No basement renovation idea would be complete without first addressing the issue of finishing. There are plenty of options when it comes to turning a plain basement into a cozy and comfortable living space, but before you start copying decoration designs from magazines, you first need to ensure that the space under your main floor is worthy structurally, and capable of being transformed. To determine how livable your basement will be, consider these points:
Does it have moisture problems?
Do you see puddles of water periodically? Is it damp most of the time? Moisture problems should be addressed before making any decisions to finish the basement.
Does it have heating and cooling provisions?
Is your basement sufficiently cooled and heated, or do you have to install a supplemental heating and cooling system? Can you tap into existing ductwork to heat or cool the area? Have your basement been inspected by a qualified heating and cooling contractor? Inspection work has to be performed to establish if and what work needs to be done to make the space livable.
Is your basement ceiling height up to code?
Minimum ceiling height is going to be a factor. Since finishing the basement ceiling will decrease your headroom, you could end up with a ceiling height less than the minimum allowed. In Chicago, minimum ceiling height stands at 7 feet, 6 inches. Confirm that the finishing job you have done doesn’t go below this minimum.