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Lately, home offices, home schools, and home businesses are the new trend; you might need a more permanent place other than the kitchen table or your bed. Any unsalvaged living space such as a basement could be used as a class or office. The question that may arise at this point is: if the basement isn't big enough, can you add to it? We asked experts, and they gave us conclusive answers.
Yes, you can add onto a preexisting basement. Technology and know-how make it possible to add much-needed square footage to a basement already in place. Before you start enlarging your basement, you must consider the following aspects.
- Type of house
- Local building and construction codes
- Estimated cost
Even though this isn't a project, you can have input by understanding what it will entail. After considering these factors thoroughly, call in the professionals to turn your dungeon into a spacious sanctuary. Continue browsing as we dissect each aspect of adding onto an existing basement.
What To Consider When Adding Basement Space
Basements are sometimes not utilized to their full potential due to them being too small. Professionals can rectify the problem by enlarging the basement.
There are some vital factors you must consider before embarking on such a project. Once you have taken all of these into consideration, you'll then know whether or not to add to your existing basement.
Type Of House
Your home might have a basement, but the size isn't satisfactory. Adding more space will solve this problem. The type of house you have will determine if this will be possible.
A newer home will be the best candidate for any enlargements because there's a lot of extensive excavation involved. Foundations of newer homes are more stable than older homes. Hire professionals to access the condition of your home especially the foundation, basement walls, and plumbing.
A completed house has its configurations according to its initial planning. When you want to add some square meters to the basement, you'll have to do some digging.
Different soils behave differently when any structure is erected on them due to their different properties. Land surveyors can assist a homeowner to understand what to expect in terms of shift, expansion, and water retention of the soil in the vicinity.
When making any alterations in your home, ensure that you think about the season and the climate. If your home is located in a warm climate, don't start any basement expansion in the rainy season. Homeowners in colder climates should start any work on their basements in the cold months.
The basement walls don't need to be subject to extreme weather in an uncompleted state. They are part of the house foundation, and any cracks will damage the house as a whole.
The cost of the operation might hike due to cracked walls, burst pipes, or necessary additional insulation.
Local Building & Construction Codes
Homeowners must be aware of the fact local building construction codes differ depending on the state. The codes regulate the height of the ceiling, sizes of doors or windows, and emergency exits. As a homeowner, don't skip this stage under any circumstances.
You could check with the local building authorities to know what you can and can't do in your home. To avoid penalties, seek the help of a professional company.
Just like in any home upgrade, you should be aware of approximately how much you'll have to spend to get your desired basement. The cost will consist of; permits, land excavation, materials, equipment, installations, insulation, finishing, and professional labor fees.
Before hiring any professionals, get several quotations but don't skim on the quality of work or materials. This way, you'll be sure of getting guaranteed quality results.
How To Build A Room In A Finished Basement
Adding a room to a completed basement is an easy task for any capable construction professional. Remodeling a house makes it feel more like a home to a homeowner.
Building a room in your finished basement might or might not be complex. You won't get any additional living space but it can improve the functionality of the area. Ensure that you check out the building codes about the type of room you want to build.
Before any construction, you should hire a professional to draft architectural plans, have a proper basement layout, and identify the load-bearing walls and support system.
What to do when building a room in your basement:
- Draw a plan: Have a carefully laid out plan of the room you want to be added.
- Frame the walls: Locate the joists in the basement ceiling where the walls will be fixed. The wall frame must have a top plate, a bottom plate, and studs. Include allowances for doors in the wall frames.
- Wiring: Ensure that you wire the room accordingly. Drill holes where necessary.
- Plumbing: Add any needed ducts and pipes to the new room.
- Install and paint the walls: Once the wiring has been completed, erect the walls, smoothen them out, and paint.
- Flooring: Lastly, lay the desired flooring after completing the walls.
Below, find a helpful tutorial on framing walls to add a room to a basement:
How Much Does It Cost To Add On To A Basement?
The cost of adding on to a basement ranges from $20,000 to $150,000. The cost will vary according to the size of the addition and prices of material and labor in different states.
Most professionals charge at least $100 of the work done per square foot. A lot of work goes into adding on to a basement. The fee includes:
- Renting the equipment
- Soil excavation and disposal
- Time spent on the project
- Hired laborers
How Can I Make My Basement Safe To Live?
To make your basement safe to live in, you must adhere to any regional rules and regulations. Building and construction codes stipulate that any living space must have the following:
- Basements must have doors and egress windows which also serve as emergency exits.
- Ensure that your basement has all these exits easily accessible in case of emergencies.
- Insulate the basement properly to avoid heat loss.
- Additional measures such as fire sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and alarm systems are must-haves for residential properties.
- Check for any pests and fumigate if necessary.
- Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture and mold.
When these measures are in place, you can feel safe and secure in your basement.
Is There Such Thing As A 2 Story Basement?
Yes, there is. Generally speaking, a basement will be considered a story that is below ground level.
The term story basement is commonly used in commercial buildings such as banks, offices, or underground car parks that have two grand planes. One grand plane might be below ground level whilst the other is above ground level. The height in between the floor should be not less than six feet.
In residential buildings, the basement is sometimes used as a living quarter. It is simply identified as a unit because the residents are non-transient.
Any additional living area is always welcome. To achieve this, you'll need the help of professional builders and contractors. Adding on to your to an existing basement might be costly as it is almost like new construction.
As a homeowner, you must realize that embarking on such a project might be time-consuming and expensive. Ensure that you have all the estimated costs and quotations from several accredited professionals.
To make your basement safe to live in, adhere to any local building codes. Decorate and create an ambiance to go with the function of your basement area.
Here are posts to give ideas on how to make your basement more hospitable and habitable: