DIY Basement Finishing – Is My Basement Ready?

The Handyguys discuss whether your unfinished basement is suitable for finishing during their home improvement podcast.

Part 2 in the Basement Finishing Series.

Home improvement and Another during and after picture of a Handyguys basement

Are you tired of that dirty old basement which is filled with all of the junk that you don’t need? Have you been waiting to use that pneumatic nailer you recently purchased? Then it is time to begin finishing your basement. But, before you shoot your first nail, you have to determine if your basement is a good candidate to be converted to living space. You don’t want to spend a lot of time and money finishing your basement if water, mold and moisture are going to ruin your hard work.

A simple picture of part of a Handyguy basement

The Handyguys take a look at some of the hurdles you must face before even thinking of finishing your basement. They provide some tips for the do-it-yourself minded individuals who would love to see a nice play room, entertainment room or billiards room in your basement.

Do you have enough electrical power to handle the new space you want to finish? If not, you may need to upgrade your service. Consider talking to an electrical professional to evaluate your current electrical service and panel.

In addition, you must have adequate heating and air conditioning for the new space.

The common problem you must correct before beginning finishing work is to mitigate against any kind of water or moisture penetration. You don’t want that new Berber carpet to become moldy or soaked from a freak rainstorm. You should have a good water mitigation plan in place to handle the threats that nature brings. If you have severe water problems, you may want to talk to a few local water mitigation contractors to see what products they offer to prevent water penetration. If you decide to have a drainage system installed, be sure to wait a couple of years to confirm that it stand up to all kinds of weather. You don’t want to discover that your new system fails during that huge thunderstorm when the power goes out.

Another common problem is radon. This natural gas is not something you want trapped in your home. There are reasonably priced systems available to prevent radon gas from seeping into your home but you want to deal with this issue before you begin finishing the basement. It will make your life a lot easier.

In addition to problems from the outside, there are potential problems already in your basement.

Is your stairwell adequate?

Is your ceiling height high enough for finished space?

Are utilities and ductwork going to be in the way?

Check out this week’s podcast for more details.

Part one of the Basement Series can be read and listened to here.

4 thoughts on “DIY Basement Finishing – Is My Basement Ready?

  1. Good article. I am a radon mitigation contractor and meet many customers who say, “I wish that I would have thought of this before finishing my basement.” From a radon mitigation standpoint it is always more effective to be able to seal any cracks in the concrete floor while installing the radon reduction system. Many homes that I work in have carpeting over the basement slab which prevents us from sealing these radon entry points. Thank you for increasing awareness of these basement issues.

  2. ove your website. I completely agree. Sometimes we confuse what we want with what we need. My husband and I moved into a new apartment and it is still mostly empty. I have given upon the whole “matchy matchy” nature of furniture. One- it is terribly expensive and two- it can come off as cold and without personality. I have a love/hate relationship with HGTV. What they do put together is beautiful and clutter free but alas life is not so.

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