Hire a Contractor to Finish Your Basement or DIY?

Sep 22, 2015

An unfinished basement can seem like an easy project for homeowners to tackle on their own, but professionals warn that unexpected expenses and challenges lurk around every corner. Considering a DIY basement finishing project? Read on to be sure you’re ready for the road ahead.

Extended timeline

If you’re finishing your basement for an upcoming event or activity, know that contractors say most DIY basement finishing projects take two years to complete, if they’re even finished at all. Unless you’re a professional handyman, it can be challenging if not impossible to keep life and your day job out of the way enough to dedicate time to this ongoing project.

Permit? What permit?

Many homeowners may not realize that depending on their municipality and province, extensive permits are required before you begin work to ensure changes are up to standards. Codes such as ensuring that any lumber that touches the floor is treated to prevent decay, and creating a vapour barrier instead of framing directly against a wall are measures that can lead to mold and decay if they’re not implemented correctly. Major structural damage can be caused to the house if the homeowner doesn’t build floating walls, allowing the concrete floor to shift without causing harm to the structural integrity of the home.

Furnace efficiency can also be affected by not allowing proper ventilation or using foil-backed insulation or a fire block during framing, which can even allow a fire to spread if one starts.

Ceiling height minimums

Another item potential DIYers may not think about is ceiling height. While ceilings are required to be 7 feet tall minimum, anything below 7 feet 9 inches will feel very cramped and tight, making the rooms look even smaller than they are. Installing drywall instead of a dropped ceiling may make it a little more challenging to get to pipes in the future, but it will save you valuable inches of ceiling space and also money.

Water and moisture problems

If you’re seeing water or moisture in your basement now, do not start a remodeling job immediately! Work towards getting the basement completely dry and tight for several months before starting updates to ensure you’ve got all the problems solved and save yourself expensive rework in the future. The best option is to hire a specialized basement waterproofing company like the Crack Doctor, not a general contractor, before starting any kind of drying-in project on your basement. Specialized basement waterproofing companies they have advanced water-beating techniques such as injection of advanced epoxies into foundation cracks capable of stopping leaks and can recommend when additional changes are needed such as adding a French drain.

To learn more, contact The Crack Doctor today.


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