose a budget that you’re comfortable with and your contractor will work within it.

Do I Need Permits to Finish My Basement?

Depending on the changes you’re making to your space, you may need a permit. A reputable general contractor will handle obtaining permits for the project and should be able to discuss the local codes with you.

Do I Need to Waterproof My Basement?

waterproof your basement

Have you had water in your basement before? Does it typically feel damp or smell musty? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you probably will need to waterproof your basement. Your contractor will perform tests to determine moisture levels and whether the basement needs to be waterproofed before construction begins. They will find any faulty structures that may let moisture in and fix them.

Why You Should Work with a General Contractor on Your Finished Basement

Working with a general contractor on your finished basement is your best option. Don’t DIY! Though you may be considering a do-it-yourself approach, working with a professional is to your benefit, and here’s why:

  • Regulations – There are various regulations that must be adhered to when finishing a basement. Depending on where you live, you’ll likely have to obtain a permit and meet the rigorous standards of your local building codes. This process is difficult to navigate without extensive knowledge of home building codes, so it’s simpler and safer to let the professionals handle this aspect.

  • Efficiencyconstruction workerSince general contractors have knowledge and experience with home renovations, they can map out a project and fit a budget much more effectively than someone without that expertise. Your project will more than likely be completed on time, without going over the budget due to oversights during the planning stage.

  • Quality – General contractors have access to high-quality materials and skilled workers. Working with a contractor ensures your renovation is done professionally and built to last. You may end up damaging your home or performing shoddy renovations if you attempt the work on your own. Contractors also get the lowest prices for their materials, which lowers the cost of the project.

Delco’s #1 GC for Your Finished Basement

If you’re looking for a general contractor to help you plan and execute your finished basement, consider working with Mancill Builders. We’ve served Delaware County for over 40 years and strive to provide each client with their dream home renovations. We believe in working directly with clients and communicating clearly and effectively. In addition to finishing basements, our expertise includes several remodeling projects, home additions, and custom home building. Contact us today to set up a consultation!