Basement Remodeling Checklist

Summary Basement Remodeling Checklist for Finishing a Basement

By Mark J. Donovan




Remodeling a basement is great way to create additional living space and increase the value of your home. However before grabbing a hammer and nailing up some 2x4s, it is imperative to first develop a comprehensive basement remodeling checklist. By creating a basement remodeling checklist you can step back and plan the entire basement remodeling project to make sure you get the finished basement you are looking for.

A basement remodeling checklist should include everything from developing basement remodeling plans, to obtaining the final inspection. There are many steps along the way between these two major milestones, and many homeowners are unfamiliar with what they are. However each one of these steps is critical in the process of successfully completing a basement remodeling project.

To help get you started in planning a basement remodeling project, I have summarized below a high level basement remodeling checklist.

I must reiterate that this brief checklist of action items is only the first step in the process of fully fleshing out a set of basement remodeling plans. Before remodeling begins, you will need to develop a much more comprehensive basement remodeling checklist if you are to ensure a smooth and successful basement remodeling project.



Summary Basement Remodeling Checklist

1) Visit Banks to Understand your Basement Remodeling Financing Options

Unless you are planning to pay cash for your basement remodeling project, you will need to obtain bank financing. Without the cash or financing your basement remodeling project won’t get very far. Talk with a few local banks to find out which ones will loan you money, how much money, and at what terms.

2) Evaluate your Basement for Finishing

Not all basements can support being finished. You may need to have your local building inspector come by to evaluate it for sufficient headroom and egress. Also make sure there are no major water or moisture issues that cannot be resolved. All water and moisture issues should be completely and permanently resolved before starting a basement remodeling project. Otherwise you will end up with a moldy finished basement in short order.

3) Basement Remodeling Plans

You can either generate your own basement remodeling plans or enlist the services of an architect to create basement remodeling plans. Do not try to wing it, which many homeowners do when finishing a basement.

 Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet

I can always tell when a basement was finished on a wing and a prayer, and most other people do as well, including future home buyers. So don’t skimp on creating a complete set of basement remodeling plans.

4) Hire a Basement Remodeling Contractor and Subcontractors

With a complete set of basement remodeling plans in place, meet with prospective basement remodeling contractors to solicit contractor remodeling bids. Carefully review each contractor bid to determine which basement remodeling contractor is right for your basement remodeling project.

5) Obtain Financing (If Required)

Once you have selected a contractor and know your basement remodeling costs you can obtain financing on the project.

6) Pull Basement Remodeling Permits

With a basement remodeling contractor and financing in place, visit your local building inspector to pull remodeling permits. You will most likely need to pull permits for framing, electrical, and plumbing.

Basement Remodeling checklist

7) Begin Basement Remodeling

Once you have the basement remodeling permits in hand you are ready to begin construction on your basement remodeling project. Start and completion dates for construction work to begin should have been included in the timeline provided by your basement remodeling contractor.

8) Inspect your Basement Remodeling Contractor’s Work Regularly

Unlike a new home construction project, it is much easier to keep tabs on your basement remodeling project. You simply have to walk downstairs. Plan to review the basement remodeling work each day, and preferably while the basement remodeling contractor is on site so that you can discuss any issues that you may see. However, don’t be a pain in the neck. Make no more than 1 or 2 visits a day. Any more will be unproductive. When inspecting the remodeling contractor’s work check to see if it is complying to the basement remodeling plans and to the quality level you expected.


9) Schedule Basement Remodeling Inspections

At the completion of each major phase of the basement remodeling project, e.g. the completion of framing, rough electric, rough plumbing, etc, the local building inspector should be contacted to come by and inspect and sign off on the work.

10) Obtain Final Inspection

When the basement remodeling project is complete, obtain the final inspection approval from the local building inspector. With the final inspection complete, your newly remodeled basement is ready for use.

It is important to remember that this is a summary basement remodeling checklist. There are many other detailed steps along the way, and additional major steps that may need to be taken depending upon your unique situation. For example, if the basement remodeling project requires water or moisture mitigation before construction, you may need to enlist the services of basement waterproofing company.

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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