Basement Addition

A Basement Addition is an Excellent and Economical Way to Gain Home Living Space

By Mark J. Donovan




A basement addition or basement remodeling project is a great way to increase the living space in your home. It is also one of the most affordable solutions on a cost per square foot basis. Basement additions are ideal for creating recreation rooms, man caves, wet bars, home theatres, bedrooms, home gyms and even bathrooms.

Basement remodeling and basement additions are also excellent do it yourself home addition projects as they are easily isolated from the rest of the home and can be completed at your own pace.

Before undertaking a basement addition it is important to first develop a basement floor plan and to pull the necessary building permits.

Unlike a room addition, a basement addition, or basement remodeling project, do not require excavation work. Consequently a basement addition project is typically much more affordable than adding on a home addition.

When developing your basement remodeling plans there are a number of key items that you should first consider.

Basement Additions – Moisture Issues

Before starting a basement addition project all basement moisture issues must be fully and permanently eliminated. This may include putting in a French drain around the home’s foundation, and water sealing the inside and outside basement foundation walls.



Basement Utility Rooms

The basement is frequently used for housing furnaces, hot water tanks, and other mechanical equipment for the home.

When developing your basement remodeling plans make sure you can develop a separate room, or rooms for hiding off this equipment from the rest of the basement area.

When designing basement utility rooms make sure you have wide doorways to allow large mechanical fixtures to be removed and installed from the basement. In addition, you may need to add an air intake pipe into the furnace system if the utility room is too small.

 Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet

Basement Additions and Lighting

It is important to include plenty of lighting in your basement addition. Ideally you should include as much natural lighting as possible. If possible put in windows in knee walls to increase natural lighting. If there is a walkout side to the basement, consider including French doors or slider doors to let in more natural light.

In addition to natural lighting, it is important to provide sufficient electrical lighting. I highly recommend using a generous amount of can lights to maximize the lighting in the finished basement area.

Basement Additions and Flooring

Basement additions typically have high humidity levels. Consequently the use of wood flooring products should only be used after the moisture concerns have been fully resolved. If you plan to install a wood floor in your finished basement, make sure to install it on a wood subfloor. This will prevent the wood flooring product from coming directly in contact with the basement floor.

Besides wood flooring you can also consider using ceramic tile, marble, vinyl and carpet flooring products. Again with vinyl and carpet it is important that all basement moisture issues have been permanently resolved. Otherwise you may find yourself having to deal with mold and mildew issues.

Basement Addition and Basement Finishing

Basement Addition Ceilings

When planning a basement addition there are basically three ceiling choices you can consider. The two main ceiling choices are drywall and ceiling tiles. Both have their individual benefits. Drywall ceilings have a smoother finish, however ceiling tiles have come a long way in terms of looks and they offer much more utility when it comes to accessing overhead plumbing pipes.

The third choice for a basement addition ceiling is the industrial look. The industrial look is simply the application of paint over the existing basement ceiling, including all of the existing wires, pipes, and ductwork.

Hiring a Basement Addition Contractor

Once you have developed your basement addition plans, you can then begin the process of hiring a contractor to build it. Selecting a qualified and professional basement remodeling contractor can be difficult. However, it is important to find the right one for your basement remodeling project to ensure that it is built correctly and to your timeline and budget.

To find a qualified basement addition contractor you may want to consider using a national home addition contractor referral company. They have pre-screened and qualified basement remodeling contractors all around the country and maintain their names and contact information in a database.


Plus, their services are free to the homeowner. You simply fill out a free online form for your specific basement addition requirements and they will forward the information on to 3 or 4 basement addition contractors located in your area. The contractors will then contact you to set up a time to meet with you and review your basement addition or basement remodeling plans.

Obtaining Basement Addition Contractor Estimates

When obtaining basement addition estimates from contractors it is important to make sure that they provide you with a complete basement addition cost breakdown list of every phase of the project. The more detail in the basement addition cost breakdown list, or bid sheet, the more likely an accurate basement addition cost estimate.

To help in obtaining accurate and consistent basement addition contractor quotes, see my Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet provides a request for quote section that you can provide to prospective home addition contractors. It also includes a comprehensive basement remodeling cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the contractor to include his projected basement addition costs for every phase of the project.

When interviewing potential basement addition contractors make sure to check their references. Usually a good rule of thumb for evaluating a home addition contractor is to see how long their reference list is. The longer the list provided to you, the higher the probability that the contractor has a solid reputation. A long reference list also helps to get a sense for how long the contractor has been in business and his level of pride in his work.

Regardless of the length of the reference list, it is important to contact at least 3 or 4 of the references. Typically I like to contact a couple of recent basement addition projects completed by the contractor, and a couple 2-5 years out in the past. This way I can get a sense of his current work ethic and quality, as well as a feel for how his work holds the test of time.

So if you are looking to add new living space to your home, a basement addition or basement remodeling project is a great solution. Just plan accordingly and pull your construction permits first. By addressing the issues mentioned above prior to starting construction, you will save yourself a lot of hassles and get the basement addition you are looking for.

For more help on Basement Additions, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Basement Remodeling Bid sheet. The Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your basement remodeling project is done correctly and you get the project finished on time and budget.

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