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Common Basement Remodeling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

basement remodeling mistakes

Common Basement Remodeling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

A finished basement is a road to many possibilities for your home. Finished basements have recently become the main focus of remodeling projects. It may or may not be a considerable investment, depending on what you plan on doing with your basement. Still, the primary concern while redoing your basement is to avoid the common basement remodeling mistakes that people often make.

Understanding Basement Remodeling Mistakes

common basement remodeling mistakes

You can remodel your basement into anything of your liking, such as a game room, media room, studio, bar; the options are endless! What is even better is that it adds to your property’s resale value and is likely to give a 70% return on your original investment. Insane, right?

What homeowners fail to realize is how easy it is to finish a remodeled basement incorrectly. Even if it looks exceptional on the outside, there are several factors that you need to recheck before you handover the final amount to your contractor.

Common blunders made during the remodeling project can lead to mold spores, mildew, and other things that tend to corrupt your walls and flooring and do irreparable damage.

Considering the amount of money you will contribute to that kind of remodeling, you deserve to get the job done right. So here are a few basement remodeling mistakes that you must, and can easily, avoid.

Get a Permit!

The first thing you must do before letting any construction work start at your home is to get a government permit. Getting a permit is not very tough or expensive, and you must get one when you are going to make any structural changes in your house. 

The permit helps protect you against any misdeeds done by the contractor, and therefore, do not avoid this process. Especially, if you are going the DIY route.

Do Not Ignore the Odor

If and when you are planning on remodeling your basement, do not forget to go down there and take a big, long whiff of the place.

 Since the cellar’s position is below the soil, they are likely to absorb the moisture in the ground if the walls are originally not built strong and thick enough.

If your basement is having mold problems or fundamental foundation issues, then spending thousands of dollars finishing that room is simply a waste of money. 

Because sooner or later, the pungent odor will catch on and become more prominent, and even start showing itself on the walls in the form of black mold. 

So, if your place smells and feels wet, inspect that place well and make sure that it is adequately insulated.

Sufficient Lighting

You generally consider the basement to be a scary and spooky area. It is usually chilly and dark, and if you are planning to remodel that little space, you better go for sufficient lights. 

Installation of recessed lighting is essential in your basement because natural light’s entry may or may not be possible. Since basements are built underground, they do not have a window and therefore need the right lighting fixtures. 

These fixtures are not only for the adjustment of human eyes.  They also help to avoid the build-up of moss and mildew on the walls, ceiling, and flooring of the basement.

 If you still want dim lights in there, you can opt for a dimmer switch, which will help you set the lighting according to your mood.

The Basement is Still a Part of Your Home

kitchen and bath shopEven though the basement is kept separate from the rest of the house, the basement is still a part of the house. Many people tend to neglect this room and focus only on their home’s prominent layout, but the basement is equally essential.

The basement is generally placed downstairs, below the main layout, and the windows are constructed very high on the walls, and sometimes there are no windows. This makes the room dark, damp, and dingy. It is your responsibility to look after this room, even before remodeling it. 

Similarly, you have to make sure that the room receives enough light. At the very least, if not natural, then artificial. This helps avoid moss and mildew growth. Likewise, regular cleaning of the room is essential too.

Waterproofing is a Must

One of the main basement remodeling mistakes that people make is not to make their basements waterproof. Unfortunately, if there is a flood, your basement is the first to get flooded before reaching the main layout. 

So as for flood prevention, make sure you have provided proper protection to your basement. In this case, if you are going for a basement remodel, make sure to invest in a waterproofing system.

It should include a backup sump pump, a concrete vapor barrier, and French drains. All of these will help you drive water away from the house and keep your basement safe.


Carpeting your basement floors may help you avoid walking on cold concrete, but it is also among the more significant basement remodeling mistakes. 

Carpet floors are the toughest to salvage after a flood. Not just that, it is also incredibly high maintenance and very risky for a place like a basement.

If you are going to remodel your basement, the best option for your flooring is vinyl tiles. These tiles are easily removable in the event of a flood or otherwise, and you can easily replace them too. 

They come in different patterns and colors and are relatively cheap also. So this is the best option to go for your basement floors.

Ceiling Height Matters

ceiling height in a basement

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

Basements may be significant in their breadth, but they are most likely to be lacking in height. Since they are under the ground, the ceiling’s height may not be very high, making you hunch while walking in and out of it.

So if you are going for a remodeling project, ignoring the height is one of the common basement remodeling mistakes you can make. 

You might as well increase the costs and add extra 12 inches to it by digging out the basement. This will also help your basement look more spacious. 

However, if you cannot flex your budget further, you can always make it look bigger. An easy way to do this is by positioning your light upwards. You can also use light and moveable furniture to expand and make the space cozier.