Basements are an often-underutilized area that, when remodeled, could improve your home and how you live in it. However, understanding what it takes to remodel a basement is a topic we felt important to discuss. At The Cleary Company in Columbus, Ohio, our Remodel-Design-Build Team has collaborated to create many basement remodels. Read on to learn what Development & Design Manager, Laura Watson, ASID, UDCP, believes clients should know, think about, expect, and understand about remodeling their basements.

When should you remodel your basement?

So, how do you know you need to remodel? There are many variables to consider when determining this, and depending on what they are, the scope of the work will differ.

  • You want additional living space for a craft or hobby area, home office, workout room, or a place for the kids to play or hang out with friends.
  • You’d like to entertain more. How about a space for a custom wine cellar with a tasting room or a home bar ready for football games?
  • You need another bedroom and/or bathroom for in-laws, guests or when a kid returns during or after college.

Need some basement remodeling inspiration? Visit our YouTube channel to view completed projects!

8 things a homeowner needs to know about remodeling a basement:

  1. A basement remodel doesn’t go any faster than other remodeling projects. Supplies have to be ordered and delivered, areas must be demoed and rebuilt, permits need to be pulled, inspections completed—you get the idea. A great remodeling project takes time, no matter where it is in your home.
  2. Headroom matters! The Ohio Residential Building Code dictates the “ceiling heights in basements shall not be less than 6 feet 8 inches clear except for under beams, girders, ducts or other obstructions where the clear height shall be 6 feet 4 inches”. Ductwork might have to be moved or raised, especially in older basements. This height applies to staircases as well. In some cases, the stairway must be reworked to create the appropriate head height.
  3. To be classified as a finished basement, the space must be a walkout to the yard or have an egress window.
  4. Mechanicals (sump pump, water heater, HVAC) can be in the way of a new design plan. In cases where these mechanicals are cost-prohibitive to be moved, they can be enclosed in a separate room. Doing so often means a louvered or vented door must be installed for proper airflow.
  5. If a bedroom is in the scope of work, there must be an egress window in the room as well as a closet added for it to count as a habitable bedroom.
  6. What is the heating and cooling like in the basement? This will determine the kind of flooring installed if your basement tends to be chilly. Carpeting might be a good option if you love to be barefoot or if the space is going to be used for sleepovers and kids hanging out. If heating/cooling isn’t an issue, LVT (luxury vinyl tile) flooring is a great option.
  7. How are you going to use the space? If it’s going to be a place for kids, you might need to deaden the sound with more insulation or other soundproofing materials.
  8. Determine how you want the space utilized for your needs—a beautiful laundry room, a guest suite with a bathroom, a play area, a workout room, more storage, or a home bar. Knowing what will work for you and how YOU want to use the space determines the scope of the project and the cost.

How much does a basement remodel cost in Columbus, Ohio?

What you need to do before your project starts:

There are several things that need to be done before the construction of your remodel can begin. Knowing these ahead of time makes the whole process easier for you and your remodeler!

  • Move everything away from the walls so every area can be accurately measured during your initial meetings and trade partner inspections.
  • Purge, organize and store items someplace other than in the basement to create adequate room for carpenters and trades to complete their work. If you need help with this process, Our Team can connect you with a professional organizer.
  • Is there water damage or areas where water gets in during heavy rains? Have this remediated before your remodel begins. Again, Our Team can recommend a professional to tackle any waterproofing issues.
  • Consider adding a sump pump with a battery backup. You may not have water issues now, but they can happen to anyone at any time.
  • Assure adequate space and clearance to get furniture and supplies down into the basement.

Ready to get started?!

Value added, another place to hang out, the added space you need for your home, all of these contribute to the anatomy of your basement. We’re here and ready to collaborate and create your vision. Contact us today! Visit our website or call at 614-459-4000 to discuss your basement remodeling ideas with our Client Relations Coordinator.