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Don’t Skip this Early Step for Your Basement Remodeling Plan

If you’re looking to get extra living space and update your home with a finished basement, you’re probably experiencing a strong mix of excitement about the finished product and worry about the cost, scheduling, and design choices that go into this type of home remodel.  You probably don’t know where to start. There are a handful of steps that are essential, but there’s often one step that’s taken for granted when it shouldn’t be. You have to completely clear out the basement space, and you should look to do it sooner rather than later.

For many, simply getting everything out of the basement and finding a place to store it can be a major project. Fortunately, Closetbox can take the headaches out of the back-end of this storage need with pickup service. We’re not the only ones to point out the importance of early cleaning and storage for your remodel. Check out this basement remodel planning resource from HomeAdvisor.

Step-by-Step Guides for Basement Remodeling—and What They Tend to Miss

The thing is most online guides (Houzz, How to Finish My Basement, Basement Finishing University) don’t list this type of deep clean as one of the major steps of basement remodeling…if they mention it all. Instead, they focus on ideas, design, and specific installation choices. Maybe they assume you already know cleaning is part of the deal. Maybe they just don’t want you to think about all the time that’s involved with preparing the basement. It’s not like we think you’ll forget to do this, but doing this early on helps identify problems that might otherwise go unnoticed until the worst possible time.

Getting inspired by magazines and online photos is great, and creating the design for your new basement space should be an incredibly exciting time. But this is another reason why it’s so important to get a jump on clearing things out.  Nothing is more disheartening than when you think you have a plan in place, and then remove some of the old clutter and shelves out of the basement only to realize that the waterproofing and foundation sealing you didn’t previously know was necessary is going to cost a lot more than your initial design and budget allowed for.

Early Budget Estimates for Your Finished Basement

Is this problem really all that common? Yes! There’s a stark divide between those who need extensive foundation sealing (especially exterior excavation) and those who need little more than a whole house dehumidifier and maybe some minor injection work for cracks in the concrete. And it’s not just finding out that there’s a little more involved with sealing your basement walls.  It’s the potential cost differential between minor and major moisture mitigation.

While the average cost of basement waterproofing is just under $4,000, many homeowners find that these minor injection treatments cost as little as $750-$1,500. Meanwhile, major waterproofing, foundation sealing, and drainage installation can hit $7,500-$10,000+. Often, it’s interior waterproofing and sealing treatments that find this mid-range price. Even before you get a detailed estimate from a basement contractor, this type of determination can help you create an early budget for the project. To this end, there’s a simple, DIY method that can help guide you.

See What’s Lurking Behind….See What’s Right in Front of You

Putting aside the troubleshooting aspect of cleaning out the basement, there’s also an upside to taking on this step earlier in the process. While an interior designer or architect can probably work with just the dimensions of the space, homeowners frequently benefit from seeing their entire, vacant basement area and how it might look and feel with significant alterations….If you build an interior wall for an extra bedroom, will you still have enough room for the pool table you’ve always wanted?….How do you make the best use of the basement windows, while still maintaining a low-glare area for your home theater experience?….Instead of a beat-up door, can you front your auxiliary storage space with a secret, hideaway bookcase façade?

Getting Started

Looking for an excuse to start taking your basement remodeling plans seriously? Clean out your basement space and put overflow belongings into our convenient storage units.  Survey your basement closely for signs of water damage or moisture issues that might indicate more extensive remodeling needs.  Then, schedule a consultation or two with a local basement remodeler. In the meantime, you can look at remodeling magazines and online photos in earnest.  Confirm that your initial ideas seem viable based on the available space, and start imagining yourself in your new finished basement!