Last week, we blogged about growing your home up or out with Atlanta home renovations, but this week we’re thinking about downward expansions–basements.
If your home doesn’t already have a space for a basement, but expanding onto your home by adding on a room or a another level won’t work, you just might need to dig a little deeper. Here are eight tips for figuring out if adding on a finished basement is your best option:
- What’s there? If you already have an unfinished basement space, Atlanta basement finishing will definitely be your most cost effective option. If you have to dig down a few feet, you can expect the cost to be the same as a ground-level addition. But, if you have to completely dig out an entire basement space, you can expect costs to rise steeply per foot.
- How far do you need to go? Basements typically need to be a little more than the height of a standard door (seven feet), but many homes with existing basements have ceiling heights lower than this or have exposed ductwork. However, if you are starting from scratch or almost scratch, the recommended height for maximum comfort would be eight feet.
- Escape plan. How will you get out in case of an emergency? Building codes will determine exactly what size of an exit you need to have, and where it needs to be located, so consult your local building codes for your area’s specifics.
- Where’s the sewer? Knowing how deep the sewer line is as it leaves your home can help you determine whether you’ll be able to drain your basement by gravity or have to pump it uphill.
- Show me the light. If possible, be sure to install a few windows around the basement to let in as much natural light as possible. You can also use interior windows to filter light to interior rooms.
- Where are the stairs? If your basement already exists, consider if the stairs are in the ideal spot for maximum livability. If you’re creating the space, be sure to work with your architect or designer to decide on the best spot.
- Got utilities? Older homes come with older, less energy efficient appliances that generally need to vent vertically. When designing your basement, be sure to look into upgrading to more efficient furnaces and hot water heaters, which will lower utility bills and allow for more layout flexibility.
- Heat it up. If you’re digging down or finishing an unfinished space, be sure to install insulation to maximize your basement’s energy efficiency. Those building a new basement can also choose to install radiant heat tubes in the concrete slab.
The eight tips and questions above are a great starting point for considering an Atlanta remodeling project such as adding on or finishing your home’s basement. And, at Cardinal Construction, we can help you answer these questions to make the right decision for your needs and budget. Give us a call at 770-814-7331 to learn more.