Once you’ve taken the decision to go ahead with a basement renovation, you need to sit down and start the difficult job of planning the work. Taking the decision is easy – planning and carrying out the work can be full of pitfalls. Many problems that surface during the work period and after, have their roots in poor planning. There are plenty of examples of basement renovations around Toronto that lie in disrepair, their owners having bust their budgets in a big way, in addition to having wasted a lot of time. Getting the planning right is crucial – no matter how good the work is, it can all unravel if mistakes are made at the planning stage.
What Things Can Typically Go Wrong with a Basement Renovation?
Basement renovations can be tricky to plan as there is often no adequate blueprint for the work that needs to be done. Basements all over Toronto vary in size, construction materials, plumbing and electrical circuitry layouts and so on. Everything from the type of soil surrounding the basement, to access and health and safety laws, needs to be considered. The type of basement renovation you want to carry out is also important. Creating a simple storage space, for example, is almost certainly going to be less complicated than building a new bedroom with its own private bathroom. To give you an idea of some of the ways things can go wrong, here are some examples:
- Failing to waterproof your basement – This is asking for serious trouble. Even if you haven’t had noticeable problems with water and moisture seeping through cracks into your basement, it’s simply not worth taking the risk. Water could already be slowly building up, ready to break through at some time in the future. By not sealing your basement properly, and making sure there is adequate drainage, you are putting at risk the entire basement renovation project, along with its contents once it is finished. You could see your budget for the project doubled or tripled by the time the work and repairs have been finished safely.
- Choosing wooden subfloors, even if they are moisture resistant – Moisture resistant wood serves a lot of useful purposes, but forming a basement floor is not one of them. In the case of untreated wood, it will naturally absorb water and you will notice this by the gradual appearance and smell of mould. While treated wood products may not suffer in the same way on a day-to-day basis, they are still going to be of little use in case of a large buildup of water or a flood – events that come with no announcement and usually catch people off guard. After a storm or a rainy week, it is quite possible that the soil around your basement will become saturated and begin to soak the wooden flooring. As soon as this happens, you are in trouble.
- Failing to have a battery-powered backup sump pump – This is an expense that many resent making at the outset of a basement remodelling project, but it is absolutely essential. Nobody wants to have to use a backup sump pump, just as they don’t want to find themselves finding their way around their home with a flashlight during a power outage. Unfortunately, your primary sump pump is most likely to fail when it is most needed – during a power outage caused by a storm. Not having a battery-powered backup to take over the job puts your basement at serious risk of flooding.
The examples listed above are not meant to scare you or put you off going ahead with your project. They are simply warnings as to what not to do. Bear them in mind at the planning stage and you’ll be able to avoid the heartache they can bring.