There are many benefits to having a finished basement, but it can often be one of the most forgotten rooms in the house. A finished basement can add value to your home, increase your usable space and be a fun and flexible room for the family. There are some things you need to consider in order to convert a dark, damp unfinished basement into a comfortable and cozy living space.
Keep Components Accessible & Clear
Most basements are home to furnaces, air handlers and other HVAC components – not ideal decor elements for your new space. Obviously, this equipment is crucial in keeping your house safe and comfortable. Since you can’t live without these components, the next best thing is to conceal them (without entirely closing them off). The National Gas Fuel Code specifies the amount of cubic feet you need to have to provide adequate combustion air for your gas furnace and/or gas hot water heater. This is determined by the BTU output of the appliances. It’s also a manufacturer requirement, and a possible building code, to keep a specific amount of space around your heating and air conditioning system components accessible for any inspections, repairs, or replacements.
Follow Codes & Obtain Permits
Although building codes for converting an unfinished basement into a living space depend on the location, most likely, heating and cooling regulations will be addressed. Remember, you’re adding to the amount of space to heat and cool. First, you’ll need to determine if your current systems can handle the added demand, or if additional capacity is required. Other considerations may include: ventilation (natural or mechanical), drawings that show existing equipment, supply, and where return ducts are located as if applicable, where new duct will run, registers, and any other duct system components to be installed. Your municipality may also request a building permit before adding to your current heating and A/C duct system or before the installation of a new furnace, heat pump or air conditioner.
Addressing Indoor Air Quality
Before beginning any conversion of basement space into a living space, check your basement for leaks or other signs of moisture problems. Since damp basements promote biological growth, including black mold, they aren’t a healthy place to reside. Therefore, any moisture problems should be corrected before you begin the converting process. Installing a dehumidifier isn’t a solution on its own. You must also incorporate proper drainage and waterproofing to keep moisture out of underground living spaces.
Call the Barton Boys!
Not only are finished basements comfortable, they are economical. If you are considering upgrading or renovating your house, look at your basement and think of all the possibilities that it holds.Learn more about heating and air conditioning for your home or business by visiting The Barton Boys website or calling (509)-892-5300.