What to Consider When Finishing a Basement Living Space?

What to Consider When Finishing a Basement Living Space?

Lisa Crosley, President, Lifestyle Comfort Solutions guides homeowners looking to add basement living space to their homes.

Dayton homeowners looking for room to stretch out often turn basements into usable living space.  More often than not, it’s a great investment. Beside adding function to the home, finished basements may provide as much as 70% return on investment. More often than not, finishing existing space is less expensive than building new rooms onto the home. Lifestyle Comfort Solutions offers the following cautions when turning that dungeon into a dream.

Test for Moisture

Pay special attention to moisture in the space.  You may need to add mechanical dehumidifiers.  Here’s a simple test:  Cut sections of plastic about 4’ by 6’ and secure to the walls.  If moisture forms under the plastic, the foundation walls may need to be sealed.  If moisture forms on top of the plastic, it’s more likely to require humidity control.

Relay on a professional like Lifestyle Comfort Solutions to help you make the final decisions here.

Seal and Insulate

Hot and cold water-pipes and floors may need specialized insulation products and techniques to guard against moisture which could ruin a finished area.  Like mechanical ventilation, sealing and insulation is best done by a professional.

Ventilation is Key

Though you may want to make use of every square inch for family fun, don’t short-change the area devoted to the mechanical room.  Fuel-burning appliances like your furnace and hot water heater need unrestricted air to run efficiently.

Carbon monoxide, deadly in as little as 15 minutes, is heavier than air.  Basement spaces, especially those without windows, require special attention to ventilation and professional monitoring of CO levels at all times.

Consider Duct Work

Much of a home’s duct work runs along basement ceilings.  While finished ceilings make basements feel like an integral part of the home, duct work may need to remain open for inspection.  Basements may require added duct work to heat/cool to your desired level of comfort.  Like ventilation, decisions about duct work are best made in cooperation with a trusted HVAC provider like Lifestyle Comfort Solutions.

Consider HVAC Options

The current heating/cooling system in the home may no be adequate to manage the increased demands of a basement living space. Here are practical solutions:

  • Add a second system to manage the basement area
  • Upgrade an aging system with a new, energy-efficient model large enough to serve the entire home
  • Consider zoning options professionally designed for your space.
  • Ductless, mini splits may cost more to install, but are growing in popularity.

Lifestyle Comfort Solutions is your trusted partner in creating a Dayton home which is comfortable, safe, healthy, and energy efficient.


The image “Finished Basement” by smadden is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0