Remodeling your basement can be an excellent way to make more space in your house. Remodeling isn't without difficulties, though, and you need to be mindful of county laws and ordinances, along with the weather and any potential for mold or moisture issues. It's also possible to overdo a remodel, in which case you may lose money if you decide to sell the house at a later date. The best way to start a basement remodel is to understand the important dos and don'ts before you begin.
Do: Complete as Much of the Tear-Out and Cleanup As You Can
The more tear-out and cleanup you can do yourself, the more money you'll save. You'll have a lot of debris to get rid of, and working at the cleanup incrementally and disposing of smaller amounts with the weekly household refuse, will make the process easier.
Don't: Mess With Electrical or Plumbing
Maybe the water heater isn't where you'd like it, or you wish the breaker box was on a different wall. Unless you're licensed, don't mess with either one of those systems. You can get seriously injured or worse, and you can also make a real mess of things that will cost a lot to straighten out. You also need to be mindful of who you hire to do the work, so you can be sure it's done right. Make sure you get someone licensed for that specific work.
Do: Supervise the Project and Ask Plenty of Questions
Don't hire people you don't feel you can trust to be in your home and do the job properly. Even with trusted contractors, you should pay attention to what they're doing and how they're completing the work. Check in with them frequently and make sure things are on schedule. See that they have what they need to move forward, and that they're following your floor plan and design. Make sure they have the proper permits. If you see something that doesn't look like what you wanted, make sure you ask about it. The best time to correct problems with your basement remodel is before they occur.
Don't: Change Your Plans in the Middle of Things
Think big, but do it before you hire a contractor. Sites like HGTV have inspirational ideas. Changing things in the middle of a project costs both time and money. Your basement may need to be waterproofed or treated for mold, insulation could be required, and there may be other issues you have to consider to make it a livable space. Especially in places where the winters are cold and snowy, it's often the things you can't see that really cost you money. Proper planning will help you get your basement completed quickly and for a good price.