If you’re running out of space, you’ve probably considered turning your basement into living space. After all, there are a lot of advantages. It’s pretty easy. It’s cheap. You’re not going to shrink your yard or change the profile of your house. It probably already has power and plumbing. And it doesn’t need a roof.
So it’s perfect for an extra bedroom (with more privacy than you might currently enjoy), an office, an extra bathroom, an entertainment or media room, or a workout space.
To decide if your basement’s suitable, use this checklist.
Is it dry all year long? If not, find out where the dampness is occuring. You can seal walls, improve drainage outside, and remove humidity with insulation, airflow and dehumidifiers.
Is the ceiling height suitable? Ideally, you want at least 8 feet, but 7 or even 6 feet might be suitable for some rooms. If you’re going to raise a floor above the cement, expect to lose at least a couple of inches.
Is it easy to get to? If you currently enter it through a trap door, you need to determine how you’ll plan a flight of stairs, and how much lost floor space this might mean upstairs.
Are there suitable fire exits? You’ll want more than just the stairway access. Windows that you can open and exit from are essential.
Even if you need to deal with additional waterproofing or stair planning, the basement room will likely be cheaper and more convenient than an addition.